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The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion is an in­de­pen­dent statu­tory body. It com­prises a chair and two or three com­mis­sion­ers, who make de­ci­sions based on cri­te­ria set out in the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act 2002. Our ac­tiv­i­ties are pre­scribed and strictly gov­erned by that leg­is­la­tion. The com­mis­sion­ers are there­fore in­de­pen­dent of the gov­ern­ment, coun­cils, and those who ap­ply to the com­mis­sion for changes to lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­range­ments.

The re­cent con­sul­tant’s re­port was com­mis­sioned, us­ing a con­testable process, to give in­sight into the fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­pects of op­tions for lo­cal gov­ern­ment in the Rod­ney and Wai­heke ar­eas. The re­port it­self is just one of the in­puts into the com­mis­sion’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

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.

Dr Suzanne Doig, CEO Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion. decades has provided le­gal sup­port for en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion ef­forts on Wai­heke. How­ever, He­len was con­ven­tion­ally dis­mis­sive of many is­lan­ders’ wishes to be free of Auck­land Coun­cil’s spend­thrift bu­reau­cracy: some­thing Ron is pas­sion­ate to achieve.

The fact that Ron and oth­ers have put so much time into pre­vent­ing the re­moval of the Ru­ral Ur­ban Bound­ary is di­rectly at­trib­ut­able to Auck­land Coun­cil’s grid­locked mind­set and in­equal­ity agen­das.

He­len men­tions com­ing to Wai­heke reg­u­larly as a teenager, so pre­sum­ably she had a good time here, as most did, cheaply. And those were the days of In­de­pen­dent Wai­heke.

In 1989, I was walk­ing around, like oth­ers here, with no com­mu­nity debt on my shoul­ders. Now, some­how, I have ac­cu­mu­lated a share of a $7 bil­lion dol­lar Auck­land Coun­cil debt. Never mind call­ing a free Wai­heke rad­i­cal. It’s time for the great es­cape.

Ross Gille­spie, The Bay of Rocks.

‘‘There is noth­ing for youth to do in win­ter and this [an in­door pool] would hope­fully keep them oc­cu­pied.’’ Shel­ley Stock­man

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