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Commission to assess North Rodney application

Commission to assess North Rodney application

The Local Government Commission has agreed to assess an application from the Northern Action Group (NAG) for a North Rodney Council.

Local Government Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner said the Commission will next determine what the area affected by the application is – North Rodney or the whole of Auckland – and then make an assessment as to whether there is community support for local government reorganisation in the affected area.

“If the Commission is not satisfied about community support, it may at this point decline the application,’’ said Sir Wira. “If it is satisfied there is support, it will call for alternative applications before deciding on a preferred local government option. If the preferred option is not the status quo, the Commission will then begin developing a draft reorganisation proposal before consulting further with the community and gauging public support for it.’’

The decision to assess the application follows a High Court decision in April which found against the Commission’s declining to assess the application on public interest grounds, but agreed with the Commission that NAG was required to demonstrate community support over the whole of Auckland, not just in North Rodney. NAG has now provided further information to the Commission.

“If community support for local government reorganisation is demonstrable, the Commission looks forward to working with local stakeholders in North Rodney to consider the long-term challenges the community faces and looking at the options for local government that can best meet those challenges,’’ Sir Wira said.



Background

In summary, the process for local government reorganisations under the Local Government Act 2002 is:

• Individuals, organisations or the Minister of Local Government can apply to the Commission for reorganisation of local government

• The Commission decides what the affected area is – in this case either North Rodney or the whole of Auckland, depending on whether the Commission considers the operation, scope or capability of the Auckland Council to be materially affected

• The Commission assesses whether there is evidence of community support for local government reorganisation in the affected area

• If accepted, there is public notification of the application, including a call for alternative applications

• The Commission identifies options for change, chooses a preferred option and, if this is not the status quo, develops a draft proposal

• A draft proposal is subject to consultation including submissions and a series of hearings

• If the Commission decides to proceed it issues a final proposal. Otherwise it can choose to end the process, or identify a new draft proposal for consultation

• If requested by the community a poll on the final proposal is held

• If no poll is requested or the poll shows support for the proposal the reorganisation scheme is implemented


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