Kapiti’s Mayor on Uber City

Ross church for mayor 2013‘Business as usual’ even with Super City plan

Kāpiti Mayor Ross Church says it will be business as usual for Kāpiti in spite of the big Super (or Uber) City news delivered in Wellington this morning.
The Local Government Commission has released its draft proposal for regional reorganisation, opting for a Super City based on one council for the whole region with eight local boards.

The new Greater Wellington Council, if it goes ahead., would merge the current councils in the region including the Wairarapa and have all of the responsibilities of the regional council and all of the city and district councils.

Decision making shared

Decision-making would be shared between a governing body and the eight local boards.

Mayor Church says: “We have just received the news and will take time to digest the detail. There are two large documents which need to be analysed. “From a Council perspective, we firmly believe that our people should dictate the future shape of our district and region.”

The Mayor adds: “We have always been non-committal with regard to possible local government restructuring, as surveys have indicated our community has been split pretty much 50/50.

“And, in spite of today’s draft proposal, it will be ordinary people who have the final say. It is likely that the final proposal will trigger a poll that will determine whether or not this is the future shape of the region.”

And, meanwhile…
In the meantime, says the Mayor,  Kapiti can’t afford to sit still. It need sto prepare for the future of the District so Council are progressing their main objectives such as the Proposed District Plan (PDP) and LTP (Long-Term Plan).
“Should a new authority be formed, the work we do on the PDP and LTP will be invaluable in informing the plans and policies the new authority will adopt,” he says.
“If a new authority is not formed, the work we do on the PDP and LTP will also be invaluable – it means we won’t have stood still for a number of years. “Either way we will be prepared to progress the interests of our district,” says Mayor Church.

Questions in the House

The Minister for Local Government, Paula Bennett, was under pressure in parliament today, especially from New Zealand First MP and Wairarapa resident Ron Marks. The  Commission draft proposal is not supported by any of the six existing local bodies in the Greater Wellington Region.

Hopefully Ross Church is right in comments that the public will have the final say.

The Auckland Super City is the model for any other amalgamations around the country and there are mixed views on how successful the experiment north of the Bombay Hills has been.