Tenby Powell is gunning for the top job. And the high profile businessman says Tauranga deserves better.

"I don't need this job but I definitely want it," he said. "Tauranga is very close to my heart, it's my turangawaewae. This is my home."

Powell served in the NZ Army and chairs a 13-member Small Business Council that advises the Government.

Powell is also a New Zealand representative member of the Apec Business Advisory Council.


He says if he becomes mayor, he will resign all his central government and private business roles.

"Running for mayor is not out of the blue," he says.

"It is a natural progression as my career has gone from the private sector by degree and almost without noticing it, ended up with a lot of government board roles and working with and for government overseas, for example with Apec.

"I can use a whole series of skill-sets from the private sector, from central government and apply it to local government and apply it to the city I love so much."

Powell and his wife Sharon Hunter run Hunter Powell Investment Partners. He says Sharon is not interested in being the "first lady".

"Sharon brings a tremendous amount to the party. She is a business leader in her own right, she's a huge advocate for women and women in business, women generally. She's very community focused... she just wants to be a part of the community and add leadership value, which she is very good at."

He says the biggest issue of Tauranga is the speed and the growth of the city.

"The skill-sets to lead a medium size city are very different from those you need for running a big town," he said.


"I think the current leadership could be better, and it would be great to see a different skill-set on council. I would like to see more women, to be perfectly honest. And in an ideal world, if I win the mayoralty, I would like to see a young female deputy mayor.

"The planning that's gone into understanding the forecasting of Tauranga is lacking, and most particularly the execution of those plans.

"We've got roads that are completely clogged up, we need to take multi-modal transport options seriously. There's just so much. We need to find a way now to fixing and freeing-up and creating greater economic activity for all people."

Powell is also interested in solving Tauranga's homelessness crisis.

"To be blunt, passing a bylaw to sweep the homeless out of the city is not a solution. I would like to bring these incredible people together to understand the magnitude of the problem. I'd like to engage with the police to understand what exactly we have on our hands here."

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