Wellington Mayor on Local Government Reform

19 March 2012

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said today that she looked forward to engaging with her council, the Minister and most importantly the people of Wellington on the role of local government as proposed today by Local Government Minister Nick Smith.

"I share the Minister's determination for more effective and efficient delivery of services," said Mayor Wade-Brown.

"We're absolutely up for the discussion about what local government and central government can provide, and I look forward to more devolution than centralisation.

"It's positive to see that the things that make Wellington unique, such as Council's role in the International Arts Festival and our successful tourism strategy, are recognised by the Minister as functions to be retained.

"It is encouraging to see that Councils will still have the broad purpose to deliver what their communities want, including cleaner harbours and quality drinking water."

On the issue of regional governance, Mayor Wade-Brown welcomed the potential for positive change, so long as it was backed by informed public demand.

"My preferences for the future of Wellington's local governance are clearly on the record - I question the role and need for a regional council, for example - and I believe that the Wellington City Council should have more control over local planning issues and services like public transport.

"The public must have its say in the future governance of Wellington, and I am pleased the Minister's proposals recognise this. I look forward to meeting with the Minister tomorrow and engaging in consultation through the legislative process."