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Thread: Auckland supercity?

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    Default Auckland supercity?

    Following on the back of the 'horrible Auckland' thread....

    Auckland on brink of being a supercity
    By MICHAEL FIELD - The Dominion Post

    Supercity Auckland is coming as 'judgment day' looms, mayor John Banks says.

    A Royal Commission into Auckland Governance will deliver its four-volume report to the Government today.

    Mr Banks said he thought it would call for the creation of an Auckland supercity of 1.4 million people uniting its four cities, three district councils and a regional authority.

    Mr Banks, who said he did not know what was in the report, believed the same fate awaited Wellington.

    Some Aucklanders believed their city had been kept divided since the 19th century for fear its power and influence would exceed that of Wellington and Parliament.

    "What I do know is that there is no future for Wellington, for New Zealand, unless Auckland lifts its game."

    Auckland needed to be united for the sake of the country's wellbeing.

    "It is now time for judgment day, so we cannot look backwards and I am prepared to accept the deliberations of the royal commission on face value, taking the good with the bad."

    Parliament would be united around a supercity and the report would be a "call to action", unlike other royal commissions. Their reports often became MPs' doorstops, Mr Banks said.

    "It was a bit of fun when I was in Parliament's temporary offices. We used to have them there, it was a bit of a showoff."

    The commission was chaired by retired High Court judge Peter Salmon and included Dame Margaret Bazley and David Shand. Its report will be presented to Governor-General Anand Satyanand.

    The Government will get a copy of the report today but the public will have to wait till next week as it has not been printed.

    Prime Minister John Key has said that Local Government Minister Rodney Hide will lead the Government's response to the report.

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    jellypie is offline Junior Member
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    I think this is a good thing. The subdivision of what is clearly one city is just silly, just makes for more administrative units who can make their own rules where having one authority would be very sensible in my opinion - hopefully they can streamline the local authorities into one and save money.

    As for competition for Wellington - I think that's not worth worrying about. There's only one capital and many, many countries have much bigger cities than their capitals - Australia, USA, Canada, Brazil for example.

    Bring it on!

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    Super-city will be felt all over
    By ESTHER HARWARD - Sunday Star Times
    Last updated 09:25 29/03/2009

    The shape of the proposed Auckland super-city has been unveiled - but plans to shake up the councils and governance of the country's commercial capital is set to have a big impact on the rest of the country too.

    In the wake of the report by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, released on Friday, the whole country could pay for Auckland to have its own minister, Cabinet committee and auditor.

    The period of office for all New Zealand councils could be stretched to four years instead of three. And other regions - such as Wellington - may follow in Auckland's footsteps and have their rates, transport and water services similarly thrown into one basket.

    The long-awaited report, intended to do away with Auckland's jumbled, unco-ordinated local government structure, suggests a single, unitary Auckland Council ruling the region, with six local councils implementing its decisions. (Currently there are seven territorial councils plus a regional one, and they are often at odds with each other.)

    The report recommends Auckland get its own minister again - a job the previous government set up, then dropped - plus its own Cabinet committee.

    Auckland Regional Council's chairman Mike Lee says this is unnecessary. "I don't think you need an Auckland minister. All the ministers have responsibilities that relate to Auckland."

    Lee - who plans to run as leader of the new super-city, against Auckland City mayor John Banks - says instead, the Auckland "super mayor" role should be beefed up.

    The commissioners say a four- year term would allow more time for the council to deliver on election promises and make long-term decisions. And they say it wouldn't work for Auckland to have a local election every four years without the rest of the country following suit.

    Wellington's mayor Kerry Prendergast said yesterday talks were already under way about combining the Wellington region's councils. There was a "clear message" that whatever came out of the Auckland report would have implications for the rest of the country, she said.

    The proposed job of super- mayor is less powerful than many expected before the report's publication. Rather than advocating a London-style mayor with sweeping powers to unilaterally pass pet policies (such as Ken Livingstone's central London congestion charge), the commissioners suggest the mayor should need a majority from 23 councillors to get policy through.

    "Instead of having one voice coming out of Auckland, we could have a cacophony," Lee says.

    Of the 23, 10 "super councillors" would be elected across the region - which could lead to rivalry with the super mayor, Lee says.

    Auckland would also get an independent auditor, paid for by the government, to check all council services are reliable and affordable.

    Water and wastewater services would come under a single entity, controlled by the Auckland Council.

    Murray Gibb, chief executive of Water New Zealand, says the same reforms should be rolled out across the country - including making people pay for water consumption. Just 11 of 73 territorial councils currently charge per unit. Gibb says user-pays motivates people to use less. Auckland uses a per-capita 200 litres of water a day, Kapiti Coast 650 litres and Queenstown 700.

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    Supercity to exclude Maori representation
    By MICHAEL FIELD - Stuff.co.nz
    Last updated 14:10 07/04/2009

    Auckland will become a single super city by October next year.

    Prime Minister John Key announced today it will be led by a "regional mayor with governance powers".

    In a departure from the Royal Commission the government has refused to accept special seats on the council for Maori.

    Mr Key said the government rejected Maori seats saying Maori representation should be across the region and "not to have token representation" that can be voted down.

    He said the government wanted to look at a way in which the increasing Pacific Island population and Chinese and Indians could also be better represented.

    Local Government Minister Rodney Hide agreed the new super council would be formed very quickly.

    "We need to act decisively so as to remove the doubts and uncertainties without decisions," Mr Hide said,

    The new mayor will be elected in October next year for a three year term.

    The new city will be responsible for managing all of the $28 billion of existing community assets.

    It will replace one regional council, four city councils and three district councils.

    In a statement just released Prime Minister John Key unveiled a structure to increase local representation.

    "We have created a new strengthened entity called Local Boards which will advocate for their local communities," he said.

    There will be 20 to 30 of them.

    The key high level decisions are:

    - One unitary Auckland Council as the first tier of governance.

    - One mayor for Auckland with governance powers, elected at large by the region's residents and ratepayers.

    - Twenty councillors to sit on the Auckland Council (eight elected at large and 12 elected from wards).

    - Twenty to 30 local boards across the region as the second tier of governance.

    - The final number of local boards, and the boundaries of the Auckland Council, wards and local boards to be determined by the Local Government Commission.

    The new city will adopt a uniform rating system to meet city wide and local funding needs, meaning ratepayers will receive one rates bill.

    Mr Key said the plan was to allow Auckland civic leaders to "think regionally, plan strategically and act decisively in a way that has not happened for the past six decades".

    Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said the Government's decision would provide effective representation for all Aucklanders.

    "The new system for Auckland governance is much simpler, more co-ordinated and will provide for community representation at grassroots level," he said.

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