Weekend parking free in CBD
They were able to connect with his story of growing up and having a rough childhood.
On-street parking will be free on weekends in the Tauranga CBD, the city council has decided.
Parking is already free on Sundays and yesterday Tauranga City councillors voted unanimously to extend that to Saturdays on a one-year trial, beginning December 15.
Currently, Saturday parking is charged for between 9am and 1pm.
Downtown Tauranga chairman Brian Berry welcomed the move, which the mainstreet organisation had advocated for.
He said it was a step towards “levelling the playing field” between mainstreet retail and hospitality business owners and privately-owned shopping centres.
He said retailers hoping for a preChristmas trading boost would welcome the news.
Councillor Bill Grainger said the decision was based on data that showed long occupancy times — a key argument against free parking — was not such a big problem on the weekends.
CBD parking has been a hot topic for the council in the past 12 months as it responded to complaints from retailers about flagging foot counts amid the disruptions created by major construction projects.
In February the council introduced a maximum time limit of three hours, supported by Downtown Tauranga.
A council parking study in October found the CBD’s usual 337 paid parking spaces had dropped to 283 due to construction work on Durham, Spring and Elizabeth Sts.
Brown plays ball with intermediate team after warm welcome to school
Shooting hoops and sharing life-changing nuggets of wisdom were on the agenda when Tauranga Intermediate School pupils were treated to a visit from the United States Ambassador on Monday.
Tauranga Intermediate principal Brian Diver said Ambassador Scott Brown was “blown away” by the “magnificent” full school assembly welcoming him to the school.
The ceremony was jam-packed with performances from the school’s kapa haka group, Pasifika team, the AIMS Games hip-hop troupe, the school choir and rock band.
In return, Brown shared his personal story and some words of wisdom with the youngsters, before playing ball with the school’s AIMS Games gold medal-winning Huskies basketball team.
Diver said Brown, who is US Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa, was a success story because his younger years were rocky due to an unstable family situation where both parents divorced multiple times.
“As a child, he came from the wrong side of the tracks,” he said.
Deputy principal Cameron Mitchell said some of the youngsters could relate to Brown’s personal history and absorbed his message of
Deputy principal Cameron Mitchell
making important decisions to get on the right path of life.
“They were able to connect with his story of growing up and having a rough childhood,” he said.
The special visit came about after the US Embassy contacted Diver asking if the ambassador could visit the school.
An avid basketball fan, Brown had noticed the school’s sporting successes.
Mitchell said Brown was so impressed by the school rock band that he had even “loosely” invited them to play at the US Embassy for Fourth of July celebrations next year.
Ambassador Scott Brown with Tauranga Intermediate’s Huskies basketball team.