Diversity will be a bigger consideration when Tauranga City Council makes appointments to council organisation boards, according to a revised policy signed off today.

In the meeting, however, councillors watered down language around trying to have at least one iwi-supported director on each board.

The staff-recommended wording of the final two principals of the Appointment of Directors to Council Organisations policy read:

"While the over-riding principle is to appoint on merit, Council encourages diversity of gender, skills, thought and culture on its Council Organisation (CO) boards, subject to the required skills and experience.

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"In particular, Council's goal is for each CO board to have at least one director with strong connections to and the support of local iwi."

Council staff said the wording had already been softened to be a "goal".

Some councillors, however, thought the wording was still too strong and prescriptive.

Leanne Brown was concerned the wording would "tie us in so tight that we eliminate a really good trustee".

"It should become a consideration not a directive," she said.

Terry Molloy said he was comfortable with the wording as it was a goal, not an absolute, and it reflected the council's desire for better relationships with tangata whenua.

Councillors rewrote the principles to read:

"While the over-riding principle is to appoint on merit, Council encourages diversity of gender, skills, thought and culture on its Council Organisation (CO) boards, and may consider the appointment of a Director with strong connections to and the support of local iwi, subject to the required skills and experience."

Tauranga City Council has three council-controlled organisations: Bay Venues Ltd, Tauranga Art Gallery and Tourism Bay of Plenty.

The revised policy also gave the council more involvement in the appointment process, with two elected members on the appointment panel.

The new policy will come into play with Tourism Bay of Plenty's recruitment of two new trustees, starting on July 1.