Genuine Consultation for Wellington Local Government

26 March 2012

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said today that Wellington residents must have a genuine say in the role, shape and scope for local government in the region

A discussion document will be presented to the Council's Strategy and Policy Committee in early May, followed by public consultation.

"It's essential that Wellingtonians are presented with a range of clear and concise options. Councillors will be guided by any public appetite for change," said Mayor Wade-Brown.

"The central government report Better Local Government makes it clear that moves to change governance structures must be locally driven, rather than being imposed by central government," said Mayor Wade-Brown.

"Wellingtonians have an opportunity to have an informed debate and make up their own minds.

"Council will present a range of options, including the option of no change, and we will not express a preference before the public has a chance to see for itself.

"Only after public feedback will Council debate its preference for any of the options then we'll consider whether there is public support to submit a proposal for change to the Local Government Commission.

"It is important that our public consultation does not have a pre-determined outcome. This is genuine consultation, we want to hear where the public sits on the issue rather than push them toward any particular model of local government structure.

"Council also has a position that any proposed change to regional governance should require a referendum beforehand," she said.

On Friday 23 March the Wellington Mayoral Forum announced through Chair Wayne Guppy that all councils in the region have agreed to consult with their respective communities about local governance for the Wellington region. Already the Wairarapa Councils are working through the governance issues.

Mayor Wade-Brown has shared some suggested options for consultation with the Mayoral Forum. These range from the status quo to three unitary authorities to total amalgamation.