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Wellington Local Government review aims to ‘halt the decline’
November 2012
Bryan Jackson of Waikanae gave crucial commercial advice to the Panel process.

By NZLG editor, Graham Hawkes

No punches were pulled when the Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel delivered its judgement on local government in the Wellington region this week.

Chair Sir Geoffrey Palmer said a new structure should help halt the decline of the region.
"The Wellington region seems to have lost its way in recent years. A decade ago, the region was recognised as being at the forefront of governance, vision and place…with forward-thinking planning and urban design approaches. Today, there is a feeling that the region is living on these past glories," he said.

The new structure was "no Super City" – and the panel also rejected the so-called "Brisbane option" – but was focused on addressing "the duplication, inefficiencies and lack of coordination in the Wellington region" current local governance arrangements".

"This is not an 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."
There are currently 107 elected mayors and councillors in the Wellington region. The Panel members, Bryan Jackson, Wira Gardner, Geoff Palmer, and Sue Driver's recommendation would result in 28 fewer mayors and councillors, and reducing the number of chief executives in the region from nine to one.
A Greater Wellington Council led by a Lord Mayor elected by the whole region, and 10 councillors, would represent constituencies based on the current territorial boundaries. The plan sees a local tier of decision-making in the form of six local area councils responsible for local engagement and advocacy, improving local amenity and design, managing local community facilities and parks, and delivering quality local services. Each local area would retain a mayoral figurehead, elected by their councillor peers.

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