'Robust' debate on regional authority

Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012
Ray Wallace
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ
LOWER HUTT MAYOR: Ray Wallace chaired the Zone Four Local Authority Forum

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Nine councils from the Wellington region have had a "robust" discussion on the future of the local political landscape.

"I don't think anyone expected to resolve all the issues around regional governance - if they did, they were extremely optimistic," Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace, who chaired the Zone Four Local Authority Forum, said.

Options discussed ranged from a single Wellington regional authority, to a two-tier system and unitary authorities.

"Councils were asked to consider the views . . . put forward and decide on the next steps."

The meeting had underlined the need to ensure the voice of the community was heard on any decision, Mr Wallace said.

An independent panel has recommended a two-tiered local government structure, with a beefed-up regional council and six smaller councils providing services.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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