The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion

Rodney Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SUZANNE DOIG

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.

SUPPLIED

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Suzanne Doig

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