Carter: Super-city plans behind schedule
Local Government Minister David Carter says a Wellington super-city is unlikely for the next council elections.
Mr Carter revealed last week the Government's ambitious timeline for legislation allowing changes before the elections has slipped behind schedule.
There could ''possibly'' be an amalgamated Wellington before next October but it needs such significant change it would be unlikely to meet that date, he said.
Mr Carter outlined the Government's proposed law changes for local government to Kapiti Coast District councillors meeting on Thursday.
Announced in March by former Local Government Minister Nick Smith, the changes aimed to have legislation passed by September - allowing amalgamation in time for the next elections.
Mr Carter said the Government now hopes to have legislation passed by Christmas - and if not, by March or April next year.
The changes would make it possible for the community or councils to propose amalgamation.
If accepted by the Local Government Commission, the only thing stopping a supercity would be a poll sparked by a petition comprising 10 per cent of voters. The poll would be decided by a majority of voters from the entire council area.
He said existing laws made it very difficult for councils to change their boundaries or attempt amalgamation.
''In fact under the current laws there has been no amalgamation anywhere in New Zealand since 1988.''
Auckland's super-city amalgamations were achieved under specially created legislation.
Kapiti District Mayor Jenny Rowan said she was hopeful a joint submission could be made from the region's councils to the Local Government Commission.
The submission would include Greater Wellington Regional Council - which initially had its invitation to join a Sir Geoffrey Palmer chaired panel rejected by Kapiti.
''I'm very hopeful that with the work that the CEOs are doing, the work that Sir Geoffrey is doing, that we are able to find a way through to make a joint submission to the local Government Commission,'' she said.
Mr Carter said Auckland's super-city was working well, and Christchurch was about to have up to $30 billion injected into its economy for its rebuild.
''In between, you've got Wellington - and I think those Auckland and Christchurch developments are a challenge to Wellington.''
- Kapiti Observer
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