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Auckland City supports regional proposal

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

15 December 2006

Auckland City supports regional governance proposal

Auckland City councillors supported the final proposal for how the region could be governed at the council meeting last night.

The final proposal includes input from all the councils in the region.

“I am pleased that we are coming closer to making positive changes in the governance structure of Auckland,” said Auckland city’s Mayor, Dick Hubbard.

“I am convinced that the current structure is limiting the ability of the region to transform itself into a truly world class place to live, visit and do business.”

“We hope that the changes Auckland City is suggesting will lead to much stronger regional leadership and coordination so that we can deliver on the major requirements of Auckland over the next decade much more efficiently and effectively,” he said.

Deputy Mayor, Dr Bruce Hucker, also supported Auckland City’s proposals saying they keep the local in local government and are good news for our diverse communities.

“The proposals support an inclusive region where city and district councils will play a key decision making role,” he said.

The changes in the proposed regional governance structure include:

• creation of a strengthened regional entity, with new elected representation arrangements;

• the establishment of a regional sustainable development forum that would develop the “One Plan” for the region;

• the potential provision of new funding instruments to the regional entity;

• the expansion of regional economic development to include tourism and major events;

• legislative arrangements for Watercare to permit it to operate like any other CCO to enable dividend payments within existing ownership arrangements that would be used for storm water;

• for the regional land transport strategy to specify both major projects and areas for focus and activity, and the transfer of regional facilities and associated funding responsibility for these and other amenities to the regional entity.

The Council also resolved to undertake public consultation in co-ordination with the other councils in the region in February or March next year.

The resolutions from all councils in the region will be compiled and sent to central government with the final proposal over the next week.

For more information, people can visit www.strongerauckland.org.nz ,

Ends

Note to editors: Auckland City Council’s resolutions from council meeting 14 December 2006

• That the report of the Group Manager, Economic Development and the Strategic Adviser, Strategic Development dated 6 December 2006 be received.

• That the paper entitled “Strengthening Auckland’s Regional Governance Proposals” be received.

• That it be noted that the proposal outlined in the ‘Strengthening Regional Governance: Proposal’ paper constitutes a package of reforms which are largely inter-dependent, particularly if broad agreement amongst the councils in the Auckland region is to be achieved. The package of reform consists of the following key elements: creation of a strengthened regional entity, with new elected representation arrangements; the establishment of a regional sustainable development forum that would develop the “One Plan”; the potential provision of new funding instruments to the regional entity; the expansion of regional economic development to include tourism and major events; legislative arrangements for Watercare to permit it to operate like any other CCO to enable dividend payments within existing ownership arrangements that would be used for storm water; for the regional land transport strategy to specify both major projects and areas for focus and activity, and the transfer of regional facilities and associated funding responsibility for these and other amenities to the regional entity.

• That Auckland City Council endorse the proposal to strengthen Auckland’s regional governance as a submission from the Auckland region to the government subject to

• Elected representation arrangements for the regional entity solely comprising elected members being elected from single member constituencies and a chair elected by the councillors

• New funding sources being made available to the regional entity including a regional fuel tax, for development levies and an international departure tax.

• Voting powers in the Regional Sustainable Development Forum being proportional to population and with majority representation for city and district councillors, and its strategic One Plan decisions be binding on the greater Auckland Council and the city and district councils.

• Transfer of functions to the regional entity including tourism, major events, major urban development projects and regional facilities.

• The current powers and roles of community boards being retained.

• Work continuing on shared service arrangements and on investigating ways for the councils in the Auckland Region to fully optimise their respective rating and revenue bases including the possibilities of shared regulatory framework, and shared rating collection, while retaining autonomy for local council rate setting and rating allocation.

E. That if broad agreement is achieved amongst the councils in the Auckland region, then joint (or co-ordinated) public consultation and hearings on the proposal be undertaken in February/March 2007. That public consultation includes specific focus on electing members to the Greater Auckland Council including:

• Members being elected from single member constituencies

• The Chair being elected at large or by the Councillors and

• The Chair of the Greater Auckland Region automatically be Chair of the Regional Development Forum

F. That the Political Reference Group be empowered to conduct ongoing discussions with government ministers as to the refinement and implementation of the proposal.
G.


Ends


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