Council makes two-tier choice
Two-tier governance is Porirua City Council’s preferred super-city model, because a local board would ensure Porirua’s voice is not lost, councillors decided at a meeting last Wednesday.
‘‘I won’t support any change that compromises the ability of individuals in communities to have a say about how they look, how they feel, and how they work together,’’ mayor Nick Leggett said at the meeting.
Councillor Euon Murrell said the one-tier option would resemble a dictatorship from Wellington.
‘‘ The two- tier is protecting our local interests,’’ he said.
The council voted in favour of the two-tier model, as part of a set of recommendations, 14 to one. Deputy mayor Liz Kelly voted against the motion as she opposed the council’s continued involvement with the regional governance working party.
Public consultation will begin on March 28. In May the councils driving consultation – Porirua, Kapiti, Wellington City and Greater Wellington – will submit a final proposal to the Local Government Commission.
The recently released findings of the working party includes redrawn city boundaries for both the singletier and two-tier models: Porirua would include Linden, Tawa, Redwood, Grenada North and Glenside North. As Porirua’s rates are the highest in the region, amalgamation would lower them, although the details of combining cities’ debts, assets and rates are yet to be finalised. Capital value rating would replace land value rating across the super-city, however.
Porirua’s debt – $53 million, or $1002 per resident – sits around the middle of the table. Kapiti has the highest debt per resident at $2642, while Upper Hutt’s figure is $601.
Options post- amalgamation include ringfencing debt within territorial boundaries or selling assets to pay debt.
Becoming a super-city is estimated to save the region $300m to $360m over 10 years. A single-tier model would save more money than the two- tier. Consulting on the two models will cost Porirua at least $25,000.