Kiri Gillespie is the Assistant News Director and a Multimedia Journalist for the Bay of Plenty Times, covering local politics in Tauranga.
I’m Kiri Gillespie – Assistant News Director and Multimedia Journalist at the Bay of Plenty Times. You could say I'm a people person. I worked in hospitality and tourism in Rotorua before embarking on a career in journalism. Having cut my teeth in newsrooms in Rotorua, Wellington and Gisborne, I joined NZME in 2010, based in Tauranga. In 2011, I led coverage of the ever-developing Rena saga - the disaster of the grounding and the political hot potato it became. Over the years I've seen and covered some of the biggest stories affecting the Bay of Plenty including the fallout that resulted from the PSA bacterial disease that affected orchards in the region, the fall from grace of political and musical heroes, cocaine drug busts, Anthrax scares - you name it. These days I mostly cover the tumultuous world of Tauranga's civic and political landscape that form much of the city's issues. As the city's population spirals, so do its growing pains that cannot go unchecked. Being a voice for the underdog is a big part of what drives me, and decisions made in local council chambers affect everyone. As the whakatauki goes: He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is the most important thing in the world? The people, the people, the people.
Waka Kotahi's billion-dollar blowout on roading projects
Only one of the eight projects has not increased in budget or completion date.
Cages for bus drivers: Security fears after knifepoint robbery
The attack has prompted a call for perspex cages to protect bus drivers.
Council staff salaries set to rise 7.9 per cent despite $11.2m deficit
The council will decide today on its Annual Plan, which also includes a rates rise of 5.8%
Comment: In these strange and angry times, be the driver of change
OPINION: I've often wondered: how bad are things going to get before they get better?
'I will not back off': Councillor defiant amid calls for resignation
'If they have an issue with it, they can take it up with the Local Government Minister.'
'I think it's fair': BOP regional councillor moves to Christchurch
Stacey Rose says he will have better time management from the South Island.
Man guilty of Christmas Eve killing gets jail sentence
"Not only was he trying to defend himself, he was trying to defend his partner."
Kiri Gillespie: Near miss - how travelling 5km/h under the limit likely saved my life
Gaining a driver's licence is a privilege . . . it's up to all of us to drive like it.
Shared racecourse idea spurs jibes, housing plans for Rotorua
Shared Rotorua venue "nonsense" but the club's in a stronger place than others, some say.
Opinion: Golf, horses, houses - it's not yet time to choose the city's priorities
OPINION: Some suggestions for the future of the land are short-sighted.
'Shambles': Resident slams delays on controversial Ōkere Falls pathway
Work is incomplete and local residents are questioning what work is happening.
Treaty threat: Battle to move Tauranga racecourse, create regional venue with Rotorua
Preferred options for the future of Tauranga Racecourse are released, with no racecourse.
'A lot of damage': Biking identity suffers devastating stroke
The complete impact of Jeff Anderson's stroke won't be known for some time.
Kiri Gillespie: Border reopening timely but will it be enough?
OPINION: NZ is still playing catch-up and we need to support local.
$20 left after bills: 'Phenomenal and unsustainable' cost of living rise hits families
'It's extremely difficult for our whānau to access regular food in Rotorua'
Hedgehog, pig's head, cutlery among causes for 100+ wastewater spills
But the local council says it doesn't know how much it costs to clean up.
$1.56m funding boost for Rotorua youth will make 'all the difference'
"If services continue to do the same ol', same ol', you get the same result."
'Results speak for themselves': Bay's regional council puts abuse, ageism claims to bed
Councillors have been thanked for their professionalism after claims of abuse and ageism.
Kiri Gillespie: The museum lesson Tauranga could learn from Rotorua
Opinion: Rotorua has a great museum culture while Tauranga doesn't even have a museum.
Report reveals how Bay councils rate themselves and what they could do better
The review comes as 30 per cent of survey respondents say they're confident in councils.
Rotorua streams at record lows, water restrictions loom
After three dry summers, local waterways have reached low levels not seen before.
'Not substantiated': Inquiry into councillor's claims of 'ageism', 'abuse'
The independent investigation cost the council $14,000.
Kiri Gillespie: Foolhardy swimmers proof of evolution theory
Opinion: Sometimes you can only do so much for people who make foolhardy decisions anyway.
Algae blooms and faecal threats: Local swimming spots to avoid
'The effects from toxins from algae can be quite severe.'
Buyer beware as Bay of Plenty e-bike injuries soar
Greater communication about safety when buying e-bikes would be helpful: injured rider.