Auckland business leader Tenby Powell, 58, has moved into high gear in his race to become Mayor of Tauranga at October's local body elections.

On Wednesday, he was riding his scooter from Auckland to the rapidly growing Bay of Plenty city as he couldn't find a carrier to get it there faster.

The high-profile business figure revealed his mayoral aspirations this month and he and his wife, business leader Sharon Hunter, have got their $20 million Westmere home on the market as they look for a new pad in the Bay of Plenty.

This morning the high-flying couple will attend their first campaign gathering together; the Bay of Plenty women's Pink Ribbon Breakfast, where Powell will act as auctioneer.


Powell grew up in Tauranga and says he now wants to put something back into his beloved home city as mayor.

"My heart is in Tauranga and every time I'm there I wonder why I'm leaving to go back to Auckland," he confides to Spy.

"My mother, a vibrant 90-year-old, lives there independently, as does Sharon's father, an athletic 80-year-old who, on his milestone birthday, scaled Mauao [Mount Maunganui] no less than four times. Sharon's sister and her family live in Tauranga, and I have remained very engaged with Small Business Tauranga in my two chairmanship roles with the Government's Small Business Development Group and, now, the NZ Small Business Council."

Powell is also Honorary Colonel of the 3/6 Battalion, a sub-unit of which is based in Tauranga.

- By Ricardo Simich