Sin­gle coun­cil idea on ta­ble

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

A sin­gle coun­cil with ei­ther one or two tiers has been pro­posed by a multi-coun­cil work­ing party.

Un­der the sin­gle-level pro­posal Welling­ton would get a big­ger com­bined coun­cil than Auck­land, with 28 coun­cil­lors and a mayor elected from lo­cal wards, or 30 if Wairarapa were part of it.

Welling­ton City would have 11 rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Lower Hutt would have six, Porirua would have four, Kapiti and Up­per Hutt would have three each, and Wairarapa would have two.

A two-tier coun­cil would have a mayor and ei­ther 20 or 22 coun­cil­lors and seven or eight com­mu­nity boards.

This op­tion is only legally pos­si­ble if the coun­cil rep­re­sents 400,000 peo­ple or more, and that would re­quire the par­tic­i­pa­tion of at least Lower Hutt and its 93,000 ci­ti­zens.

Lower Hutt and Up­per Hutt coun­cils have said they pre­ferred a uni­tary Hutt Val­ley coun­cil tak­ing over the re­gional coun­cil’s role there.

But Mr Dou­glas said that was un­likely.

‘‘I think it would be very, very hard to ra­tio­nally ex­pect the Lo­cal Government Com­mis­sion to agree to a dis­mem­ber­ment of the Hutt Val­ley from the nar­row Welling­ton re­gion,’’ he said.

The pro­pos­als were the con­clu­sions of a joint work­ing party com­prised of Welling­ton, Kapiti Coast, Porirua and Greater Welling­ton coun­cils pre­sented on Fri­day.

South Wairarapa, Carter­ton and Master­ton coun­cils have said they want to amal­ga­mate, sep­a­rate from Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil and take over its role in Wairarapa.

Were the 41,000 res­i­dents of Wairarapa im­por­tant to the planned struc­ture? Mr Dou­glas said he thought Wairarapa was very im­por­tant, be­cause it made up most of the re­gion’s land area.

‘‘ I think any­thing north of Welling­ton is very im­por­tant to the whole re­gion be­cause noth­ing is go­ing to hap­pen in the south ex­cept earth­quakes.’’

Re­gard­less of whether a sin­gletier or two- tier coun­cil were cho­sen, it would re­sult in economies of scale and bet­ter qual­ity plan­ning, Mr Dou­glas said.

In the next two weeks the four coun­cils will vote on whether to seek pub­lic views on the pro­pos­als.

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