Establishing TECT as a charitable trust so that it can put 100 per cent of its wealth to work for the community is the right thing to do. Local and central government won't build us the local amenities we need or address the region's deep social and environmental issues. A strong, community-focused charitable trust can take the lead on these issues and draw in the commercial sector's much greater assets to make a real difference for our children and grandchildren.
Those saying that TECT should stay as is are living in a time warp. Times are changing, the city is growing, and TECT's current charitable allocation is insufficient to meet Tauranga's escalating needs. To understand the magnitude of the funding problem you only need to get into the trenches of volunteerism in Tauranga.
I currently serve on four boards, having previously served on another three. All have good people spending disproportionate hours scratching around for funds. The Papamoa Surf Club rebuild is a prime example – I have been on that board for six years, and we have left no funding stone unturned, yet we still can't push go. We could opt for user-pays as one former TECT trustee suggested, but the reality is that crowd-sourcing for capital projects is nigh impossible and that aside his suggestion is insulting. Users often can't afford to pay, or they are already serving their community through their volunteer hours. Imagine the outcry if a hospice patient was turned down because they couldn't afford the service.
The TECT proposal could triple TECT's contribution to Tauranga's growth forever. If people want Tauranga to go from good to great, then a yes vote is a must. (Abridged)
After the end of February, glass will not be collected in our kerbside recycling bins. Because broken glass mixes with the other recycled materials, I understand more than 70 per cent of the glass in your recycling bin goes directly to landfill. I thought I was reducing waste and helping the environment, but it turns out that three-quarters of the bottles I washed have ended up in landfill. The paper I folded and the cardboard I squashed has been trucked to a hole in the ground too because broken shards of glass have made them too contaminated. Cities of our size, and many much smaller, provide separate bins for glass and make recycling work. We, who pride ourselves on our beautiful city and environment, have just been pretending. We deserve better. What is the council going to do about it? According to their website, they will consult with the community next month as part of the Long-Term Plan and may introduce a kerbside collection service in 2020/21 at the earliest. Meanwhile, what's the incentive to drive across town with your glass? If we had legislation that provided a deposit on glass bottles, we would at least get 10c for every bottle we returned.