A rates freeze and productivity increase are top priorities for Western Bay District Council mayoral candidate Mike Lally.

The past district Councillor, who served six years and was the chairman of the Te Puke Community Board, wanted to see a change of culture in the Western Bay.

"It can not stay operating the way it is, the 'cost plus' syndrome has to disappear.

"We need a change in policy setting and change in attitudes. We need staff and policies that are business and people friendly," he said.


Mr Lilly's top priority was to freeze rates in the Western Bay, which was why he decided to run for mayor.

"Te Puke rate payers were complaining bitterly about their large rate bills and very poor service delivery... I realised things could not stay as they were."

His plan to freeze rates would be done through the introduction of productivity programmes and improving efficiency, he said.

"Increasing productivity eliminates things like unnecessary meetings, office operations," Mr Lally said.

He planned to combine two or three jobs, which could be done by one person.

"Everything Council does must be reviewed and questioned to find is there a better way," he said.

"Productivity improvements results in higher wages and reduced costs... Everyone benefits."

Mr Lally wanted an increase in accountability and transparency by the Council, as well as Community Boards getting a greater say in issues and an increase in power.

"Council district plans can be a road block to productivity improvements and business development. In Western Bay we can get it right."

"I have had complaints from a businesses in Katikati and Te Puke where business people find too many road blocks in the way.

"The district plan can also be productivity destroying so lets start fixing it up," Mr Lally said.

Mr Lally's highlight of his time in council was getting the Rangiuru land zone for industry and mitigating the effects on Te Puke businesses of the Eastern Bypass.

His least favourite aspect was the one lane trial through Te Puke Main St.

"We knew the one lane trial was going to be difficult and unpopular, but our popularity had to take back seat and the communities safety came first... We did become very unpopular but we got it right and nobody has been killed or injured in the main street since, that I know of."

His ideal deputy Mayor would be someone who "thinks like me", who was also inclusive, listens and cares.