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Engagement on local government organisation in the Wairarapa

Media release 7 June 2016:

Engagement on local government organisation in the Wairarapa

Extensive engagement on six options for council organisation in the Wairarapa starts today (7 June).

Through a series of drop-in sessions, community workshops and a questionnaire the Local Government Commission (LGC) is asking people to tell it what they think. The engagement runs through until 8 July, which will be the deadline for questionnaire responses.

The LGC will make public the results of the consultation in August.

Six options are to be presented:

• The status quo

• Wairarapa District Council

• Wairarapa District Council with joint Wairarapa Unitary Plan committee

• Wairarapa District Council and two committees with the Greater Wellington Regional Council

• Wairarapa District Council taking on most of the Greater Wellington Regional Council functions in the Wairarapa

• Wairarapa Unitary Council

“This month’s engagement helps honour a commitment given by the Commission that we would work with the councils and the community in the Wellington region to help identify challenges and assist in isolating possible solutions,” the Chair of the LGC, Sir Wira Gardiner, said today.

The commitment was made in the wake of the June 2015 decision of the Local Government Commission not to proceed with a proposal for a unitary council for the Wellington region because of a lack of support. However, up to 40% of respondents in that process wanted some change.

“The Commission has been working with the Wellington Regional Mayoral Forum and the Wellington councils to advance matters. The Wairarapa options are part of this work. There are more options than have been considered in similar engagements in the past and the costings have been worked out across ten years rather than just a single year.

“We invite the rate-payers of the Wairarapa to take part in discussions between 7 June and 8 July and let us know what they think.

“They can do this by attending a series of drop in sessions and community workshops and by filling in a questionnaire available online or from their local council offices,” said Mr Gardiner.

Details of the drop in sessions and workshops will be publicised with media advertisements and posters but anyone not able to get to the drop-ins or meetings will be able to read about the options through a leaflet, articles, online information and an online questionnaire (www.lgc.govt.nz).

ENDS

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