A Lord Mayor for Wellington?

Katie Chapman at Stuff reports:

One Lord Mayor for the region is being heralded as the future of local governance for .

An independent panel headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer today revealed its proposal for how local councils should be structured.

Under the structure there would be:

* A Greater Wellington Council with 10 councillors headed by a Lord Mayor, who would be elected by the public.

* Six local area councils: Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Wairarapa.

* Each council would have a ‘‘mayoral figurehead’’, elected by the council, not the public.

* The current level of 107 elected mayors and councillors would reduce to 79.

* The Greater Wellington Council would be responsible for all finances, including setting a single rate for the region. It would also look after regional matters such as environmental issues and transport planning.

* The local area councils would be responsible for local service delivery, such as rubbish collection and park management, and local engagement and advocacy.

* Local area councils would have budgets negotiated with the Wellington Regional Council and would be responsible for funds allocated to them.

I think Sir Geoffrey’s proposed structure is a great improvement on the status quo.  The name Lord Mayor is silly, but having an elected Mayor for the whole Region would give Wellington a much more effective voice.

Councillors would sit for a four-year term, but would be restricted to a three-term maximum.

I am a huge fan of term limits, and think we should have them for Parliament also. A term limit means politicians focus more on what they can achieve in their limited tenure of service, rather than how to get re-elected for ever.

The proposal is here. However they have not put a suffix on it, so it comes up file type unknown. Open it as a pdf. It’s a weighty 208 pages long and the panel that unanimously recommends the structure is Sir Geoffrey, Sue Driver, Sir Wira Gardiner and Bryan Jackson.


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