Fac­ing three choices

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

An all-pow­er­ful su­per-city coun­cil, su­per-city ‘‘lite’’ with lo­cal boards re­plac­ing city and district coun­cils or the sta­tus quo; those are three choices peo­ple face in the re­gional coun­cil’s amal­ga­ma­tion con­sul­ta­tion.

Un­der the first, a sin­gle-tier coun­cil would make all de­ci­sions.

Un­der the sec­ond, an over-arch­ing coun­cil would de­ter­mine re­gional poli­cies and del­e­gate lo­cal de­ci­sions to lo­cal boards, which would roughly take the place of ex­ist­ing city and district coun­cils.

Sup­port­ing nei­ther would im­ply sup­port for the sta­tus quo.

The Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil agreed last Wed­nes­day to be­gin a six-week pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod end­ing on May 3 with dis­sent­ing votes from San­dra Greig, Paul Swain and Daran Pon­ter.

Mr Swain said the coun­cil had al­ready spent $250,000 on Sir Ge­of­frey Palmer’s report and the con­sul­ta­tion would cost an­other $70,000. The ac­tiv­ity had caused dis­cord and di­vi­sion around the re­gion, he said.

‘‘I think we need to bring the re­gion to­gether. It’s hope­lessly di­vided at the moment.’’

Mr Pon­ter said that coun­cils were al­ready work­ing to­gether, say­ing his dog in Kel­burn had had a visit from a Porirua dog con­trol of­fi­cer.

Porirua rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bar­bara Don­ald­son said the coun­cil had started talk­ing about change in 2009 with the report of the Royal Com­mis­sion.

It would have been more help­ful to have con­sulted only on the two-tier op­tion, which had been iden­ti­fied as the best to meet the Welling­ton re­gion’s needs, she said.

The coun­cil noted that it would make no dif­fer­ence to ei­ther pro­posal’s vi­a­bil­ity whether or not Wairarapa’s three coun­cils opted out of Welling­ton and set up their own uni­tary coun­cil, as they were propos­ing to do.

Re­gional coun­cil chair­woman Fran Wilde said she didn’t think most peo­ple knew or cared about coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tion ar­range­ments as long as water still flowed from taps.

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