Kapiti not invited to super city meeting

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 12:21 11/03/2014

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Kapiti Observer

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Kapiti was left off the invite list for a secret mayoral meeting to air supercity concerns.

Mayor Ross Church said he first heard about the meeting, run by Hutt mayor Ray Wallace, on the weekend.
''I wasn't involved, I wasn't invited. I didn't know anything about it, and neither did Nick Leggett, the mayor of Porirua, and neither did Celia Wade-Brown," he said. 

On Monday it was reported that Mr Wallace was rallying his allies at a secret meeting that day to discuss how to put a stop to super-cities.

About 20 mayors and deputy mayors attended the meeting near Taupo, but apparently no others from the Wellington region. Mr Wallace denied any sort of ''renegade" or ''break-away'' motives behind calling the meeting and said that although some invited mayors declined to attend he believed the ''chains needed to be rattled''.

Mr Wallace has been a fierce opponent of supercity amalgamation including Hutt.

On Monday Mr Church said he was quite glad that he wasn't invited to the meeting.

''Actually I'm quite relaxed that I wasn't involved because I wouldn't want to be involved in something that was seen to be 'under the radar', as it were.''

The Local Government Commission is considering amalgamation applications for the Wellington region, including Kapiti.

Communications advisor Kathryn Street said it would probably be the end of April before the commission released a draft proposal, or opted for the status quo.

Mr Church said if the commission's other decisions were anything to go by it was likely Kapiti faced a supercity proposal.

In November the commission sized up Hawke's Bay for amalgamation, with a proposal for it to have a single council. The same month it proposed amalgamating all of Northland's councils into one.

Mr Church said it would be sad if this was the last term for a standalone Kapiti council, but if a supercity was proposed then councillors needed to ensure local representation.

Any final supercity proposal from the commission could still be rejected in a regionwide referendum, which can be sparked by 10 per cent of any affected council area.

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- Kapiti Observer

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