Wellington, Northland no, Hawke’s Bay yes

The Local Government Commission has said:

The Local Government Commission has made decisions on the next steps for three local government reorganisation proposals.

The Commission has decided not to proceed with its draft proposals for single councils in Northland and Wellington. Instead the Commission will return to those communities to work with them and seek to develop other options to address the challenges those regions face.  The Commission has issued a final proposal for reorganising Hawke’s Bay’s local government.

I think amalgamation and reform would have been good in all those regions. However it was apparent that opposition in Northland and Wellington was so intense (mainly whipped up by local body politicians worried they would lose their job) that any amalgamation was bound to fail in a referendum.

The out of control spending by the Auckland Council has also I think scared people off amalgamation.

The decision for Hawke’s Bay is:

That proposal is to establish a single new council for Hawke’s Bay, called Hawke’s Bay Council, with five local boards sharing decision making and representing the interests of the region’s varied communities.  If implemented, it will replace the Napier City, Wairoa District, Hastings District and Central Hawke’s Bay District, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils.  This final proposal has been issued following an extensive process.

This will proceed unless 10% of a current Council’s population call for a referendum. This is inevitable, so I expect a referendum between September and December this year.

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