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Public meetings in Hawke’s Bay over shape of local government

Date: 2 September 2013

Residents and ratepayers are being invited to public meetings in Hawke’s Bay to share their views on the future shape of local government in the region.

The Local Government Commission is considering applications to change the structure of local authorities in Hawke’s Bay. The proposals affect the Wairoa, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay District Councils, the Napier City Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Donald Riezebos, said the Commissioners have already made several fact-finding visits to Hawke’s Bay to meet local groups.

“The Commission now wants to hear the perspectives of individual members of the public. Eight public meetings will be held over four days from Wairoa in the north to Waipukurau in the south, including meetings at Hastings and Napier,” Mr Riezebos said.

Commissioners Basil Morrison, Grant Kirby and Anne Carter will outline the process to date and be available for questions from the public. The proposals do not affect the local government elections on 12 October.

“Discussions at the public meetings will assist the Commission as it narrows its list of reasonably practicable options for local government in Hawke’s Bay before releasing a draft proposal later in the year,” Mr Riezebos said.

Background

In February 2013 ‘A Better Hawke’s Bay’ Trust applied to reorganise the five authorities into one body, a unitary authority. The Commission called for alternative applications and nineteen responses were received by the deadline of 3 May 2013.

The responses propose a variety of changes in governance structures as well as retention of status quo arrangements:

  • to alter the boundary between NapierCity and Hastings District with no change to other arrangements (as per Napier City Council response);
  • to amalgamateNapierCity and Hastings District and
    • leave other local government arrangements in place; or
    • constitute Hastings-Napier as a unitary authority; or
    • consider arrangements for Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay at a later date; (as per Wairoa District Council response)
  • to retain the regional council and amalgamate the four territorial authorities;
  • to constitute a new council based on “Tuhoe area of interest” (with or without change to other arrangements);
  • to constitute a regional council for the east coast of theNorth Island except Gisborne (as per Hawke’s Bay Regional Council response) and
    • leave current territorial authority arrangements in place; or
    • constitute three territorial authorities (Wairarapa, Southern Hawke’s Bay and Hawke’s Bay);
  • to constitute two unitary authorities for the east coast.

In addition, the Hastings District Council responded proposing arrangements similar to the original application and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council supported status quo arrangements.

Local authorities in Hawke’s Bay currently work under a two tier framework of one regional and four territorial authorities (Hawke’s Bay Regional Council; Wairoa District Council; Hastings District Council; Napier City Council; and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council), which have separate regulatory and planning responsibilities. A unitary authority is a combination of the two structures. The new Auckland Council is a unitary authority and there are five other unitaries: Gisborne; Nelson; Tasman; Marlborough and the Chatham Islands.

Guidelines and further background to the reorganisation process can be found at the Local Government Commission website: www.lgc.govt.nz

Schedule of public meetings

Monday 9 September 2013:Wairoa, War Memorial Hall 2.00-3.30pm and 7.00pm-8.30pm

Tuesday 10 September 2013:Hastings, Hawke’s Bay Opera House 11.00am-12.30pm and 7.00- 8.30pm

Wednesday 11 September 2013:Napier, War Memorial Conference Centre, 11.00am-12.30pm and 7.00-8.30pm

Thursday 12 September 2103: Waipawa, Municipal Theatre 11.00am-12.30pm; Waipukurau, St Mary’s Hall 7.00-8.30pm.

The Local Government Commission is an independent body which makes decisions on local authority electoral matters and applications to change boundaries, functions and areas of local authorities. The Commissioners are Basil Morrison, Grant Kirby and Anne Carter. They are appointed by the Minister of Local Government. The legislation governing reorganisation of local authorities, Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002, can be accessed here.