Clash over su­per-city

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Porirua and Kapiti’s may­ors have tan­gled over amal­ga­ma­tion plans as a su­per-city turf war brews.

Kapiti mayor Jenny Rowan has spo­ken out af­ter Porirua’s Nick Leggett ac­cused the re­gion’s coun­cils of bury­ing their heads in the sand by re­ject­ing a re­view panel on amal­ga­ma­tion.

Ms Rowan pointed out Porirua was the only coun­cil that had opted to join the panel.

‘‘They’ve made their decision. We re­spect that and ask Mayor Leggett to ac­cord­ingly re­spect Kapiti’s decision.’’

Mr Leggett has stood by his words, say­ing Kapiti’s coun­cil­lors sold their res­i­dents short by opt­ing out of the panel.

‘‘They are not seek­ing to get all the in­for­ma­tion re­quired that would al­low them­selves and res­i­dents to make a judg­ment about the mer­its of lo­cal gov­ern­ment change in the Welling­ton re­gion.’’

Mr Leggett said Porirua’s coun­cil­lors voted unan­i­mously on Wed­nes­day to join the panel mooted by Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil.

In April, Kapiti knocked back the in­vi­ta­tion by Greater Welling­ton’s Fran Wilde – slam­ming the panel con­cept and Kapiti’s re­gional coun­cil­lor Nigel Wil­son.

Ms Rowan said that her coun­cil gave the mat­ter se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion be­fore re­ject­ing the in­vi­ta­tion unan­i­mously.

She pointed to the re­gional May­oral Forum as a form of real co-op­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion – dub­bing it ‘‘ amal­ga­ma­tion with­out the trum­pets’’.

Ms Rowan said the forum was a ‘‘ strong, co­he­sive and ef­fec­tive mech­a­nism that is al­ready achiev­ing some of the goals wider amal­ga­ma­tion seeks to achieve’’.

How­ever, Mr Leggett was scathing of the May­oral Forum, say­ing it achieved lit­tle in the last five years be­sides an amal­ga­ma­tion of emer­gency man­age­ment ser­vices.

‘‘It’s a sad day for democ­racy be­cause all I want is a dis­cus­sion and a de­bate.

‘‘What Porirua and the Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil are do­ing is ac­tu­ally get­ting some ex­perts to­gether to al­low them to col­lect some in­for­ma­tion.’’

Mr Leggett said Kapiti’s res­o­lu­tion on the panel was of­fen­sive and ‘‘ bad form’’ for in­clud­ing an at­tack on Mr Wil­son in a res­o­lu­tion, for hav­ing a dif­fer­ent point of view.

Kapiti voted to work on re­form op­tions and to sur­vey res­i­dents to see which op­tion they favoured.

Amal­ga­ma­tions ap­pear in­evitable af­ter the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced changes to leg­is­la­tion that would make it eas­ier for coun­cils or pri­vate sub­mit­ters to seek amal­ga­ma­tion.

Comic in­spi­ra­tion: Ash­ley Wicks, who pro­vides the artis­tic in­spi­ra­tion for Ven­detta Boule­vard.

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