What is be­ing pro­posed?

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A beefed- up Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil would set and charge rates, which would be frozen at no more than the rate of in­fla­tion for three years.

It would as­sume the trans­port and en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tory author­ity of the present re­gional coun­cil.

It would have 10 coun­cil­lors: four from Welling­ton city; two from Lower Hutt; and one each from Wairarapa, Up­per Hutt, Porirua and Kapiti.

It would be chaired by a lord mayor elected by the re­gion.

Coun­cil terms would be four years, and coun­cil­lors would be lim­ited to three terms.

Ex­ist­ing ter­ri­to­rial au­thor­i­ties would re­tain their catch­ments, ex­cept the three Wairarapa coun­cils – Master­ton, Carter­ton and South Wairarapa, which would amal­ga­mate.

Lo­cal coun­cils would ap­ply to the re­gional coun­cil for fund­ing.

Lo­cal may­ors would no longer be elected by vot­ers but by their coun­cils.

Ex­ist­ing community boards would continue at the dis­cre­tion of the lo­cal coun­cils.

Coun­cil­lors would not be el­i­gi­ble to serve on the boards of coun­cil­con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The panel was es­tab­lished by Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil and Porirua City Coun­cil in May and con­sul­ta­tions were held throughout the re­gion.

Its mem­bers were Sir Geoffrey Palmer (chair­man), Sue Driver, Bryan Jack­son and Sir Wira Gar­diner.

An­nounc­ing the pro­posal on Oc­to­ber 30 Sir Geoffrey said there had been ‘‘gen­eral dis­dain for the idea of a su­per-city’’ but wide­spread sup­port for Wairarapa coun­cils amal­ga­mat­ing.

Sir Geoffrey said lack of lead­er­ship was key in driv­ing the changes.

The re­gion needed a sin­gle strong voice, he said.

‘‘Lo­cal gov­ern­ment is too im­por­tant to be left to lo­cal gov­ern­ment-elected of­fi­cials and their ad­vis­ers.

‘‘It needs to be fully con­sulted upon,’’ he said.

One can learn from Auck­land not to do things too fast: do it rig­or­ously and prop­erly.’’

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett and Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil chair­woman Fran Wilde have wel­comed the re­lease of the re­port, call­ing it sub­stan­tial and sig­nif­i­cant.

‘‘On first read­ing, our re­ac­tion is that the panel’s rec­om­men­da­tions are well re­searched and will re­sult in far more strate­gic and in­te­grated re­gional lead­er­ship with the re­ten­tion of authen­tic lo­cal democ­racy.

‘‘This is a far cry from a sin­gle-tier ‘su­per-city’ and re­flects wide­spread con­cerns we have heard round the re­gion about how lo­cal gov­ern­ment is cur­rently func­tion­ing,’’ Mr Leggett and Ms Wilde said.

Greater Welling­ton and Porirua coun­cils will con­sider the panel’s re­port and make their own sub­mis­sions to the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion be­fore it makes any changes to gov­er­nance in the re­gion.

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