Tauranga CBD's metamorphosis
Some time ago during the global financial crisis, I wrote an article and called it Cranes over Tauranga.
I said we would get through the global financial crisis and Psa in kiwifruit and Tauranga would start to fly.
A good indicator would be cranes popping up all over the town. I was right, cranes are growing like mushrooms. In five years' time, Tauranga's CBD will be a vibrant and exciting place.
The next five years will be very difficult for the small businesses. Earthquake strengthening will continue at pace as well as new builds. Some streets will be closed with limited access to others, hundreds of car parks will be lost. Scaffold, trucks and building material not to mention the very important tradesmen will be all over town.
We have encouraged and supported growth (as we should) but we also need to support the businesses as we go through this metamorphosis. We need to take urgent action.
Some possibilities are free buses to the CBD - set up a park and ride and work on parking initiatives as well as more high-end activities to encourage people back into town. It will take a team approach.
This is a must so we all can prosper.
Tauranga City Councillor
Why not rail?
Why don't we work something out with the rail? If you look, seven out of 10 cars have one person in them.
Why don't we get some of the disused rail cars and run them at peak hours to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui from Apata where the rail meets the road and there is plenty of space for parking?
Wouldn't people rather sit in a railcar for a fraction of the time than jammed up in traffic sitting in their car?
When our city fathers get around to inviting builders to provide accommodation that's to be age-friendly for the increasing number of senior citizens expected, there'll be plenty of expensive communities competing for the newly retired.
What about the folk who can't afford that kind of housing? We know Tauranga has nine 'retirement villages' at the moment, but in a few months, they are up for sale. I wonder who will be interested in designing and building comfortable, easy-care units for the emerging aged.
If there's someone out there with this in mind, here are some tips.
Build on a bus route, or ensure the bus company will come your way. Pick flat terrain if at all possible. Small can be beautiful - we really only need a bedroom, a laundry/bathroom and an open-plan living-room/kitchen.
Double units can benefit from the sun blessing three sides of each. Have the wardrobe backing the hot-water cupboard, and the toilet must be at least as high as an ordinary chair.
Obviously, two jacks for telephones, and electrical outlets for a computer, etc. A brilliant addition would be a cupboard for a fold-away treadmill. Some window-boxes or small raised gardens for flowers or veggies.
Some carports would be desirable, preferably between the units, such as unit-carport-carport-unit, and they need power-points for recharging e-cars, e-bikes and scooters. I bet other people will come up with even better ideas.
Joy Z. Marks
Petrol tax impact
Overheard in a cafe in Auckland on July 1 "I am going to work tomorrow to put the price up on all our products due to the regional tax of 11.5c on petrol". I cannot believe there so many people in the Bay of Plenty that are saying they are glad we do not have a regional tax on petrol.
Does not matter, as any product, service that comes out of Auckland will rise in price. In October another tax on the whole of New Zealand of 3.5c, though the Labour Government (who said they would not increase tax on anything) are calling it an excise fee, so another though smaller price rise in products throughout the country.