The Local Government Commission
community, and costeffectiveness for households and businesses.
At present we are working our way through the process for assessing the Auckland reorganisation applications. For those who have perhaps not followed the process to date, the Commission is now at the stage of determining what the law refers to as the ‘‘reasonably practicable options’’ for local government in the area and, if there are two or more, will then identify the ‘‘preferred option’’ – the arrangements that are most likely to provide good local government for a community.
The recent consultant’s report was commissioned to give insight into the financial and technical aspects of options for local government in the Rodney and Waiheke areas. While we were not required to do this, the Commission decided the report’s assumptions should be shared at the outset with applicants, alternative proposers and other affected parties, to help maintain transparency and good faith. The same applied to the report’s findings. Feedback on the report from these groups will help inform advice to Commissioners.
The report itself is just one of the inputs into the Commission’s decision-making process. The Commission will also consider other matters set out in the legislation, such as communities of interest and democratic implications.
In addition, the Commission’s deliberations will need to consider the particular circumstances of Auckland, such as dealing with high projected population growth. Also, Auckland Council is a unitary authority, which means that it provides a range of functions that are not delivered by the local district or city council in most parts of New Zealand. These regional council functions must be provided for in any option the Commission considers.
When the Commission makes its decision on a preferred option, it will decide to either maintain the status quo or to propose some form of change to local government structures. If the Commission proposes any change, then there will be a further full round of public consultation and hearings.
Local Government Commission chief executive Dr Suzanne Doig