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Government supports two-tier option for local government

28 November 2012

Government supports two-tier option for local government

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde has welcomed the Government’s intention allow for a two-tier model for a new Wellington Council.

The Government yesterday introduced a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) for the Local Government Amendment Bill. It includes changes to enable the Local Government Commission to approve a two tier model in Wellington and elsewhere.

“What’s in the Supplementary Order Paper is different in some respects from what was proposed by the Wellington Review Panel, but it supports many of the major recommendations,” said Fran Wilde.

“The most important thing is that it allows for a two-tier model, which retains a strong element of local democracy while delivering the benefits of a region-wide planning and decision-making.

“It’s now up to local government leaders in the Wellington region to develop a really strong proposal for Wellington that is tailored to our needs. That must include a very clear description of the functions and funding of local boards, so people can see just what will be delivered locally and what should and will be done regionally.

“If we do that, we can avoid an ‘Auckland solution’ where a model designed and driven by central Government was imposed, with minimal input from Aucklanders.

“We want better than that,” she said.

Examples of the functions that would be undertaken at the two levels are:

Local

Local boards would provide a wide range of local functions including:
• preparing village and town centre plans and overseeing their implementation
• hearings on local resource consent decisions
• developing a wide range of community programmes, events and services (eg arts, culture, recreation, parks)
• local environment and heritage protection
• preparing local bylaws

Regional

The Wellington Council would collect rates and be responsible for things that affect the whole region, including:
• setting the aspirations and priorities for the Wellington region through a regional spatial plan
• planning and management of major infrastructure (eg water, transport, waste, regional facilities and sports stadium)
• preparing district plans and regional plans on environmental and urban matters
• managing hazards and civil defence emergency management
• regional parks

ENDS

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