Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Bay mayors clean out their offices

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The Bay's two long-standing mayors have been cleaning out their offices in preparation for their replacements.

Tauranga mayor Stuart Crosby is standing down after 12 years and Western Bay's Ross Paterson is stepping aside since being elected to the job in 2009.

Mr Crosby said he had so far filled two large wheelie bins, mainly with papers and agendas.

"In this job, you obviously have to keep a lot of important information. But something that was once very, very important in 1998 is now a has-been, and issues and events over time fade into insignificance ... I must be a bit of a hoarder."

Mr Crosby said he also found lots of "knick-knacks" given to him over the years, and had accumulated gifts from official overseas trips plus those visiting officials had given.

Some gifts would remain in the office and others he would give away, he said.

Mr Crosby said cleaning out his office cupboards brought back many memories.

These included when he rediscoverd two medallions gifted to him by a local club to mark the opening of the second Tauranga Harbour Bridge, and a large pile of documents relating to the handing back of Mauao to local iwi.

Mr Crosby points to a big scratch on a large table in his office.

"That was the caused by an excited developer who slammed his briefcase down on the desk, and unwittingly dragged it as he opened it."

Inside one cupboard, hung Mr Crosby's bright red ceremonial mayoral robe.

The only time he donned it was when a local artist asked to paint him wearing it, he said.

"I looked like Paddington Bear, and have never worn it since."

Mr Crosby said a major clear-out was important in the transition process.

"But I won't take a lot with me. Probably a couple of photographs taken while travelling overseas, and one special one taken three years ago with the visiting premier of China. Plus a few other mementoes," he said.

Clean sweep: Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby cleaning out his office during a major clean-up. Photo/Andrew Warner.
Clean sweep: Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby cleaning out his office during a major clean-up. Photo/Andrew Warner.

Meanwhile, Mr Paterson said clearing the decks was not the effort it had been he when he first took office.

"When I first moved in this office was full, with wall-to-wall with paper, magazines, agendas, maps, everything. I immediately cleared out half of it ... Now that we have moved to IT and have the iPad this job is a lot easier,'' he said.

"One thing about technology is that it has removed a lot of paperwork out of the system.

"I have got to say that we have done the same exercise at home. First of all I was directed to by my wife, then I was helped to clear out our home of a massive pile of agendas."

Mr Paterson said one of the first things he found during the massive clean-up was about 100 business cards in a draw.

"Everyone who comes into this office makes the point of giving you their business card. That's good because it helps you remember their name but over time the numbers do add up ... and that was one of the first clean-up areas."

He would not be taking much with him apart from a few special gifts and a couple of framed photographs, he said.

These included a photograph taken with Prime Minister John Key during his Mr Paterson's first term in office.

"This is a big change of direction for me, and if you're going to have a major change in direction in your life then you don't need to keep holding on to all this historic stuff."

Standing in an office with his tidy desk and not much else, Mr Paterson said cleaning out his office after three decades on council was "tinged with sadness" and there was also a "little bit of emotion" - but relief too.

"I am really looking forward to stepping on in life ... I will take the summer to work out what and where Ross Paterson heads to."

Local government service:


Mayor Crosby:
1986: Elected to the former Tauranga Borough Council's Papamoa Community Council
1986 to 2003: Served as a Tauranga City Council councillor
2004: Elected mayor on October 9

Mayor Paterson:
1995: Elected councillor on Western Bay of Plenty District Council
2001-2008: Served as deputy mayor for seven years
Mid-2008: Appointed acting mayor after mayor Graeme Weld became sick
March 6, 2009: Elected mayor following a by-election after Mr Weld's death in November 2008.

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