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Independent Panel seeks public feedback on regional issues
Sir Geoffrey Palmer - heads panel to review governance options for the greater Wellington region.

The needs of ratepayers and residents in the Wellington region are the focus of an issues paper released today for public feedback by the independent Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel.

The Panel, established by Greater Wellington Regional Council and Porirua City Council in late May, will contribute to potential local government reform in the Wellington Region. Its members are Sir Geoffrey Palmer (chair), Sir Wira Gardiner, Sue Driver and Bryan Jackson. The panel will report back to both Councils with a recommended option in late October 2012.

Sir Geoffrey said doing nothing was not an option for the region.

"As a region, this paper shows that we have some big issues to consider.
These have been on the table since 2009, when they were first discussed by the Wellington Regional Mayoral Forum.

"The pronounced economic decline in the Wellington region has continued with serious social and economic implications. We also have future challenges with infrastructure and transport, and the low participation rates in local government are of concern if the people of the region are to sustain and improve quality of life."

"This paper does not have its prime focus on future governance structures.
The Panel does not consider this the most important issue. This review is about the needs of ratepayers and residents and how to meet those needs.

"That means looking at solutions that address the needs of local communities and how they interact regionally. There is no doubt there is a strong sense of community in this region, but we are also one of the most highly mobile and diverse populations in the country.

"Each day, 30,330 people travel to Wellington City from throughout the region for work and a large number of residents have a second home in another territorial authority area."

Feedback on the Issues Paper can be made either online or in hard copy.
The Panel is planning public meetings throughout the region and will also meet with stakeholder groups. The Issues Paper will be open for public feedback until Friday 7 September 2012.

"This panel has no vested interest in any outcome other than one that advances the interests of the people who live here," Sir Geoffrey said.

"We want as much public feedback as possible. The issues highlighted should be considered by everyone in the region."

A copy of the Issues Paper can be downloaded from the Wellington Region Review Panel website www.wellingtonreviewpanel.org.nz.

There are a number of channels for providing views and feedback:

Email your submission or feedback to info@wellingtonreviewpanel.org.nz or mail it to:

Wellington Region Local Government Review PO Box 11646 Manners Street Wellington 6142

Online at feedback.wellingtonreviewpanel.org.nz.

Public meetings are also being organised for a number of centres throughout the region. Details of these will be posted to the website in the coming weeks.

 
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