Wellington is 'not a basket case'
The Wellington region should not form a super city because its not a "basket case" like Auckland, says a regional councillor.
About 20 people presented oral submissions about government reform options to the Wellington City council’s strategy and policy committee yesterday.
Greater Wellington Regional Councillor Daran Ponter said all the talk about amalgamation had focused on how the local government structure should be changed, with not enough discussion about why it should.
‘‘Wellington is simply not the basket case that Auckland was.
"There is no clamour for large scale reform in the Wellington region because there is no evidence to suggest that there is anything inherently wrong with our current structures.’’
Government consultant and Regional Chamber of Commerce life member Barrie Saunders said a Wellington super city would provide "an awful lot of muscle’’ when dealing with central government.
Ian Cassels, managing director of property developers The Wellington Company, said the topic of amalgamation warranted some discussion, but that should not happen for another six years.
Right now, Wellington needed to focus on it’s earthquake strengthening, connecting the airport to Ngauranga Gorge, and getting central government ‘‘involved’’ in the capital, he said.
‘‘It would be absolutely criminal to disturb that process.’’
More than 1200 people returned written submissions after a discussion paper on four local government reform options went out for public consultation in May.
About 77 per cent said they support change. The two most drastic options – a Wellington unitary council and a Wairarapa council, or one super city council – garnered the most support.
The hearings will continue today and a report on the public consultation process will go to a strategy and policy committee meeting next month.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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