What do we want? A single council with 29 councillors – and one mayor

Press Release – Wellington City Council
Wellington’s residents are interested in discussing change to local government, a new survey has found. Respondents to the survey, commissioned by Wellington City Council, had a clear preference for a single council on the western side of the Rimutaka range made up of 29 councillors and a mayor.

Wellington City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery has released the results of the Colmar Brunton survey which investigated proposals to restructure local government in the Wellington region.

“I want to ensure a complete picture is being made available through these discussions”, said Mr Lavery.

“Wellington’s residents are interested in discussing change to local government. It’s our role to ensure that the best information is available for them to see.”

The survey asked 503 people living in Wellington about their views on possible options for reform to the structures of local government in the region. The survey has a 95% confidence level and asked about whether residents want to see change and, if changes were made, what preferences they had.

Of those surveyed, 51% are interested in changes to the way that local government is structured in the region.

“This shows the debate is live and people are interested,” Mr Lavery said. “We’ve also asked about what is important to people in deciding whether change should happen in local government.”

Respondents to the survey had a clear preference for a single council model when considering key factors such as accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency and certainty over who was responsible.

“We think these results are encouraging and they certainly inform our ongoing work. Our next step will be to report to Councillors on 6 June,” Mr Lavery said.

“It’s important that people understand that Wellingtonians must decide on what they want for the region. Our role is to ensure that debate is open, honest and well-informed.”

Headline Survey Results:

52% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the structure of local government needs to change, 33% were neutral or did not know and 15% of residents disagree that change is needed.
43% of respondents prefer a single-tier structure, of whom 74% felt strongly or very strongly about their preference, 25% did not.
37% of respondents prefer a two-tier structure, of whom 55% felt strongly or very strongly about their preference, 45% did not.
18% of respondents prefer the status quo, of whom 72% felt strongly or very strongly about their preference, 28% did not feel strongly.
49% of respondents support the Wairarapa not being included in a future council in the region, 29% support the Wairarapa being included and 22% of respondents do not know.

A copy of the full survey results (4MB) can be emailed on request.

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1 comment:

  1. Curtis Nixon, 20. May 2013, 22:02

    Totally agree.
    I’m not sure if keeping the wards and an at-large mayoral vote is a good idea though. The problem is you can end up with a situation like WCC currently has with a bunch of job-for-life characters who, once they get the name recognition from being on council, stay forever(ish). Then if two blocs appear like at present, the mayor has no power to get things done. Is there a better way? With STV wards should be unnecessary. Just stick all the candidates on the list and get voters to rank them STV style. Councillors could vote for the mayor from among themselves once elected. [More on the theme of the benefits of abolishing wards has been contributed by David Underwood.]

     

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