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Fresh voice in amalgamation issue welcomed

Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
Media Statement
12 May 2014

Fresh voice in amalgamation issue welcomed

The formation of a group to express community support for amalgamating the nine councils across the Wellington region has been welcomed by Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley says the addition of Better Wellington’s voice in support of one local authority is timely.

“The Chamber agrees that the amalgamation presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wellingtonians to come together to create a more resilient, responsive, and competitive region.

“Having such a group led by someone of John Shewan’s expertise and profile will give the arguments even more weight than they have till now.

“It’s great to have another voice out there.

“The Chamber has long expressed its determination for amalgamation to occur.

“It will greatly improve decision-making and strategic capacity, and increase efficiencies. A single set of rules for businesses and developers operating across the region will reduce the time and effort now needed to understand the plans and standards required by each of the nine councils.

“Like the Chamber, Better Wellington strongly supports the two-tier local boards system used in Auckland. That model will give residents real control over local issues that matter to them.

“We’re concerned that Wellington could become politically marginalised if it is not able speak with a single, consistent voice.

“Our surveys have consistently shown that around three quarters of Wellington businesses support for some form of amalgamation.

“We also welcome the launch of the group’s website, which aims to keep Wellingtonians up to date on the reorganisation process at www.betterwellington.org.nz.

“The addition of Better Wellington to the debate means it is now essential for ratepayers to make their voice heard on this issue.”

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