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Aucklank Proposals Should be Replicated in Wgtn

Media Release
27 March 2009


Proposals for Unitary Authority Should be Replicated in Wellington

Wellington must prepare for local government amalgamation in light of the recommendations from the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance released today, according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“While we don’t agree with everything in the report, we think there is merit in the core recommendation of establishing a unitary authority under the control of a directly elected mayor,” said Chamber CEO Chares Finny.

“We also think this is a model that should be applied to other parts of the country including Wellington.

“Irrespective of the merits of the proposal, if Auckland is going to move towards a super city, other regions are likely to consider doing the same to maintain relativity. It would be unnatural not to replicate the proposals around the country and we look forward to the government’s response.

“We see particular merit in applying the amalgamation model or some variation of it to Wellington.

“In this region we have a population of 474,000 and at local Government level we have nine councils. The situation is absurd, even worse than the situation in Auckland.

“The best way to realize efficiency gains and achieve better quality decision making in Wellington is amalgamation.

“We are not convinced of other recommendations in the report such as the subsidiary councils of undefined function.

“We are also totally opposed to the proposal for the provision of central government social services in Auckland to be given to the region. We think social policy should remain the preserve of central government,” Mr Finny concluded.

ENDS

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