The 18 September 2015 publication of the final poll result (66% against , 34% in support, rounded) for the Hawke’s Bay amalgamation proposal confirmed the status quo would prevail and concluded the Commission’s formal process.
In its media release Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner acknowledged Hawke’s Bay people had made an important decision on its local government arrangements and commended the commitment and energy with which the community had participated in the debate. He noted that while the region had decided against formal amalgamation of its five councils “many of those opposed to the proposal agreed that much more can and must be done to work together to achieve permanent, positive and effective change’’.
Subsequent media reports indicated a renewed commitment by all four Hawke’s Bay Mayors and the Regional Council Chair to work together. Sir Wira expressed a willingness to visit Hawke’s Bay leaders to hear their views and discuss ways in which the Commission might be able to offer practical assistance as they investigate the delivery of more cost-effective services and infrastructure.
A number of joint meetings have subsequently been held with local government leaders. These have been welcomed and deemed constructive by all parties.
The Local Government Commission has issued a final proposal for reorganising Hawke’s Bay local government.
That proposal is to establish a single new council for Hawke’s Bay, called Hawke’s Bay Council, with five local boards sharing decision making and representing the interests of the region’s varied communities. If implemented, it will replace the Napier City, Wairoa District, Hastings District and Central Hawke’s Bay District, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils. This final proposal has been issued following an extensive process.