Wairarapa councils vote for single body
Lake Wairarapa (Photo: Pete Monk)
Wairarapa's three district councils have voted to unite under a single body, pushing aside an alternative proposal from Wellington for one councillor on a super-city style council.
The councils issued a joint press statement saying a single Wairarapa council was 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," it said.
They strongly endorsed the recommendations made by a joint working party delegated a year ago to investigate a way forward and agreed to explore how a Wairarapa council would work with Wellington metropolitan councils on strategic issues such as public transport and economic development.
Formal public consultation would begin soon followed by a decision on an 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 the alternative proposed by the Wellington Review Panel last month, Wairarapa would have one councillor on a super 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.