Should Wellington councils amalgamate into a supercity?
The Local Government Commission’s report on Wellington’s supercity proposes a new council and mayor by November 2016.
The report was released at noon today, despite Wellington city councillor Helene Ritchie already spilling the news.
The commission has suggested the establishment of one Wellington council with eight local boards.
This would mean one mayor, 21 councillors, and 60 local board members.
It forecasts financial savings of just over $30 million a year through amalgamation.
The commission says in its report it expects the Wellington local boards will have greater power than Auckland local boards for non-regulatory functions such as development consents. It also says councillors will be appointed to boards unlike Auckland, to improve communication.
The report acknowledges the case for change is not as compelling as it was in Auckland due to population figures. The proposed Great Wellington Council will serve a population comparable to Auckland City Council before the 2010 amalgamation, it says.
“Wellington does not face the growth pressures of Auckland.
“Nor does it have the level of dysfunction between current councils that was evident in Auckland prior to amalgamation,” the report says.
The report notes that, in the 10 years to 2013, the Wellington region performed worse than the national economy on all indicators except employment growth and business unit growth.
“The Wellington economy is dominated by the government sector. To perform better it needs to diversify and significantly lift its national and international competitiveness.
“Leadership and the ability to deliver a single plan for the region will be critical to improved competitiveness and better economic outcomes.
The proposal is now open for submissions.
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