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Unitary Authority Status for Rodney not Feasible

26 October 2005

Report Shows Unitary Authority Status for Rodney not Feasible at This Time

A report commissioned by the Rodney District Council has found that acquiring regional authority powers is not a realistic objective for the Council at present.

The report, "Should Rodney District Council Become a Unitary Authority?", was presented to Rodney District councillors last Thursday.

It says that taking over Auckland Regional Council services in the district, such as regional parks, would impose a significant financial burden on Rodney ratepayers.

It also highlights the procedural difficulties of changing Rodney's status to a unitary authority. That includes achieving a 50% approval for the move from ratepayer polls in every one of seven affected territorial authorities in the Auckland region.

In addition, Rodney going it alone would have little operational merit, the report concludes. Instead it sees considerable benefit in building a partnership with Auckland Regional Council in the provision of infrastructure, and particularly in the acquisition and management of recreational facilities such as the regional parks.

Mayor John Law has welcomed the report's findings in principle, describing them as sensible and carefully researched and considered. "There is a high degree of logic in what Mr Sears has presented," he says.

"It would appear to be very difficult and of dubious benefit to try and progress a unitary authority status for Rodney in the context of the current legislative environment."

The council voted unanimously in favour of the report being received by council, with a majority voting for it to be given further consideration in the event a change in government legislation prompted the issue to be raised again.


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