Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby and Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Doug Owens could end up swapping jobs if Mr Owens seeks the leadership of the city.

The son of business magnate and former Tauranga mayor, the late Sir Bob Owens, said he was interested in running for the mayoralty.

If he joined the race, it would open up his Tauranga seat on the regional council. Mr Crosby is standing down as mayor and has said he intends to stand for one of the five Tauranga seats on the regional council.

I wouldn't be doing it just to be mayor. I would be doing it because there is the absolute potential for change management.


Mr Owens told the Bay of Plenty Times that he was open to the idea of standing for mayor because of the level of interest shown by people who had approached him.


Of impact on his thinking would be the visit to the Bay later this month of the Local Government Commission.

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It was here to talk about finding other ways to structure local government including the drive for councils to share services.

Mr Owens said he was not a fan of amalgamation but he was a fan of making councils more effective and efficient.

"I wouldn't be doing it just to be mayor. I would be doing it because there is the absolute potential for change management," he said.

It was important that the shift in emphasis by the Government away from amalgamations did not lead to councils going back to the silo mentality.

"It is really about the shared services model and how councils can co-operate to provide the same services at less cost."

For instance, instead of Tauranga hiring a lot of extra consenting staff to reduce pressure created by the building boom, other councils in the Bay that were not under the same pressure could pitch in to help with their resources.

Mr Owens said this would be a big motivation for him to stand for the mayoralty. He said people like developer Paul Adams made a lot of sense, but things had to be kept in perspective and for ratepayers to be represented as well.

"For me it is more democracy and less bureaucracy."

Mr Owens said there would be a legacy aspect if he stood for mayor because his father was mayor of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga.

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"But in the end I have to make sense to the people. They would not elect me because daddy was mayor."

The mayoralty has been thrown wide open by Mr Crosby's decision not to seek a fifth term. Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout, Councillor John Robson, former councillor Murray Guy and Trustpower's community relations manager Graeme Purches have announced they will seek the mayoralty.

City councillors Steve Morris and Bev Edlin have not discounted that they might run for mayor, with Tauranga business development expert Max Mason not entirely closing the door on the prospect.