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Government and Wellington City: relationships are two-way

Government and Wellington City: relationships are two-way

The Strategy and Policy meeting which resulted in Council support of the Basin Reserve flyover (and mitigation measures for such) on 22nd August raised again the issue of Wellington’s relationship with central government.

As a Wellingtonian, I want my Council to go issue by issue and represent the views of the people in my city (I recognise that this will not always reflect my personal views). I found it concerning that when discussing the flyover, multiple Councillors mentioned the effect that not supporting it would have on our city’s relationship with NZTA and central government.

A true relationship is two-way. I concur with the inference by various Councillors that central government is the dominant party in the governance relationship for our city, but I sincerely hope that if the support for the flyover (7/6 for) had been going the other way (7/6 against) that individual Councillors would not have let this relationship with government issue prevent them from voting as they saw fit. As a ratepayer I rely on my elected representatives to be my voice, and so does the rest of the city.

In any non-equal relationship it should still be acceptable to state your opinion without negative consequences: for example (if the vote had gone differently) “We recognise that NZTA prefers a flyover, we are and will continue working with them on mitigating the effects of this structure, but we do not support it”.


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