Lord Mayor tipped for Wellington region
Tue, 30 Oct 2012 10:57a.m.
By Lloyd Burr
A report into Wellington’s local government structure has recommended a total overhaul, including a new Lord Mayor and one powerful council governing six smaller councils.
The report slams current structures in the Wellington area, saying the region has “lost its way” and needs to be “reborn”.
Collated by the Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel, the report recommends the region’s nine councils be legally dismantled and replaced by the new structure.
This means the 107 current elected councillors would be reduced to 79 and the nine chief executives would be reduced to one.
Under the plan, the Greater Wellington Regional Council will become a new Greater Wellington Council led by an elected Lord Mayor.
The eight remaining councils would become six ‘local area councils’ tiered underneath the new main council with the task of managing local issues.
In Wairarapa, the three current district councils would be merged into one local area council.
The new local area councils would be renamed:
Panel chairman and former Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer says the changes are motivated by Wellington’s lack of direction in recent years.
“A decade ago, the Wellington region was recognised as being at the forefront of governance, vision and place. Today, there is a feeling that the region is living on these past glories,” he says.
Sir Geoffrey points to Westpac Stadium, Wellington’s Waterfront, Te Papa, Pataka, the Dowse, Expressions, the Sevens, World of WearableArt and the film industry as pinnacles of Wellington’s past forward-thinking planning.
He also says the new structure is not a Supercity like the Auckland model.
“What we have fashioned is a model for the region, based on geography and conditions and designed to address the deficiencies that currently exist here,” he says.
The report was based on five main areas:
The local area councils will have mayors but they will not be elected as they are now but chosen from a group of elected councillors. Councillors would not be able to stay for more than three four-year terms.
The proposal also suggests a single rates system with no increases for three years and no general increases other than budgeted projects.
The panel’s proposed structure:
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30/10/2012 4:12:42 p.m.
lol, lord mayor... at least they could rename it, they would not be a lord of the region and the word lord usually does not refer to any democratic process
30/10/2012 1:21:42 p.m.
No Wellington, don't fall for it. We in Auckland were told all the great things that a super City would achieve, but all we have is higher rates and a council that wastes money on a global scale. The woes of Wellington are caused by the current mayor - just kick her out and move on.
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