Out to shed inefficiencies by collaboration
The Waikato Mayoral Forum says good progress is being made in assessing opportunities for collaboration and shared services among member councils.
The forum, consisting of Waikato mayors and the chairman of the Waikato Regional Council, met last week.
‘‘The meeting strongly reinforced the importance of the Waikato leaders working together and speaking with one voice,’’ forum chairman Matamata- Piako mayor Hugh Vercoe said.
The forum is assessing council collaboration for:
Water and wastewater services;
Road maintenance; Planning; Economic development;
Governance and management of shared services.
‘‘Although there is consider- able interest in possible local government reforms, the region’s mayors remain firmly focussed on identifying how we can work better together to improve services to our communities,’’ Mr Vercoe said.
‘‘When we look at planning, for example, we see layers and overlap between central, regional and local government but we lack a strategy or spatial plan for the Waikato.
‘‘This comes at huge cost to councils and businesses. Over the next three years, our councils need to review and consult on more than 500 different policies, codes of practice, management plans and bylaws. There are efficiencies to be gained from collaboration among the member councils.’’
The forum meets again in mid-October.