Week­end park­ing free in CBD

They were able to con­nect with his story of grow­ing up and hav­ing a rough child­hood.

Bay of Plenty Times - - Local News - Saman­tha Mo­tion Jean Bell

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.

Photo / Karen Mills

Am­bas­sador Scott Brown with Tau­ranga In­ter­me­di­ate’s Huskies bas­ket­ball team.

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