Stand by Lower Hutt on amalgamation supported by report
Stand by Lower Hutt on amalgamation supported by independent report
An independent economic report on the best local authority structure for the Wellington region commissioned by Hutt City Council has been released today (Monday 5 August).
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says that while there is strong evidence for combining networks like road and water, there is little support for a single unitary authority covering the Wellington region.
“The report makes it clear that Hutt City residents have got it right in supporting the status quo with enhanced services while supporting multiple unitary authorities if change is forced upon our city,” he says.
Prepared by Wellington-based consultants TDB, the Hutt City report is described as the most comprehensive assessment of efficiencies to be gained from amalgamating New Zealand councils and sharing services.
Mayor Wallace says there is no evidence in favour of amalgamating councils as a whole, except for very small councils of less than 50,000 people.
“There is support for amalgamating regional infrastructure networks like road and water,” he says.
“The report has taken these findings and recommended a single merger of Wairarapa Councils and a merging of only transport and water services for other Wellington councils.
Mayor Wallace says the report raises new options and important economic arguments that the Council will need to consider as it prepares an application to the Local Government Commission.
The full council has planned a special meeting for Tuesday 13 August to discuss its submission to the Local Government Commission based on the findings of the TDB report.
“It is a good report and draws its conclusions on available evidence to support its findings,” Mayor Wallace says.