Residents support council shakeup - survey

Last updated 13:02 22/02/2013

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Hawke's Bay

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A majority of respondents to a survey favour some kind of council reorganisation in Hawke's Bay.

The survey of 1000 people, commissioned by pro-amalgamation group A Better Hawke's Bay, was carried out in the bay's four council areas: Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and Central Hawke's Bay.

Sixty-four per cent of people surveyed supported some form of council reorganisation.

The group has applied to the Local Government Commission for reorganisation, proposing a single unitary authority with one mayor.

The group expects a petition to be initiated within one of the areas this year. It takes 10 per cent of electors in one area to initiate a referendum.

Hastings residents were the keenest on reorganisation, with 75 per cent of those surveyed in favour. Sixty per cent of people in Central Hawke's Bay felt the same way, while 53 per cent of people in both Napier and Wairoa wanted reorganisation.

Of the 1000 people surveyed, 250 did not want any reorganisation and 110 were unsure or refused to say.

The survey had a maximum sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 per cent.

A Better Hawke's Bay chairwoman Rebecca Turner said the survey, conducted by Curia Market Research, proved overwhelmingly that Hawke's Bay residents wanted change.

"Hawke's Bay residents want some form of council reorganisation, so we look forward to the Local Government Commission taking our application to the next stage,'' Mrs Turner said. 

"We're very encouraged by these results and they just confirm what we have been hearing at region wide meetings we've attended over the last few weeks. Awareness of the issue is growing as people realise that there is an opportunity for significant reform. With growing awareness we expect the numbers of voters who support change will continue to increase," she said.

Contact Marty Sharpe
Hawke's Bay reporter

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