Wellington Scoop

Regional council names committees and chairs – Roger Blakeley heading transport

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
The Regional Council today published details of its proposed committee structure for the triennium, ahead of its Council meeting on 20 November.

Stronger Iwi partnerships, better use of natural resources and more immediate action on climate change are the major changes among the full line of committees set to be discussed at Wednesday’s Council meeting.

Council chair Daran Ponter believes the proposed committee structure focuses on the issues important to the people of the region.

“Earlier this year the Council unanimously declared a climate emergency and committed to becoming carbon neutral in its activities by 2030. A Climate Committee would ensure immediate and ongoing action and bring Iwi, communities, businesses, government and local councils together to form joint solutions.

Greater Wellington looks to place more importance on its environmental restoration and protection roles and how the region’s natural resources are used.

“The Wellington Region Natural Resources Plan is in its final stages, we have mounting public concerns about water extraction and bottling and we need to do more on flood management and coastal erosion to protect our communities, and our Environment Committee will help council lead on the many important environmental issues across our region,” says Cr Ponter.

The Council is also looking to formalise its Ara Tahi advisory group as a full committee to enhance its Iwi partnership approach to addressing regional issues.

“As a council our public engagement has been excellent in areas such as our Whaitua water quality programme. We want to be able to replicate and improve the way we successfully engage with Mana Whenua and the wider community”.

Transport also remains a priority for the Council as it looks at the provision of services across the region and its connections to other regions.

“We need to further stabilise the bus network and improve the rail network across the region, and look at how we better connect to places like Palmerston North. Our priorities for regional transport projects will also need to shift to reflect our broader spatial planning and climate realities,” adds Cr Ponter.

The proposed committees are as follows:

Environment Committee (Committee of the whole)
Cr Gaylor (Chair)
Cr Connelly (Deputy Chair)

Transport Committee (Committee of the whole)
Cr Blakeley (Chair)
Cr Lee (Deputy Chair)

Chief Executive Employment Committee
Cr Hughes (Chair)
Cr Gaylor (Deputy Chair)

Climate Committee
Cr Nash (Chair)
Cr Lee (Deputy Chair)

Finance, Risk and Assurance Committee
Cr Kirk-Burnnand (Deputy Chair)

Te Upoko Taiao – Natural Resources Plan Committee
Cr Brash (Co-Chair)

Regional Transport Committee
Cr Staples (Chair)
Cr Ponter (Deputy Chair)

Wellington Regional Strategy Committee
Cr Lee
Cr Blakeley (Alternate)

Wairarapa Committee
Cr Staples (Chair)

Ara Tahi
The details of the formation of Te Ara Tahi Committee are to be negotiated with Iwi. This may include Mana Whenua appointments to other Council committees.

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  1. Michael Gibson, 16. November 2019, 7:50

    Pleasing that Wellington City has been given proper recognition in running the Transport Committee i.e. Cr Blakeley (Chair) and
    Cr Lee (Deputy Chair). Hopefully this means that the rating imbalance with places like Porirua will be corrected. What happened in the last triennium was disgraceful.

  2. Roger Blakeley, 16. November 2019, 8:38

    New councillors pick up key roles: Thomas Nash Climate Change, Glenda Hughes CE’s Employment, David Lee Deputy Transport, Chris Kirk-Burnnand Deputy FRAC, Ros Connolly Deputy Env, Josh Van Lier Alt Wgtn Water, and more. Congrats! [via twitter]

  3. D.W., 16. November 2019, 10:40

    Bring back the trolley buses! Who has got that ‘portfolio’?

  4. Wellington Commuter, 16. November 2019, 13:03

    @Michael Gibson. Re the rating imbalance where Wellington city households now pay much more than the rest of the region. I would not hold my breath on that one … not only did Roger Blakeley vote for the motion for the new rating rules that massively increase GWRC rates from Wellington city, he seconded the motion in June 2018 !!

  5. Roger Blakeley, 16. November 2019, 15:45

    Looking forward to working with all GWRC colleagues on Transport issues including LGWM, fixing buses, electrifying fleet, regional rail, fully integrated ticketing, Regional PT Plan. Climate committee part of regional council’s proposed new set-up. [via twitter]

  6. Michael Gibson, 16. November 2019, 16:18

    Roger, is it true what Wellington Commuter says? Our rate increase has been over five times that of Porirua’s increase?

  7. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 16. November 2019, 17:22

    It appears from the above that the GWRC’s Sustainable Transport Committee has been renamed the Transport Committee. I wonder what the reason for this is.

  8. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 16. November 2019, 17:34

    Great choice. Congratulations Roger Blakeley. However, David Lee has repeatedly said LRT will never happen. Hopefully he will prove himself wrong. [via twitter]

  9. Alan, 17. November 2019, 11:26

    Perhaps it has been renamed the Transport Committee because it sounds more sensible and to the point. What did “Sustainable” ever add to it other than just another layer of waffle?

  10. Tony Jansen, 17. November 2019, 14:44

    Congratulations Roger. Let’s hope the business cases give us the best result and we can get on with some form of mass transit before it’s too late. The city is woefully congested now and the economic cost must be rising every day. We also have a climate denying Opposition waiting. [via twitter]

  11. Farmer Bill, 17. November 2019, 16:09

    Who is the ‘climate denying Opposition’ Tony? There is no denying my liking of the climate at the moment. It’s the best spring in the Wairarapa for the last 20 years. My grass and trees are growing brilliantly.

  12. John Rankin, 17. November 2019, 17:30

    @TonyJansen: you are being unfair to the Opposition. They accept the science of global heating; they just oppose all proposals to do something about it. I think this fits the definition of “magical thinking”.

  13. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 18. November 2019, 11:13

    @Alan: I’m all for simplicity and the avoidance of obfuscation, but it’s also good to have committee names that clearly show the function of the committees.

    Traditionally, GWRC has had two transport committees:

    The Regional Transport Committee (RTC) is about strategic planning, budgeting and progress-monitoring across all transport activities in the region: roads, public transport, road safety, cycling etc. It has two reps from GWRC and one from each territorial local authority and NZTA.

    The Sustainable Transport Committee looks after the transport activities for which GWRC is entirely (or almost entirely) responsible: principally public transport but also some work on road safety and promotion of sustainable travel (cycling etc), as opposed to “wider” transport issues such as roads and parking, which are NZTA and territorial authority responsibilities. It has no non-GWRC representation.

    Hence in my view, the term Sustainable Transport Committee is appropriate, and perhaps the RTC should be further differentiated by being labelled the Regional Transport Strategy Committee (although I believe the term RTC is legislatively-established nomenclature).

    As WCC’s rep on the RTC 2016-19, I was often asked what my role in the bustastrophe was – the answer of course is that that issue was nothing to do with the RTC. An easy mistake for the public to confuse the RTC with the “regional council’s transport committee” and further evidence of the need to have two very distinctly separately-named committees.

  14. Matty H, 18. November 2019, 11:28

    Right on Farmer Bill. The constantly changing climate (that is not “man made”) has been turned into a fake crisis.

  15. TrevorH, 18. November 2019, 14:18

    @Matty H: I agree. We have people promoting a fake crisis and hysteria for other ends.

  16. Geoffrey Horne, 18. November 2019, 21:50

    Now the Regional Council has sorted out its committees, can we look forward to an in depth assessment of the place of suspended rail rapid transit to free up space along the golden mile and onward to the airport and Island Bay?

  17. Marion Leader, 19. November 2019, 7:27

    “Sustainable” is a ridiculous word if the Committee in question was responsible for the contractual arrangements which GW made with transport operators. Was it, or was it not, responsible for contracting with people who did not have enough drivers and which had so many noisy and smelly buses? If so, using the word “sustainable” is a crude way of avoiding mention of what the Committee was meant to be doing.