Public submissions sought on proposal to change sturcture of Wairarapa councils

  • Wellington

The Local Government Commission is calling for public submissions on a proposal to change the structure of councils in the Wairarapa.

The proposed new structure is recommending the introduction of a new Wairarapa District Council which would replace the existing three district councils, South Wairarapa Distrcit Council, Carterton District Council and Masterton District Council.

It would also require a Rural Standing Committee and Māori Standing Committee for its first term to promote effective representation for rural communities and marae, hapū and iwi.

Local Government Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner says, “For almost two years, following the shelving of the Super City proposal, the Commission has worked with local government leaders and the public in the Wairarapa to develop a structure for the district that will best promote good local government, meet community interests and aspirations, and facilitate economic performance.”

The proposed new council would have a mayor, 12 councilors and 21 elected community board members and would serve an initial four year term.

If it acquired the mandate, the new Wairarapa District Council would be a territorial authority but would remain part of the Wellington region with the Greater Wellington Regional Council continuing its current role and responsibilities.

Gardiner says “in developing the detail of the proposal we built on work done by the three Wairarapa councils in their 2013 application to the Commission for a combined unitary council.

“We conducted our own survey and commissioned an independent one to seek further views. In each case a majority of respondents preferred some form of combined district council.”

The closing date for submissions on the proposal is 3 May 2017 and hearings are set to begin on the 23rd of May.