A group of Wellington councils is pushing ahead with plans to lodge an amalgamation proposal in the next three months - but the public will get to have their say first.
The Local Government Reform Working Party met this week and agreed to a consultation timeframe, chairman Ken Douglas said yesterday.
The working party was set up by the Greater Wellington regional council and the Porirua City Council to negotiate a joint amalgamation proposal to be presented to the Local Government Commission. It had previously planned to lodge an application next month but is now aiming for April.
Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council and Kapiti and Coast District Council are also involved, but councils in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa did not join the initiative.
The working party met again yesterday and Mr Douglas said the group was pushing on to creating an amalgamation proposal to put before the Local Government Commission in late April.
It had also agreed to a consultation framework, he said. Once a proposal was developed, the councils had agreed to come up with a common package of information which each council would then use for separate consultation processes in their areas.
That would probably be done in late March, to allow changes to be made to the final proposal before it went to the commission, he said.
"We would be conducting some sort of communication across the region in the month of March . . . Our councils will hopefully approve [a proposal] in late April."
If a proposal was lodged by the end of April, the commission could review it and come up with its recommendations before the next local body elections in October.
Having some certainty around what was being proposed before people went to the polls was important, Mr Douglas said.
The working party has also agreed to share information with the Wairarapa councils. Wairarapa has indicated it wants to break away from the region and merge its three local councils into a single unitary authority.
Mr Douglas said the working party had met Wairarapa representatives this week, and they had agreed to share information via chief executives as it would be helpful to all involved.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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