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Welcome to Jim McKinlay’s campaign site

Seeking election to the Matua/Otumoetai Ward Tauranga City Council

Welcome to a new chapter for Tauranga – a city of potential and progress.

As a dedicated community member, I am excited to announce my candidacy for local council. Our city's future hinges on leadership that collaborates, promotes efficient governance and innovates for the good of all.

I invite you to join me on this journey. To learn more about my background and how we can work together to write the next inspiring chapter for Tauranga, I encourage you to read on.

Authorised  by  Jim McKinlay


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Preview submitted to Sun and BOP Times​

TCC should take control of the bus services

"The Regional Council is responsible for providing bus services, but in reality, they contract private bus operators to run these services and pass on the costs to Tauranga ratepayers through regional rates. Additionally, Tauranga City Council charges ratepayers for bus infrastructure. Simply putting buses on the road isn't enough to effectively manage public transport.

The Regional Council avoids capital investment in the Public Transport System, resulting in a 'Temporary' Centre City Terminal. They focus solely on passing through operating costs without incentive to improve efficiency, service levels, or increase bus usage. Any changes or improvements require collaboration between Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, bus operators, and other stakeholders.

Whether ratepayers are charged through Bay of Plenty Regional Council or Tauranga City Council, the costs should remain consistent. However, transferring responsibility to Tauranga City Council would directly hold elected members accountable for the system's performance and efficiency."

Jim McKinlay – Standing for Matua Otumoetai

Published in 5th July free Sun

Essential Infrastructure before Cycleways

The Pre-Election Report indicates Tauranga's residential rates will double in seven years. To curb this, we must tackle capital expenditure.

The budget's largest item is the $600 million Accessible Streets Programme, aimed at reshaping travel through cycleways and bus lanes. I suggest deferring this costly plan to 2028, allowing for a thorough review during the 2027-37 ten-year plan consultations.

This deferral would free up funds to fast track critical infrastructure, including widening Totora Street to four traffic lanes, and building a second Turret Road Bridge, which would be largely funded by Transit. This approach balances essential development with fiscal responsibility, while taking the pressure off rates.

Jim McKinlay -standing for Matua Otumoetai

In Brief

About Me

I have all the appropriate background and skills to represent you as an effective Member of Council.

I am not part of any group, and am fully funding my campaign personally.

The Think Big projects

We need to complete the Major City Centre projects underway, but with better cost controls.

The Council has got too Big

Staff numbers have increased by 50% and Consultants cost by 150%.

(In) - Accessible Streets Programme

This programme is too expensive, and designed to slow down traffic. It should be deferred, redesigned, or cancelled.

Equity in rates spend

The only planned investment in Matua Otumoetai, is cycleways that residents don't want.

Otumoetai Pool

The cost of keeping this going is trivial compared to other Council facilities, existing and planned.  Of course it should have the required maintenance spend.

City Congestion

The major congestion points of Totara Steet and Turret Road effect Matua Otumoetai Residents and need to be fixed.

                                                     For more detail I invite you to read on

About Jim McKinlay

As a dedicated member of the Matua community, I bring four decades of diverse professional experience to the table, along with a deep-rooted commitment to our city's growth and prosperity.

After earning a BSc in mathematics from Victoria and an MBA from Auckland University, I embarked on a career that spanned various leadership and governance roles. I have held  General Management roles  at AMP, National Provident Fund and Tower Corporation and directorships with AMP Financial Corporation, New Zealand Futures Exchange and the Loaded Hog Group. I was also the inaugural Chair of the Park Royal Hotel, Wellington.

My consulting experience includes contributing to the landmark Tainui Raupatu Settlement for the Crown, demonstrating my capacity to navigate complex negotiations and foster collaborative solutions. With two decades at Bayleys in Commercial and Industrial Sales, I've worked hand-in-hand with Councils, developers, and investors, orchestrating major projects like the Bethlehem Town Centre sale that have contributed to our region's economic health.

On a personal note, my wife Sue and I cherish our life in Matua, where we frequently host our three children and their families and enjoy the excitement of eight active grandchildren. My commitment to family is matched by my dedication to staying active and engaged in the community, whether through fitness pursuits like gym and biking, or time on the water sailing, when opportunities arise. We keep a sailing dingy at Pilot Bay for the grandchildren which provides a lot of entertainment.

I am seeking election to the Matua Otumoetai Ward, Tauranga City Council because I believe in responsive, responsible leadership that listens and acts with integrity. My goal is to leverage my financial experience, strategic thinking, and passion for our community to enhance Tauranga’s standing as a premier place to live, work, and raise a family. Together, we can chart a course for a prosperous future that honors our shared values and unique spirit.


Think Big Projects

The History

The history of the last three councils is a very mixed bag. The Peter Winder Report is a damning indictment on the behaviour of the Councilors prior to them being sacked.

The Commissioners, on the other hand, have worked hand in glove, at great speed, on the City Centre projects. There has been a spending boom.

At the time of consultation on the City Centre Project the Commissioners indicated that more than half the costs would be met from sources other that ratepayers, such as selling off water assets. This has not turned out to be the case and the vast majority of cost will have to be met by ratepayers. The Commissioners have had to resort to expensive, off balance sheet, IFF funding, to keep their Ten Year Plan within borrowing limits.

It is important that the Library and Museum are completed. These should be able to be completed for well under $200m.

I don't believe a case has been made for the exhibition Centre and Civic Whare. There will be significant exhibition, and public use spaces, within the Museum, Community Centre and Art Gallery.


The budget for civic square, masonic park and waterfront totals $58m which needs to be reviewed. I feel these spaces should be as open, and multi-use, as possible to allow for all sorts of artistic, cultural, sporting and entertainment events.

The Domain Stadium $95m spend needs to be permanently removed from the Ten Year Plan. When it is time to build a stadium, it should be at BayPark. The Domain Precinct, as with many of the city facilities, should be getting regular maintenance and upgrade programs, but not with the intention that it is morphed into a major stadium.

The City has under-invested in key assets and infrastructure for years, and there is need for catch-up. We should not however, be using expensive off-balance sheet IFF funding. We need to adjust the budget to stay within normal borrowing limits.

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Think Big Projects

Project Management

Six years ago, Council signed a Partnering Agreement with Willis Bond.  This gave Willis Bond exclusive development rights to all City Centre development projects on the basis of open book, non-competitive pricing, with a guaranteed margin to Willis Bond. The works are not required to be put out to competitive tender. The logic was that it was expected to speed up the development cycle.

The assumption in the Partnering Agreement was that Council would be taking independent advise on the "open book" costings of projects, in order to protect rate payers. Council should have appointed a senior Independent Project Manager, supported by an independent Quantity Surveyor; who interfaces with the developer.  


Instead the Commissioners have appointed  four expensive external appointees to a provide a "Governance Board." That will not protect rate payers.  It is the Elected Members job to provide governance and a high level independent Project Manger should report directly to them. The "Governance Board" is just an expensive and unnecessary structure introduced by the Commissioners because they don't trust the democratic process.

Once a new Council is in place, the "Governance Board" needs to manage the transfer of the projects to independent Project Managers, and step down.

Council has got Big

Since the Commissioners have taken over:


        Staff numbers have increased by 53%.

        Consultant costs have escalated by 166%                          Staff accommodation costs have increased by 100%

        Net Debt has increased by 66%

        Residential Rates have increased by 45%

        Commercial/Industrial rates have increased by 114%

Extensive resources in staff and consultants time have been applied to a large range of projects, including the Stadium and Accessible Communities. The question is whether, or not, that effort has been spent in the right direction.

Capital Losses incurred by Council include:

       Harrington Street Car Park                 $20.5m

       Bella Vista                                           $10.2m

       Cayman Apartments                           $21.0m

       Pacific Apartments                              $29.4m



NB. Some of these related to the period before the Commissioners, and Harrington is being litigated.

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The "Accessible Otumoetai" Scheme is still on the Commissioners' approved list, and now in the ten year plan awaiting government partial funding approval.


Strangely, the benefit/cost ratio doesn't stack up unless we loose a traffic lane over Chapel Street Bridge. Model points are tripled if you remove a 'so called' impediment to cycling. The whole scheme needs to go back for proper consultation, exploring alternatives. My view is that money should be allocated to cycleways where there is already a demonstrated demand from existing ratepaying cyclists, not models based on the supposed health benefits to hypothetical new non e-bike cyclists.


If elected, I will be advocating for a 3m wide, off-road cycleway, linking Ferguson Park with the Civic Centre. Virtually entirely off road, the path would involve using Transit land under the motorway, a tack-on path to the Marsh Street rail bridge, and then looping under the bridge to connect to Dive Crescent and the waterfront. The rest of the works are improvements to existing pathways.

The cost would be a small fraction of the $95m budget of the current plan. This will be safer, more fun, and I expect will get much greater usage.

Councils responsibility to ratepayers

Council, from time to time, has to update its view on natural hazards, as a result of actual physical events, or hypothesized future events from climate models.


The hazard plans, when first produced, rely on topographical information which is often wrong, course, or out of date.


Flood information is often too course in terms of contour, and does not always take account of in-ground drainage. Slope hazards are often spasmodic (see Regional Council Building), and do not take account of recent earthworks.


These faults can be expected of a first plan.  What should not be expected is that these plans are applied to every LIM in the city, regardless of accuracy, prior to proper consultation and review.


There seems to be no straightforward mechanism for review, and a great reluctance to make changes once notified on the LIM. The effect on homeowners is often devastating, as their homes become unsaleable.

There needs to be an advocate for ratepayers in this process.


Equity Issues

Matua Otumoetai Ratepayers contribute circa $25m per year in rates. While we all benefit from works that have a common good, there would seems to be a disproportional shortfall of investment and maintenance in our ward.

In many of the younger suburbs, community facilities, particularly sporting facilities, have been paid for by Council, and continue to be owned and maintained by Council.

Most of these type of facilities in our ward have devolved to clubs.  The improvements and responsibility for their  maintenance, lies with the Clubs, along with land lease payments to Council.


Council needs to make sure that ground leases are equitable as compared to other Council owned facilities. Council also needs to agree an annual, and long-term, maintenance and upgrade schedule, and funding share, with each of the wonderful, and long established, sports clubs in our ward.

I do applaud the work that is planned for art works along the waterfront, recognising the unique historical and cultural significance of the area, and hope that Council contributes appropriately.

Otumoetai Pool

We need to find a way to keep this pool going, for as long as possible. But the more I learn about it, the harder it gets.

There are absolutely no grounds that can be used for picnics and family groups. It is only ever a short stay pool. Memorial Aquatic Centre will be very attractive to family groups. Otumoetai pool is too small and constrained for school swimming sports events. The major revenue source is a private (and very good) swim school, which can not be expected to guarantee long term tenure. The numbers of regular pre-work users will likely reduce when Memorial comes on line.

It was designed and built in 1969 as a school pool when the school was a lot smaller. It passed to the City when it became too expensive for the school(s) to maintain and operate. Three to four school classes still use the pool every school day and it is important to keep that going.

It should have sufficient investment in the pipes, and and stabilization of the foundations; and the look and feel of the surrounds, to ensure that it has at least 5 years life. A year or so after the completion of the Memorial Pool a view will need to be taken on its longer term future. The maintenance/upgrade capital needs to be found from savings in other projects in the ten year plan. 

Otumoetai Pa

The remarkable history of Otumoetai Pa needs to be told more widely.

Occupied from the 1600's, historian Debbie McCauley describes it as Tauranga's Historical Capital

Heavily modified to enhance its natural defensive topography; sitting above the best pipi grounds, and surrounded by rich soils, it sustained a large population for hundreds of years

During the musket wars, Ngaiterangi saw off several huge assaults, and the Pa was never taken. The fall only came following Gate Pa, and Te Rangi, and the land confiscations.

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Future Growth

In 2000 Smart Growth was formed as an alliance between Tauranga City, Western Bays and Regional Council to plan the next 30 years of growth. It identified Papamoa, Omokoroa and The Lakes as future growth areas for residential development. They were all greenfield, and at the time, it seemed to some to be a bit fanciful. In some cases, even the Councils didn’t really buy into it and put in water services for half the projected growth. 24 years later and the growth areas are all full.

Subsequently, no new substantial growth sites have been rezoned by Council. Any new residential sub-divisions have been small private plan changes and not centrally planned. It has not been solely the Council's fault. The last two Governments have made development harder.

Smart Growth is now a collaboration between the three councils, plus Iwi, Port of Tauranga, Priority One, KiwiRail, NZTA, and Government.  Government is demanding a 30-year pipe line for growth, and so the pressure is on Smart Growth to do better.

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Two of the worst traffic congestion points in the city are Totara Street / Hewletts Road, and the Turret Road bridge. The solutions are clearly a right turning flyer-over from Totara into Hewletts, and a second bridge at Turret Road.


At the 20th May meeting the Commissioners have rushed through, and tried to lock in, a short term, and ill thought out plan, without a full business case, for third lane to Turret Street Bridge. The new Council needs to halt that work and fast track a second Turret Road Bridge.  

$388m is provided in the ten year plan for road and cycleway improvements and beautification to two roads: 17th Avenue to Greerton and 15th avenue to Welcome Bay. 


There is $38m in the plan for improvements to the Maunganui Road end of Hewletts Road, which are badly needed, but there is nothing in the ten year plan for the two major congestion points of Totara/Hewletts or Turret Road Bridge.


We have seen what grade separation (flyovers) can achieve at Bayfair. The economic costs of congestion needs much greater recognition in the benefit/costs  models.

Costs and priorities need to addressed.

Cameron Road Stage 2

The budget for Cameron Road Stage 2 is $220m: although it went up by $23m last month when the Commissioners approved a host of temporary traffic interventions outside the project work area, to assist with the congestion that the project works are expected to cause.

The works are intended to extend the look and feel of Cameron Stage One, through to Greerton. The project has not yet got the partial government funding required.

My View is that Cameron Road Stage Two and the 15th to Welcome bay Corridor should be pushed out to at least 2027-2028 with consultants stood down or diverted to higher priority projects. There needs to be a review of the benefit/costs models.

Turret Road second bridge should, in any case, be completed before those projects are contemplated.

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Cracker day at Fergy Park

Coming soon


Coming soon

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