Tuesday, September 22 was International car-free day - although you wouldn't know it in car-obsessed Tauranga.
Riding my bike along Oceanbeach Rd at 8.15am that morning there were the usual number of cars backed up bumper to bumper from Golf Rd to Girven Rd and school children risking their lives riding on the footpath (because there are no cycle lanes on this road).
Of the traffic jammed up I could only count two cars with more than one occupant.
How can we reasonably expect farmers to spend thousands fencing off waterways and planting trees to try to avoid climate change when we city dwellers seem to be doing nothing?
Whatever happened to the proposed electric car subsidy and extra tax on gas guzzlers? Is it time for a congestion charge on motor vehicles to pay for free buses or the reintroduction of car less days?
It is unfair for farmers to carry the burden.
I totally agree with James Newman's comment in Saturday's paper (Letters, September 27).
When my bins arrive, they will be delivered back to the public area of Tauranga City Council because I don't want them.
They cannot charge for something you don't have in your possession.
I would love to see a mountain of unwanted bins in the public foyer.
With a little bit of luck the council just might make an exception and listen for a change
Local government reform
With the negativity about local government performance, it is time to look at local government reform.
The last time of substantial reform was 1989. At that time, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council were created.
At the same time several councils held out and became unitary authorities: Marlborough - population, 49,200; Nelson City, 49,200; Tasman 54,800; Gisborne 35,500.
They all became unitary councils, which meant they included regional and district roles together in each council. We never hear trouble from them, and they are not like the huge Auckland Council.
Tauranga city has a population of 136,713 and Western Bay has 51,321. Both councils are capable of becoming unitary authorities - meaning no regional council.
We need research to prove ratepayers that government money coming from this sub-region can be better targeted.
Confusion for the average ratepayer would be removed. It is paramount that we know where the money comes from and where it is spent. In this growth sub-region, we need reform.
The money that ratepayers are paying is significant, and too often there is duplication and confusion amongst all these councils. We need reform.
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