Porirua will be lone voice
Porirua is Greater Wellington’s only city to welcome an independent super- city panel, after seven fellow councils refused to engage with the initiative.
Greater Wellington Regional Council is behind the Independent Review Panel, which will gauge public opinion on a Wellington super city and create a feasibility study for amalgamation in coming months.
GWRC chairwoman Fran Wilde wrote to mayor Nick Leggett on March 27 inviting Porirua City Council to help create terms of reference for the panel and help select its members. Porirua will contribute $ 18,000 of the $ 150,000 panel cost, plus considerable staff time, Mr Leggett said.
Ms Wilde’s invitation was unanimously accepted by the council last Wednesday.
The council’s decision was not a vote for amalgamation, merely a vote for clarity and discussion, Mr Leggett said.
‘‘To not be at the table when there’s discussion on regional amalgamation will only be to the detriment of Porirua residents. We have to be at the front of this debate,’’ he said.
The panel will create a case for amalgamation which can then be debated, Mr Leggett said.
‘‘It’s the critical detail we lack in this debate so far.’’
Wellington, Hutt City, Upper Hutt, Kapiti, and the Wairarapa councils have rejected Ms Wilde’s invitation, which Mr Leggett said was unrealistic.