Press Release – Lisa Sims
Wairarapa’s three district councils yesterday voted to adopt a single Wairarapa Council as their preferred option for consultation on future local government in the region.
Each council agreed that change was needed and a single council responsible for all local government decisions and activities in the region was preferred.
The councils each strongly endorsed the recommendations made by the joint working party delegated a year ago to investigate and propose a way forward for Wairarapa.
The three councils agreed to continue to explore how a Wairarapa council would work with Wellington metropolitan councils on strategic issues of mutual importance such as public transport and economic development.
Formal public consultation on Wairarapa’s preferred option will begin in the near future followed by a decision by councils on any application to the Local Government Commission for reorganisation.
The preferred Wairarapa council structure would have an elected mayor and 12 councillors elected from seven wards that largely follow current boundaries. An expanded community board structure would allow effective local input into decision making.
Under an alternative option proposed by the Wellington Review Panel last month, Wairarapa would have one councillor on a super-city style Wellington council. It would have one of six sub-councils that would look after some local activities but not have the power to own assets, set rates or approve budgets. Under both options, the Greater Wellington Regional Council would no longer exist.
Details of the working party’s findings and recommendations can be found in its report at www.wairarapasfuture.govt.nz or at Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district council offices.