Media release from Hutt City Council
Hutt City Council has called on the Local Government Commission to stay connected with the will of ratepayers in the Wellington region and to push for cost efficient management.
Mayor Ray Wallace says his council unanimously supported a Local Government Reorganisation alternative application which proposes two new options that will provide a real alternative to a single council supercity.
The application calls for an enhanced status quo that maintains current boundaries but merges the region’s transport and water management under a jointly owned business; or four unitary authorities and regional transport and water management.
“Our council’s submission is the only viable option for fixing the real problems facing the region – it is a call for common sense and pragmatism.
“We propose tackling the big issues of transport and water management across the region which require the region to speak and act with one voice.
“Anything else is just expensive window dressing,” the Mayor says.
“The Local Government Commission will be embarking on a mission impossible if it tries to launch a total regional amalgamation which has been firmly rejected across the majority of residents and ratepayers.
“Our voice reflects the mood of our community who do not wish to see their hard earned money wasted on the creation of a single city.
“We undertook to listen to our ratepayers. They supported an enhanced status quo and merging of transport and water management with a further option of four unitary authorities if more change is proposed by the commission.
“An enhanced status quo is the most democratic and economically efficient model for our city and the region.
Mayor Wallace says his council directly opposes the application from the Greater Wellington Regional Council Council, which was formulated and submitted without being truly tested by the public.
“Under the enhanced status quo we would be taking the best and making it work for the region as a whole,” he says.
The TDB report which supports the Hutt City Council application recommended no boundary changes, but region-wide Council-controlled organisations for transport and water. It said the second-best boundary option was creating four unitary authorities. The report also suggests a supercity is not the best option for the Wellington region.