Governance Options

You may want us to stay how we are, but improve - or make some changes on how we're set up though. We joined with the Working Party and put two other options out for you to consider. The choices, as we see it, are:

  • the status quo, how it is now
  • a single council with one tier of decision-making
  • a single council with two tiers of decision-making.

The status quo

Wellington City Council is one of 8 city or district councils in the Wellington region. As well, the Greater Wellington Regional Council has broad responsibility primarily for transport and environmental management across the region.

There are around 200,000 people in Wellington that we work for, delivering infrastructure, environmental, social and cultural services as well as giving Wellingtonians a voice about the future of our city.

Currently, we work both in our own areas but across our respective areas depending on the type of service we are able to work collaboratively on. We share water network management services with Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua, and we share a range of smaller shared services (like dog control) with Lower Hutt. We are working with others in the region to explore pooling resources for large-scale regional amenities and facilities, and continuing to work on a collaborative shared services approach.

The Hutt Valley councils are also working on reform:

Local Government Reform - Upper Hutt City Council

Single council, one tier

The Working Party considers that another option for our region is a single council made up of up to 29 councillors and a Mayor. This model would mean the Regional Council would be abolished and all 8 city or district councils would combine together as one council. 

This option can work if the Wairarapa wants to be part of a single council or if residents there wanted to form their own council. We think that given how integrated our transport and water networks are, especially on this side of the Rimutakas, there are a lot of advantages to joining up.

There are also many advantages in having a single council without another layer of decision-making. It's important that decision-makers be made accountable to those who elected them and to make sure that there is nothing between you and your councillors.

Single council, two tiers

The Working Party considers that the third option for our region is a single council made up of 21 councillors and a Mayor. In addition, 7 or 8 local boards would be established. This model would also mean the Regional Council would be abolished and all 8 city or district councils would combine together as one council.

This option can also work if the Wairarapa wants to be part of a single council or if residents wanted to form their own council. The council of 21 councillors and a mayor, would be responsible for major strategic decisions for the region like our transport and water networks. It would also be responsible for economic development, regional environmental management and other important region-wide issues.

Local boards would be set up and responsible for delivering more localised services; the Working Party thinks this would be around 5% of the council’s total operating expenditure. The council would delegate some activities and funding for them, and the local boards would have the role of advocating on issues that people care about in their area.

We think there are some advantages in this approach too. Local boards have a strong community focus for areas made up of around 60,000 people, like Porirua or Kapiti for example. The city might have four local boards because of the size of the population who live here.