Leadership, not management, is the ticket Kevin Tohiariki will run on in his bid for the position of Western Bay of Plenty District Council mayor.

"It's about having the welfare of people at stake, trust, taking them where they have never ventured, making the hard decisions with courage and integrity, enabling and delivering the future, and ensuring quality of life."

Mr Tohiariki was appointed by local Maori as a representative on the Tauranga Moana Partnership Forum.

He said it was during this time he thought there was minimal value which flowed from the council to Maori.


"It was also here where I understood that all of our communities were not getting best value that should be delivered by the council."

He said his campaign strategy was simple.

"Engage our people and provide them with compelling options for change to real value through a jump to better leadership," he said.

"My neighbours and my community are angry, and passionate about change. Rates being the top of their full agenda," he said.

The former RNZAF officer and Maritime Patrol aviator said his leadership experience in planning in the New Zealand Defence Force, and in managing a European Aerospace company would help him to "operate effectively and efficiently in an uncertain world".

"The stuff that council needs," he said.

Mr Tohiariki's main priorities for the Western Bay were to review council processes, "to ensure they are delivering the correct and needed outcomes" and to remove "wasteful" processes.

"The council processes must add value to your life, if they don't, it's waste and needs to be removed to ease the burden on ratepayers."

He thought the currents rates were too high.

"It's a very significant problem that must be solved, not handed off. You need to know why the Council is spending your money, not just how and what they are spending it on."

Protecting the environment, especially water quality, usage and availability was important to Mr Tohiariki, as "the slow decline in our freshwater ways and marine environment is a clear threat to our future prosperity," he said.

He would put high priority on "missing" essential infrastructure, and would cease non-essential projects, until "balance is achieved".

He said it was not practical to name a preferred deputy until the election was over.