Facing three choices
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.