By-election Candidates for Tauranga City Council – How did you ‘vote’? For or against rates-paid waste, recycling, glass kerbside collection?

Over March and into April 2018, Bay of Plenty-ites were surveyed by Tauranga City Council and also Greater Tauranga about things that matter.

Out of 9 tick-box questions with ‘your’ preferred choice, there were 2 pertaining to waste & recycling.

Long Term Plan Survey  

1) Should we provide rates-funded kerbside waste & recycling collections?

Option 1: Council provides a rates-funded kerbside collection from 2021 (note in 3 years).
Option 2: Kerbside waste and recycling collection to continue to be privately managed.

2) Should we provide an interim rates-funded, fortnightly kerbside glass-only collection service?

Option 1: Council provides an interim rates-funded, fortnightly kerbside glass-only collection.
Option 2: Council takes no action about glass-only recycling until the full, city-wide service is introduced
in 2021 (if adopted).

Vote for Candidates who represent your ideas

Wild & Grace follower missed the survey cut-off point so we encouraged her to V O T E (before 1 May 2018) in the by-election, for a candidate that supported her views. Whoever is elected may be the ‘ V O I C E of C H A N G E’ that tips the power when Councillors vote to keep things the same, or show bold & brave leadership and think progressively.

We wanna know which Candidates in the upcoming Tauranga City by-election want to see perceived ‘FREE’ and perceived ‘compulsory’ and realistically EASY kerbside recycling/waste/glass collection VOTED in i.e. for it to be rates-paid.

We’ve group-emailed all the candidates asking ‘Are you happy to email me with how you responded to the recent Long Term Plan 2 questions which pertained to recycling?’

Here’s how they responded (in the order we received their reply email) i.e. did they ‘vote’ for our waste collection to stay as it currently is OR for it to change and be managed by Council and included in our rates.

What our Candidates think about Recycling

tahi) David Tank 1) Option 1 2) Option 1

David Tank

Hi Emily,

In answer to your questions regarding recycling…YES to both
I think you might find these interesting…
Enjoy the rocket video it was my idea!

Regards David

Buddy Mikaere 1) Option 1 2) Option 1

Buddy Mikaere
  1. Support kerbside recycling and a ban on plastic bags and a programme to encourage other initiatives like taking your own personal coffee cups to cafes; anti-litter fines (same as for dog poo fines); programmes for schools on sustainable futures…
  1. Yes – immediately. The current glass collection company should not be permitted to tender for any Council collection programme.



 Sheldon Nesdale 1) Option 1 2) Option 1

Sheldon Nesdale

Hi Emily

How about I provide you with my entire LTP submission? Attached.

1) I have written a 4000 word report to provide details on the best way this should be done:

2) At only $22/year and the convenience of kerbside collection for busy people, I think this is a good move. Kerbside sorting is essential to ensure residents are provided with instant feedback on what is not acceptable. However, we needn’t rush this process. I propose we provide an extra 6 months to sort this out to ensure the correct tendering process is followed. The community bins are functioning very well already which has bought us time to do this properly


Sheldon Nesdale
Candidate for Tauranga City Council

MBA.Waikato.(2011). BECom.(Hons.Mktg).Waikato

 Lester Gray 1) Option 1 2) Option 1

Lester Gray
Kia ora, Emily please find my answers below.

1) are you in favour of recycling and waste collection being paid within rates?

I don’t mind either option as long as the ratepayers are winning both financially and with the services. The commercial world will often be more competitive than a council worker negotiating a deal on behalf of ratepayers. The current team seem unable to negotiate good deals or represent us as ratepayers very well at all.

2) are you in favour of kerbside glass recycling collection being paid within rates and becoming effective immediately (rather than ‘later’)?
We need a recycling service and glass is part of that system. What we need to understand is who is doing the collection. At the moment the company that stopped the collection of glass will be allowed (by our current council and staff) to apply for the ratepayer-funded contract. If successful, they will effectively then be paid twice for doing the same job with no rebates back to ratepayers.
I believe we should be looking at our entire recycling system, entering into contracts with local businesses and developing our own processes and systems for this growing issue not leaving it in the hands of an offshore own international corporate company.
kind regards

Lester Gray

And his follow up…

Sure, Im happy to provide you with my answers to the LTP.

1) Yes to the first question (are you in favour of recycling and waste collection being paid within rates?) provided we look at all local options both for collection and the actual recycling of the products.
2) Yes to the second (are you in favour of kerbside glass recycling collection being paid within rates and becoming effective immediately (rather than ‘later’)? provided if Waste Management ( the company that caused the problem) is awarded the contract they rebate ratepayers for the financial losses ratepayers suffered. I would prefer to use local operators.

Thanks for your efforts on this very important issue.

Robert Curtis 1) Option 1 2) Option 1

byelection_curtis (1)
Robert Curtis
The main purpose of council is to maintain public health.  The reason for waste collection and recycling.  These things ought to be paid for in rates.  It always concerns me that candidates do not understand these fundamental principles.
I am in favour of kerbside glass collection and recycling being fully paid for within rates.  It may well be more cost effective to have the material processed elsewere nevertheless that is up for debate.  I support economic development and job creation.
If you want a copy of the survey questions email and in the subject line put official information act request in any case counil is obliged to treat the request as such.  I would expect you to have it within not more than 7 working days.
Councilors have deceived the voting public and done the dirty on so many people over the years.  I think people do not vote for very good reasons.  The officials are responsible for low voter turnout.

Robert Curtis

Yvette Lamare 1) Option 2 2) Option 2

Yvette Lamare

Kia Ora Emily.

I would love things to stay as they were.
You can watch my closing speech online .
I do mention if people drank less alcohol there would be an enormous reduction in glass recycling.
Also if parents used nappies, safety pins and flannels instead of disposable nappies and wet wipes there would be a huge decline in rubbish. Oh to see nappies on the line.
Also if people threw their vegetable and fruit waste into a natural compost outside with pride this would also see a big drop in rubbish plus it helps our planet out.
Nga mihi

Yvette Lamare.

 Gillian Cook 1) waiting on response 2) Option 1

Gillian Cook

Hi Emily,

The copy of my submission is as below – in favour of rates-funded kerbside collection. I would like to know the reality of what happens to our recycling – As an elected councillor I will insist on knowing and sharing that information with the public.

Should we provide an interim rates-funded, fortnightly kerbside glass-only collection service?

Council’s proposed option: 1
Your proposed option: 1
Provided it IS recycled

Kind regards

And a second email…

Sorry Emily,

No matter what, we pay, whether it’s rates, user-pays, or as I do collect, fill and drive my car to the recycle yard. I do that because I think the fees for private pick up exorbitant. As a councillor I will be just as discerning and will want the least cost and best service. How that is transferred to the public is another consideration, debate and decision process and dependent on what will work best. All this in consideration of the psychology of the human being – changing his/her habit, if not already, to being conscious of waste.  I’d like to see tenants paying their way, not just the rate payer, and that could be through bag purchases (as currently) for general waste. Somehow we need to get green waste and recyclables out of general waste as they’re causing a lot of unnecessary damage to the planet. I suspect a high percentage of Tauranga people are putting recyclables into general waste and don’t go to the effort I do. I also am keen to find out what is ‘really’ happening to our recyclables – would like to track it and see what becomes of it. I think we have the right and a responsibility to know. That may encourage people even more – knowing.
I’m happy to discuss further with you Emily, any time.
Kind regards

 Rosie Dawson-Hewes 1) Option 1 2) Option 1

Rosie Dawson-Hewes

 Hi Emily!

Answers below. Enjoy!!!
Rosie x
Rosie Dawson-Hewes
Very Good Content

1) are you in favour of recycling and waste collection being paid within rates?

Yes, of course! Not only will it reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill, it will also lower our carbon emissions and the wear and tear on our local roads (only one rubbish truck each week instead of about six!). Climate change is real and every little action makes a difference overall.
I would like to see a flat-rate charging system (where we all pay the same amount), as a user pays system, similar to water rates, introduces additional administration costs and ends up being more expensive overall. This is about getting as many people recycling as possible, by making it as easy and accessible as possible. We all have to contribute to help out those in our community who are struggling with this stuff.

I also asked that plastics 1-7 be collected and recycled. I would also like to see us run an education programme to encourage people to produce less waste, by thinking about what they’re purchasing and its packaging etc etc, but council-run recycling at a flat rate cost is a good start.

2) are you in favour of kerbside glass recycling collection being paid within rates and becoming effective immediately (rather than ‘later’)?

Yes – the sooner we stop all that extra glass going to landfill, the better. rates?ts and ends up being more expensive overall. This is about getting as many people recycling as possible, by making it as easy and accessible as possible. We all have to contribute to help out those in our community who are struggling with this stuff.

John Robson 1) Option 1 2) Option 2

John Robson

Hi Emily,

In answer to your questions:

Regarding recycling and waste collection – I am in favour of a Council-led, city-wide, system that charges by weight and/or volume and bills the property in a similar way to water.

The important factor for me is that those who produce little waste should not subsidise those that produce a lot – and there should be some pricing pressure to reduce.

The technology exists to do this.

Regarding, glass recycling, I am not in favour of the immediate start of a kerb-side glass recycling system paid through rates – not least because of cost, but primarily because the issue hasn’t been thought through.

Glass recycling should be part of the overall recycling and waste collection service.

That being said, I am in favour of bringing the implementation of the overall service forward.

I see no real reason why this couldn’t happen.



Douglas Owens 1) Option no vote 2) Option no vote

Douglas Owens

Hi Emily,

What has not been explained is why the current contractor arrangements have been stopped?

Me: I’m going to send him a link to what i’ve researched re: why the glass collection has stopped.


Why is it that Council can provide a replacement service (interim) out of rates?

This issue is far from clear and waste management remains the greatest global challenge of our time.

Me: I’ve got this sense too, but i’m concerned having ‘no system’ whilst we all gather to discuss what could be the best system, is wasting time, and/or at least sending waste to LANDFILL automatically.

Until these questions are answered I cannot agree to anything.

tekau ma tahi)
Murray Guy 1) Option (no vote) 2) Option (no vote).

Murray Guy

Have a lot of thpughts, options in these areas BUT totally focused as ‘High Priority’ this and similar issues at this time.

Best wishes
Murray Guy

tekau ma rua)
Mark Wassung 1) Option ? 2) Option ?

Mark Wassung

Hi Emily

Thanks for your email. Please see link to my video re Glass Recycling Innovation Proposal which is what I would really like to motivate for if elected to TCC. You are welcome to post this on Facebook or your Blog.

Response to Candidate

I’ve decided to share my response to Douglas Owens, as a little frustration has been brewing which i feel will ease through communication:

Dear Doug

What i’m hearing is you don’t agree with any of the current suggestions, or timelines, or perhaps know more than the general public and therefore want greater depth to those questions.

I’ve included what i know about why the glass recycling has stopped…what can you add to this?

My concern is the longer we take to decide ‘the best solution’ results in waste (compostables and recyclables) being sent to landfill.

I also understand this is a very large problem and complex as there are many players, local government, private waste companies, industries, manufacturers, consumers, but i would prefer we keep it simple (as council did with those questions) and start an action plan, then iron out the creases/problems as we go, rather than wait for perfection before action starts.

Waiting for Candidates to reply

We’re waiting on 8 more replies, from the so-far-silent Candidates of this Tauranga City Council by-election.

Hope that’s not confusing – we did our best to present it truthfully and clearly.

We’ll (fingers crossed) update this post as we receive the replies, or at least will update the facebook post with how they ‘voted’.

Nanoo, nanoo.

Written by Emily with wild & grace

Photo Credit: Bas Emmen of Unsplash

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