Tauranga City Council
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Tauranga City Council is the local government authority for Tauranga City in New Zealand. It is a territorial authority elected to represent the 116,000 people of Tauranga. The current Mayor of Tauranga is Greg Brownless. The council consists of 13 members elected from Four wards, and is presided over by the Mayor, who is elected at large.
The Council is elected every three years using the first past the post voting system. The vote is conducted by postal ballot. The most recent elections, which closed on 13 October 2007, had a turnout of 40%.
For electoral purposes, Tauranga is divided into four wards. The four metropolitan wards each elect two Councillors, with the remaining Councillor elected.
Party politics are much less influential in elections to the Council than is the case for the House of Representatives. In 2007, the Mayor and a majority of Councillors were elected as independent candidates.
Mayor, Council and Committees
Under most circumstances, the Council is presided over by the Mayor. At its first meeting after a local election, the Council elects from among its members a Deputy Mayor, who acts as Mayor in the absence and with the consent, or in the incapacity, of the Mayor. The Deputy Mayor also presides at meetings if the Mayor is not present. The Deputy Mayor serves until losing his set on the Council, unless removed from office by a vote of the Council.
Councillors also serve on a number of committees. As of 2008[update], there is one Standing Committee, eight Standing Subcommittees, seven Joint Standing Committees and Working Parties (so called because they involve members of other local authorities), and 14 ad hoc subcommittees and working parties. The Council can delegate certain powers to these committees, or alternatively they can consider matters in more detail and make recommendations to the full Council.
The Council has established eight Community Boards. These Community Boards deal with matters delegated to them by the Council, act as representatives and advocates for their communities, and interact with community organisations and interest groups.
Each of the metropolitan wards has one Community Board, composed of the two Councillors for that ward, who serve ex officio, and five other members elected by the residents of the ward. Some Community Boards, like the Council, have created committees for specific purposes.
The day-to-day administration of the City of Tauranga is carried out by a team of Council staff. Indeed, in everyday usage, the term the council is extended to include not just the Mayor and Councillors, but the entire local civil service. The professional head of the city council organisation is the Chief Executive Gary Poole, who is appointed by the Council under contract for up to five years. The Chief Executive is assisted by ten General Managers, each with his or her own portfolio:
- Chief Financial Officer - Paul Davidson
- GM People and Capability
- GM Growth and Infrastructure
- GM EC Group
- GM Community Services - Phil King
- GM Environmental Services
- Chief Digital Officer - Allan Lightbourne
- GM City Transformation
Mayor and Executive Team
Responsibilities and Services
See also: Territorial authorities of New Zealand
The Council is vested with a power of "general competence" for the social, economic and cultural well-being of Tauranga. In particular, the Council has responsibility for a range of local services, including roads (except State highways), water, sewerage, waste collection, parks and reserves, and libraries. Urban development is managed through the maintenance of a District plan and associated zoning regulations, together with building and resource consents. The Council has been given extra powers to regulate certain types of business operations, notably suppliers of alcohol and brothels.
Tauranga has a wheelie bin kerbside collection system. The previous system required a resident to put a black rubbish bag out every week to the kerbside, along with a green recycling crate. With the current system, a resident is given two wheelie bins: one 240-litre bin (recycling), one 140-litre bin (rubbish). Each week, the resident puts one of the two bins out. The 240-litre recycling and the 140-litre rubbish alternate. However, These wheelie bins are the householder's personal responsibility to organize, and come at a charge. Tauranga City Council does not provide this service in the rates. Residents can still purchase a roll of 5 pre-paid black rubbish bags.
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