Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick's election promises have been met with scepticism from her mayoral opponents.

Reynold Macpherson said he would be surprised if anyone accepted the mayor's promises - revealed this week - at face value.

It was implausible, he said, for the mayor to "suddenly promise a new industrial park, five new subdivisions and an inner city and district housing policy without any details. We needed action in these areas three years ago, not vague promises now to stay in power."

He said the promise of an "open books approach" to council's finances was in his view bizarre given the "barrage of complaints about the growing secrecy of council meetings and absence of authentic consultations".


He believed the policy was spin which shrouded what he viewed as major failures of the current regime including the cycleway, empty shops, the loss of parking, the emergency accommodation crisis, the destruction of the City Focus, the cancellation of arterial road plans, the metal Christmas Tree and the renaming of city landmarks.

"It would be smarter to hold rates to the rise in the cost of living and to compress council costs by returning to core services," said Dr Macpherson.

Candidate Mark Gould said the mayor only had one vote, and the direction of the council would be dependent on how the majority of councillors voted.

"The make-up of committees will be decided by the elected councillors.

"There is already the Eastside Industrial Park in Rotorua with unsold property near the airport.

"Rotorua has a forestry industrial park area in the Scion complex.

"The land subdivisions are subject to the developers. They may need RMA approval for these subdivisions to go ahead."

He said extra funding for Te Ngae Rd and other highways were subject to financial support from New Zealand Transport Authority of which $23 million had been allocated but the projected cost was more than $100 million.

Rob Kent said he was "amused" to see Mrs Chadwick say she would be responsible for creating five new subdivisions and an industrial park if re-elected.

"My suggestion that Rotorua needs some proper planning for a change, with heavy industry sited away from residential areas to avoid repetition of disasters such as Lumbercube has obviously taken her fancy. I wonder if the new industrial park that she has in mind is likely to be located in the vicinity of the already noisy airport, as I suggested it should be both for noise considerations and also access to Port of Tauranga? Can she finally be listening to me?"

He said the open books approach to council finances was also good news.

"Finally everyone might see the true picture instead of the spin."

Newest candidate John Rakei-Clark (see page 5 for more) applauded the statement but wanted more.

"I've been waiting for our mayor to address these issues, but what about the problem us residents are having on a weekly basis with harmful drugs? How many of our mokos and whanau do we have to lose before our council helps?

"What's your plan for that? Why do we have lines of families waiting at food houses and local maraes? Why are our young ones wandering around the streets? Where is our inspirational leadership?"

RangiMarie Kingi (Bosma) said they were more promises to chew on "like old leather boots".

She said it was time for a new direction.

Meanwhile, Frances Louis said she was going to be the new mayor "so let Steve dream".