Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Regional amalgamation with Local Boards the way to go

Regional amalgamation with Local Boards the way to go say Better Hutt Valley group

The Hutt Valley must be part of an amalgamated region says a new community group of residents.

Better Hutt Valley is a group of Hutt Valley people that have come together to support moves to amalgamate the 9 local authorities in the wider Wellington region, while ensuring that local issues remain under the control of Hutt Valley people.

The group strongly supports the use of Local Boards to ensure local democracy is protected, while having one overarching council that decides regional issues.

“We must have a system of local government that ensures the residents of Upper Hutt and Hutt City have a strong voice in important decisions that affect us all,” says group member John Welch. “People in places like Silverstream, Eastbourne, Wainuiomata, and Stokes Valley all need to be heard in local policy and funding decisions. But the region also needs one council that can make the really big decisions on infrastructure and spatial planning to get the region pulling in the same direction."

The group says that it understands why some people might be concerned about the Hutt Valley losing its identity following amalgamation. But group members argue this will not happen, largely because of the strong powers of the Local Boards and their guaranteed funding. Fellow group member Derek Wilshere says that “the clear lesson from Auckland is that places like Glenn Innes, Manukau, Papakura, and the North Shore have not only kept their identify, but they are actually thriving by being part of a large rating base that in turn allows the Local Boards to achieve some pretty amazing things in their areas.”

Michael Romanos points out that the independent Local Government Review Panel found that the Wellington region has fallen behind Auckland and Canterbury and is struggling to compete with international cities like Sydney and Brisbane. “Across Wellington we simply have too many councils. There is an absence of strategic decision-making across the councils on transport, natural resource management, planning, and economic development. Unfortunately the Hutt Valley is suffering as a result. In the recent BERL analysis of the economic performance of every New Zealand city, Upper Hutt came last for the second year in a row. And Hutt City fared little better.”

Judy Lawrence says that changes in climate risk and natural hazards will also require collective attention at a local government level. “The combined effects of storms, tides, and sea level rise will affect our coastal locations across the whole region. Increased frequency of heavy rainfall has significant implications for Hutt Valley communities and for the investment and design approach for networked utilities, especially stormwater investment decisions that last for decades. Both require a regionally consistent approach rather than each small local authority unit reinventing the wheel and straining resources.”

Group members are concerned that Hutt Valley residents have only heard one side of the argument around amalgamation. “There are an awful lot of people in the Hutt Valley who support regional amalgamation,” said Dick Werry. “I know because I’ve spoken to many of them. So far they’ve been drowned out by the two mayors who seem determined to push us down the path of isolation. We are hoping that with our group coming together, Hutt people will feel more comfortable voicing their support for coming together as a region.”

Better Hutt Valley says it is looking forward to the Local Government Commission’s announcements around the best form of local government for the region. This is now expected around June this year.

People interested in finding out more about the benefits of regional amalgamation for the Hutt Valley are encouraged to visit the website: www.betterhuttvalley.org.nz. The website allows people to become supporters of Better Hutt Valley and receive newsletters and alerts.

Better Hutt Valley 28 March 2014

The Better Hutt Valley members are:
• Phillip Blundell (Silverstream)
• Peter Glensor (Petone)
• Lou Gardiner (Silverstream)
• Ian Pike (Waterloo)
• Judy Lawrence (Point Howard)
• Theo Muller (Eastbourne)
• Michael Romanos (Silverstream)
• John Welch (Point Howard)
• Dick Werry (Petone)
• Derek Wilshere (Eastbourne)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
    More RSS  RSS
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news