Tauranga City Deputy Mayor remains David Stewart after he was re-elected to the position unopposed at Tauranga City Council’s first meeting of the new council on Tuesday afternoon.

In other business, Mayor Stuart Crosby was nominated as Tauranga representative on Local Government New Zealand.

Stuart dons the chain for another term.

Stuart dons the chain for another term.

The meeting took two hours and began with a karakia and mihi led by Ngati Ranginui chairman Huikakahu Kawe. Stuart was then sworn in as mayor – followed by the councillors in alphabetical order.

Following the official meeting, Stuart invited councillors for the group photo “while we are still smiling,” and afternoon tea with family and friends who filled the public gallery.

Of the three new councillors, Larry Baldock, and Terry Molloy sat out the last council term following the voter backlash against the waterfront museum proposal, leaving Tony Christiansen the only first time councillor.

Tony thanked the 10,860 people who put him on council and for giving him the opportunity to share his passion, drive and desire to face the challenges he believes the council faces.

A professional international motivational speaker since 1997, Tony says Tauranga is one of the great places to come home to.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of that for the next three years to allow Tauranga to be the great place that it is.”

Stuart says the new Tauranga City Council needs to build strong working relationships between elected members, its staff and contractors.

Externally the council has to manage relationships with Tauranga Moana, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

He’s encouraging robust debate on issues, councillors and believes among the council’s first tasks is to focus on the appointment of a new chief executive officer. The government’s leaky homes package will also be before council in the early new year.