Clock starts on coun­cil change

‘Now time to en­gage with com­mu­ni­ties’

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Coun­cils and in­ter­ested par­ties have un­til Au­gust 16 to lodge al­ter­na­tive ideas for lo­cal govern­ment ar­range­ments in Wairarapa and Welling­ton.

The Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion an­nounced on last week that it would as­sess the Greater Welling­ton re­gional coun­cil’s ap­pli­ca­tion to amal­ga­mate Welling­ton re­gion into a sin­gle au­thor­ity, along with an­other ap­pli­ca­tion from the three Wairarapa coun­cils to form their own sin­gle coun­cil, tak­ing over the re­gional coun­cil’s role there.

Porirua City Coun­cil will not lodge any al­ter­na­tive pro­posal, but will in­stead lodge a let­ter of sup­port for the Greater Welling­ton coun­cil’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said his coun­cil did not have the re­sources and did not con­sider it nec­es­sary to de­velop its own pro­posal given that it had co-op­er­ated in de­vel­op­ing Greater Welling­ton’s one.

‘‘It is now time for the Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion to en­gage with com­mu­ni­ties and politi­cians should step back. The politi­cians have had their dis­cus­sions and de­bate,’’ Mr Leggett said.

‘‘We also sup­port a bind­ing referendum if the Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion rec­om­mends change.

‘‘We are ag­nos­tic on the sit­u­a­tion with Wairarapa.

‘‘We don’t have a view on where those com­mu­ni­ties fit. That is up to them and the Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion,’’ Mr Leggett said.

Greater Welling­ton’s sub­mis­sion pro­posed a sin­gle coun­cil tak­ing over both the roles of the eight ter­ri­to­rial au­thor­i­ties and the re­gional coun­cil.

Com­mu­nity boards, which ap­prox­i­mately matched the ex­ist­ing city and dis­trict coun­cil catch­ments, would over­see mi­nor lo­cal mat­ters and an over-arch­ing 22-mem­ber coun­cil would con­trol re­gional mat­ters.

Master­ton, Carter­ton and South Wairarapa dis­trict coun­cils have jointly pro­posed that they should amal­ga­mate into a sin­gle coun­cil tak­ing over the re­gional coun­cil’s role in Wairarapa.

Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Don­ald Rieze­bos said the ap­pli­ca­tions would be con­sid­ered to­gether.

The three Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion­ers will con­sider the two ap­pli­ca­tions and any al­ter­na­tive pro­pos­als be­fore is­su­ing a draft pro­posal.

Af­ter a pe­riod for pub­lic sub­mis­sions, the com­mis­sion will de­cide on a lo­cal govern­ment struc­ture for the Welling­ton re­gion.

If the com­mis­sion re­ceives a pe­ti­tion with the sig­na­tures of 10 per cent or more of any af­fected re­gion, it must hold a referendum pit­ting its pro­posal for re­or­gan­i­sa­tion with the sta­tus quo.

Com­mis­sion spokes­woman Kathryn Street said the ear­li­est the com­mis­sion­ers were likely to con­sider the pro­pos­als was at their meet­ing on Septem­ber 12.

They would not is­sue any re­or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­posal be­fore the Lo­cal Body Elec­tions on Oc­to­ber 12, she said.

Sup­port­ing re­gional coun­cil: Nick Leggett, Porirua Mayor.

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