Coun­cil makes two-tier choice

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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