Solutions for city transport, homelessness, child poverty, progress on major roading projects, tourism growth and kindness are among the items at the top of the wishlist for Bay of Plenty residents and leaders in 2018. With the new year upon us, reporter Amy Diamond asked people what they would like to see happen in the region in the next 12 months.
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless
"I'd like to see the new Government come to the party on the big expenses that face Tauranga and other high-growth cities and assist with the big-ticket issues such as transport. One of the nice-to-haves will be the new museum assistance; they've [the Government] given quite a bit to other cities and regions to assist them with their museums and I hope for the same here."
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Garry Webber
"I'd like to see not just in the Western Bay but in wider New Zealand, a more kind, caring and tolerant society where we respect the differences others bring to our society. If anything were possible it would be great to have a magic fund from heaven so that our rates would not have to increase for the next 10 years. But our council members will be working hard to do well for our ratepayers."
Tauranga-based, NZ First list MP Clayton Mitchell
I would like to see better transport options and projects that will reduce congestion. I will be pushing to remove the toll from Route K and I would like to see an inquiry into the future mobility of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty, with an inclusion of rail options for the region, so we as a city can use it as a blueprint for future growth solutions. I would like to also see homelessness amongst the working poor eradicated - we will do this by working towards introducing a living wage and creating affordable homes by streamlining the RMA.
Labour list MP Jan Tinetti
"I don't' think it would a surprise that my biggest wish is to see more people out of homelessness and in a safe and secure, warm, dry homes. I would love to see more children lifted out of poverty. Our city is wonderful but we've just got to look after those people who need extra support. That's what I really want for 2018, that we are kind and caring and looking after each other."
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges
"2018 should be another great year in Tauranga. That said, watch out for skilled labour shortages and bad employment law changes that will dampen success. At the top of my list will be ensuring new highways happen through to Katikati and the Waikato, getting a museum done right, a CBD tertiary campus and making sure we keep with the work to build 35,000 new houses locally through the $230 million Housing Infrastructure Fund."
Kristin Dunne, Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive
"My wish for the Bay in 2018 is continued prosperity for the region, with growth that is managed in a deliberate and sustainable way. Continued growth of tourism will help to create a vibrant place, with greater amenities for visitors and residents alike. My focus will be on co-creating a 10-year development plan for tourism so we can manage growth sustainably, to the benefit of our communities and with protection for our beautiful environment."
Hazel Hape, acting manager at Tauranga Woman's Refuge
"I'd like to see people showing more kindness to one another, being kind to other people regardless of who they are. I want to see thriving and happy families and whanau enjoying community spaces together. The Strand is looking really good and it's a great place for people to gather and enjoy time with their whanau, but I'd like to see more spaces like this. I would like to see women given more of a voice and visibility. It would be great to see more women and Maori represented within our local council body. I'm an advocate for free first-year tertiary education and it will be great to see that followed through. Everyone has a right to education and having some barriers removed. "
Western Bay area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton
"I'd like to see the beauty and potential realised in the Western Bay and Tauranga. We've got some amazing scenery and a really attractive environment with our coasts and our hills, and I want people to be able to enjoy our environment more. I want to see families enjoying the beauty the Western Bay of Plenty has to offer."
What would be on your wishlist for the city in 2018?
"A rail link to Auckland would be great in 2018 and to get the parking issue sorted out in Tauranga."
Carol Butler, Mount Maunganui
"Tauranga itself needs more fun things for children and families to do."
Trish George, Mount Maunganui
"More parking is needed in Mount Maunganui."
Lynn Mayfield, Mount Maunganui
"Uber, to get around without having to catch the buses. But it's pretty fantastic living here."
Paul Ford, Papamoa
"Trains in and out of the city and up to Auckland. More options on the seafront in the Mount for dining, Uber and more free events on the beach."
Natalie Hird, Mount Maunganui
"Sort out the parking issues, a parking building in the Mount would be good."
Ayla Pratt, Mount Maunganui
"Better nightlife for the Mount."
Jason Jacobson, Papamoa
"Just sort the traffic out. It would make everyone's lives easier if the traffic was flowing."
Kathryn Busbridge, Mount Maunganui