Report puts Tauranga City Council under pressure

File photo.

The Tauranga City Council has been identified for over promising and under delivering for several major projects, a report has revealed.

Max Pedersen Consulting authored the report, investigating four embattled council projects all marred with issues, ranging from unfinished consultation, bad project management, poor budget reporting, costing and omitting key details from the public.

An emphasis made on the report was around staff competing tasks, rather than facilitating the best outcome for the community.

“There is a clear link between the culture of an organisation and its performance,” Says Max.

"If consistently better performance is to be achieved by council staff, the culture needs to change so that the community is at the forefront of all services provided and projects that are undertaken."

The Greerton Village Road upgrades were one project investigated, and key information was revealed around how congestion was likely to worsen after a major roading project was completed was omitted from consultation.

"The predicted negative impact of the project on traffic flow on the overall network from Cornwall Street to Pooles Road was a fundamental piece of information that should have been communicated to the community," Max says.

"The fact that it was omitted means that the community did not possess all relevant information about the project and accordingly could not reach an informed opinion about it."

Another project investigated is the $2.5 million Phoenix car park transformation, which found "unrealistic" designs which were more expensive than the budget would allow by about 40 per cent, resulting in a scaled-back version of the project which has significantly less green space and has been likened to a skate park by local residents.

Mayor Greg Brownless says the report was part of a "warts and all" look at council instigated by new chief executive Marty Grenfell who replaced Garry Poole in August 2018.

"He [Marty Grenfell] was aware there were certain projects where there have been concerns," he says.

"He wants to get to the bottom of it as do we."

Greg says the report has been released in the public domain for the community to read.

"These issues have built up over a few years and it is what we are trying to change."

Max Pedersen's report follows another damning report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment into how council handled the Bella Vista Homes development.

The report shows council staff intervened with standard practices which contributed to the downfall of the development resulting in a $14.2 million payout to homeowners.

Councillors will respond to both reports at a council meeting on April 16.

-Additional reporting from Stuff/Matt_Shand

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