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Royal Commission into Auckland Governance

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance
Terms of Reference and Membership Announced

See also… Royal_Commission_of_Inquiry_on_Auckland_Governance.pdf


Local Government Minister Mark Burton today announced the three Commissioners appointed to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance, and released the Terms of Reference.

"I am very pleased that Hon Peter Salmon QC has accepted the position of Chair of the Royal Commission, and that Dame Margaret Bazley and David Shand have agreed to be Commissioners. The three Commissioners have a range of expertise and experience, including with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, making them ideally suited to carry out the work of the Royal Commission," Mark Burton said.

Hon Peter Salmon is a retired High Court Judge with a wealth of experience in environmental and resource management law. Dame Margaret has extensive experience in the public service, and was the Commissioner on the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. Mr Shand has considerable international finance experience, and has worked with the OECD on public sector reform issues. He chaired the recently completed Local Government Rates Inquiry.

The Government announced at the end of July that a Royal Commission would be established to examine and report on what local and regional governance arrangements are required for the Auckland region over the foreseeable future.

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"Transforming New Zealand into an economically successful and sustainable national is a high priority for the Labour-led Government," Mark Burton said.

"The issues about Auckland's future governance are complex, and the Royal Commission will provide for careful and thorough investigation and consultation to identify the most appropriate long-term governance arrangements for Auckland, to secure its future as an internationally competitive city and region," he said.

The Royal Commission has wide powers to identify what local and regional governance arrangements will best provide for current and future local, and future regional, interests as well as national interests in respect of the region.

"The Royal Commission provides an opportunity for a broad and independent assessment of what local and regional governance arrangements are needed to ensure that Auckland is a successful, sustainable city in the Asia Pacific region." Mark Burton said.

"I would encourage those interested in Auckland's future to express their views to the Royal Commission when the opportunity arises," he said.

The Royal Commission is required to report back to Government by 1 December 2008.

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What is a Royal Commission of Inquiry and what is its statutory basis?

Royal Commissions of Inquiry are established to inquire into matters of major public importance that are of concern to the Government of the day. Royal Commissions are independent of Government, and operate under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908. This Act sets out the legal requirements under which all commissions of inquiry, including Royal Commissions, must act. In particular, Royal Commissions must act strictly within their terms of reference and ensure their processes are within the law.

Who sets the terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry?

The terms of reference for Royal Commissions of Inquiry are set by the Government and formalised by way of an instrument signed by the Governor-General.

When was the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance established?

The Royal Commission of Inquiry was constituted by an instrument signed by the Governor-General on 29 October 2007.

Why was the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance established?

The Government considered that it was appropriate to establish the Royal Commission, at this time, as it provides the opportunity for a broader and independent assessment of what is needed to achieve Auckland's potential to be a truly internationally competitive city to live, work and do business.

How does the work of the Royal Commission relate to other work being completed on Auckland governance?

While the Royal Commission is progressing its work, the Government will continue to support the new Auckland governance arrangements and the One Plan for Auckland.

It is expected that the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the collaborative development of the One Plan for Auckland will complement each other and maintain momentum towards achieving the goal of stronger governance for Auckland. Each will play a significant role in ensuring Auckland's future as a vibrant, internationally competitive place in which to live, work and do business.

What is the Royal Commission set up to do?

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance are set out in full in the 29 October 2007 instrument. In summary, the terms of reference direct the Commissioners to inquire into and report upon the local government arrangements (including institutions, mechanisms and processes) that are required in the Auckland region over the foreseeable future in order to maximise, in a cost effective manner: the current and future well-being of the region and its communities; and the Auckland region's contribution to wider national objectives and outcomes.

How can members of the public become involved in the work of the Commission?

The terms of reference require the Commissioners, in carrying out their inquiry, to consult with the public in a way that allows people to express clearly their views on issues related to local government arrangements for the Auckland region. In addition, Commissioners must adopt procedures that will encourage people to express their views and must consult and engage with Māori in a manner that specifically provides for their needs.

Who are the Commissioners?

Honourable Peter Salmon QC is the Chair of the Royal Commission. Dame Margaret Bazley and David Shand the Commissioners.

Honourable Peter Salmon QC is a retired High Court Judge with a wealth of experience in environmental and resource management law. Hon Peter Salmon is a founding member, as well as the first President, of the Resource Management Law Association and practises as an arbitrator and mediator and in other areas of dispute resolution. In 2004 Hon Peter Salmon was appointed to the United Nations Panel of Arbitrators.

Dame Margaret Bazley has extensive experience in the public service, including being a former Secretary of Transport, former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Policy and Director-General of Social Welfare. Dame Margaret was appointed Chairperson of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission in 1999 and has recently served as the Commissioner on the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. Dame Margaret is also on the Waitangi Tribunal.

David Shand has vast international finance experience, working for both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and he has worked with the OECD on public sector reform issues. Mr Shand has held a number of senior positions in state and federal government in Australia. Mr Shand chaired the recently completed Local Government Rates Inquiry.

When is the Royal Commission due to report?

The Royal Commission is required to submit its report by 1 December 2008.

ENDS

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