Chang­ing face of a re­gional su­percity

Central Leader - - News -

Af­ter thou­sands of sub­mis­sions and months of spec­u­la­tion, a pro­posed new struc­ture for Auck­land’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment has been re­vealed.

The Royal Com­mis­sion into Auck­land Gov­er­nance, headed by com­mis­sion­ers Peter Sal­mon, QC, Dame Mar­garet Ba­z­ley and David Shand, re­leased its rec­om­men­da­tions last week. If the rec­om­men­da­tions are ac­cepted, the re­gion would have: • A sin­gle Auck­land Coun­cil to re­place the cur­rent Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil and seven ter­ri­to­rial au­thor­i­ties. • Six lo­cal coun­cils to re­place com­mu­nity boards, four in ur­ban ar­eas and two in ru­ral dis­tricts. • The lo­cal coun­cil for cen­tral Auck­land, to be re­named the Ta­maki-makau-rau coun­cil, will have 22 mem­bers, 20 elected from 10 wards, one from Hau­raki Gulf is­lands and one chair. • In­stead of bring­ing con­cerns to their lo­cal com­mu­nity board, res­i­dents will have to li­aise di­rectly with one of their two ward coun­cil­lors. • A sin­gle mayor will pre­side over the whole city and will have greater power and re­sources. • Pro­vi­sion will be made for two of the Auck­land Coun­cil’s 23 coun­cil­lors to be elected by vot­ers on the Maori elec­toral roll and one coun­cil­lor to be ap­pointed by mana whenua. • The Auck­land Coun­cil will have one long-term coun­cil com­mu­nity plan, one district plan, a new spa­tial plan and res­i­dents will pay one rates bill. • Auck­land’s bound­aries will change in the south to in­clude ar­eas of north Waikato, in­clud­ing Tuakau, Po­keno and Mercer. • The area of Auck­land and the Franklin district which bor­ders the Firth of Thames will be in­cluded in the Waikato re­gion. • The cen­tral city and water­front will not come un­der any of the lo­cal coun­cils, but will have its own com­mu­nity board. • If the rec­om­men­da­tions are adopted, the changes could be in place for next Oc­to­ber’s lo­cal body elec­tions.

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