The Dom Post editorial:
When it comes time for the Local Government Commission to ponder the future shape of local government in the Wellington region it could do worse than consider the fate of the Wellington regional amenities fund.
The fund was established last year to promote artistic, cultural and environmental events and attractions in the wider Wellington region.
Five councils – Wellington, Hutt City, Upper Hutt, Kapiti and Masterton – agreed to contribute funds to it. Three – Porirua, South Wairarapa and Carterton – declined to contribute, despite their residents also benefiting from the amenities and events it was established to support.
This is our problem. The Regional Council has a very limited mandate. This means anything else that should be done regionally can only be done if all eight Councils agree to it. Madness.
I support two tiers as we have at the moment, but as part of the one organisation. That way we don’t have a huge amount wasted on Councils liaising with each other, suing each other.
Things which should be done regionally should be under the ambit of a Greater Wellington Council. Things which should be done regionally should be under the ambit of local councils.
Wellington is blessed with any number of natural advantages, but it can no longer afford to rest on its laurels.
The region is competing with Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Beijing and countless other cities, for investment, people and skills.
It needs to put its best foot forward and operate as a single region rather than a loose collection of feuding duchies.