Turver urges Council not to surrender to Think Big project
Former Kapiti regional councillor Chris Turver says this is no time for the Kāpiti Coast Council to ‘lie back and surrender’ to the concept of a regional super council.
He is calling on the KCDC to find out just what will happen to Kapiti if local government changes go ahead – and then open up public consultation to determine Kapiti’s response.
He says there should be no quick ‘surrender’ to a regional super council when the consequences for Kapiti – one of the most outlying districts in the region – are totally unclear.
“For instance, all major funding decision would be taken in Wellington and the squeakiest wheel would get the most oil at a time when Kapiti is trying to improve its infrastructure,”he says.
Mr Turver says while he fully supports a more efficient and cost-effective form of local government, nobody has yet done the homework to:
– justify the regional government model for the Wellington region with facts to prove it would work for Kapiti, or
– identify what the benefits and disbenefits would be for Kapiti.
KCDC ‘equipped to do the research’
He says the KCDC is equipped to do the research and engage with its community on the options “and the sooner it gets on with it the sooner we will know whether regional government is appropriate for Kapiti.”
Mr Turver says at no stage in the push for regional governance – and an end to district councils like the KCDC – have Kapiti residents been consulted.
He adds: “Given the sorry performance of our council over recent years I could gladly support a more professional regional super council but there needs to be a properly thought-through business case to justify such a far-reaching move.”
Mr Turver suggests one way for the KCDC to fast-track its information gathering would be to form a representative ‘think tank’ to work through the opportunities and issues of regional governance and determine whether Kapiti would be better off.