‘Why aren’t Kapiti politicians telling us about take-over plan?’ asks Turver
By Alan Tristram
Proposals are well advanced which would make the Kapiti Coast hand over most of its powers, and finance, to a super-city based on Wellington.
The plans are being discussed by leading politicians in the Region, including the Regional Council chair, Fran Wilde, but the public isn’t being kept up-to-date with fast-moving developments.
Now former Kapiti regional councillor Chris Turver says:”I’m calling on the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) to take a leadership role in explaining a plan which could severely limit Kapiti’s right to run its own affairs within two years!”
Mr Turver says that’s when the KCDC could be abolished and replaced with a lower-level Community Council controlled and funded from Wellington.
Many not aware of what’s going on
“There are other options but publicity has been so poor that most people could be excused for not being aware of what is going on,” Mr Turver says.
“The plan for a two-tier form of regional local government is being actively promoted by a handful of Greater Wellington Regional Councillors from Wellington electorates, including regional council chair Fran Wilde,” he says.
“It is based on the premise that if the region does nothing about simplifying and strengthening local government in the region the government will.”
If adopted, the plan would abolish the regional council and the seven city and district councils in the region and set up a new Wellington Super Council on which all the cities and districts would be represented.
One seat for Kapiti, seven for Hutt-Wellington
Kapiti,Porirua and the Wairarapa would have just one seat each — but Wellington and the Hutt would get seven seats (Wellington 4; Hutt 3).
The existing territorial authorities in the region would be reconstituted as ‘Community Councils’ with reduced decision-making and spending roles.
Mr Turver adds:“Given the recent history of the KCDC’s decision-making that may not be a bad thing but our residents deserve an explanation of what’s going on and the right to contribute to a discussion.”
“The KCDC muyst be upfront and put as much effort into helping ratepayers understand what is being proposed for local government reform as it is putting into trying to sell water meters.”
He says at stake is the future of Kapiti and the KCDC should hold a series of public meetings around the district to set out what is going on and seek input from ratepayers.
Mr Turver concludes:”There are many logical proposals in the re-organisation plan — like centralising decision making on future water supplies for the region – but until all the cards are on the table I am not prepared to see Kapiti put on the chopping block!”
Kapiti Independent has a copy of the proposals, from ‘A group of Wellington regional councillors.’
It’s titled ‘Some Ideas on local government reform in Wellington– neighbourhood decisions with pan-regional strategy.’
Highly-contentious topics are outlined in the appendix: These show that Kapiti could lose control of its libraries and museums, land management, parks and reserves, pensioner housing, roads, and revenue collection and management among other items.