How the new council might look
The Local Government Commission has proposed a new governance structure for the Wellington region.
Under the draft proposal, a single new authority would take over the functions of the existing nine councils in the region.
The new authority would be called Greater Wellington Council. It would replace Masterton District Council; Carterton District Council; South Wairarapa District Council; Upper Hutt City Council; Hutt City Council; Wellington City Council; Porirua City Council; Kapiti Coast District Council, and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The commission has described the proposal as “the most significant reforms of a generation.”
The public is being encouraged to have their say. People have until 2 March 2015 to make a submission.
The commission says the new council would have a shared decision-making structure. Commission chair Basil Morrison said power would be shared between the governing body (a mayor and 21 councillors) and 60 members of local boards. The mayor would be elected by voters of greater Wellington. Councillors and local board members would be elected from eight defined geographic areas.
The mayor and councillors would be responsible for high-level decisions affecting all of Wellington. The local boards would control council budgets and decisions for local matters in established communities. Local boards would be created for Wairarapa; Upper Hutt; Lower Hutt; Kapiti Coast; Porirua-Tawa; Ohariu; Lambton; and Rongotai.
The first elections for the new council could occur in October 2016 if the draft proposal succeeds. The final proposal might also be decided by a public poll. A poll must be held if 10% of an affected area petition for one – and the result would be binding.
You can get more in-depth information by visiting the Wellington Region Reorganisation section of the commission’s website.