Identify a Smart Team to Govern Tauranga 2019-2022

Tauranga City Council

I am sure the rapid growth of our city and its surroundings have not gone unnoticed by any one of us.

Our Council is now a very large organisation – like any corporation it is a significant employer and an organisation that shapes our regional economy.

This city now more than ever before, demands a Council comprising a strong diverse team of individuals, dedicated to improving the whole of the City, not just its centre. For me the answer lies with us – the constituents – we are the ones who vote the Councillors in. 

A planned city

If we wish for a team of smart individuals who will build a culture based on honesty and openness, where old practices give way to the new, where fresh thinking is the norm and where the city is planned; as opposed to evolved, we need to do our homework now so that we can vote knowledgeably later this year.

Yes, we face a problem because we only vote for two in our ‘Electorates’ and ‘At Large’.

But given that, here is my checklist:

  • Candidates who have and can clearly demonstrate considerable management experience at a ‘senior’ level. Noting that there are elevated aspects such as appraising the CEO’s performance that are not activities that many in business get involved yet as a Councillor they need to.
  • Candidates that have a wide range of skills, competencies and experiences as opposed to only one dominant skill set, that also demands considerable business, usually commercial, experience.
  • Individuals who do their homework and not only read the papers but get their heads around the issue(s) under discussion and are prepared to seek clarification or rationale, challenge the norms, and be able to identify what information is not provided and request it.
  • Listening skills are a must as is the ability to communicate clearly and constructively.
  • Likewise, honesty, respecting the views of others and building an environment of ‘no-surprises’ – cornerstones to building a sound and healthy culture.
  • Possess strong negotiation skills and the ability to find solutions.
  • Dedication to the task – it takes time and effort – not just in the Council Chamber but also in the Community and therefore time and commitment are high on my list.

Shoulder-tapping our next city leaders

It’s time right now for us all to ‘headhunt’ the right candidates – those who we know are able to make a difference and to shape our city strategically.

The key lies in electing a team of diverse thinkers: strong, experienced, articulate and business-minded individuals, who will bring complimentary and yet diverse skillsets and competencies to the decision-making table. 

By Bev Edlin – “I write for this magazine because I care for this city, and through this magazine’s ability to reach other like-minded people, we can open issues up for debate and through this process, make a real difference for our communities and their future.”