6 Apr 2009

Pacific Island leaders fear loss of representation in 'super-city'

5:59 pm on 6 April 2009

Pacific Island leaders in Auckland have urged Labour MPs to push the Government to maintain local representation if the super-city idea goes ahead.

The 80 leaders, mostly from Manukau City, fear that if the region's eight councils merge, people in South Auckland will lose representation.

Former city councillor Rosie Brown, says Labour put the royal commission together and now everyone wants to know what it will do. If Manukau City goes, she says, then Pacific Islanders will have an even smaller say in local politics.

Labour leader Phil Goff says that, while the proposal has some merit, his party will fight to ensure local people are represented.

Enough consultation already, say Key and Hide

On Monday, Cabinet ministers discussed a paper from Local Government Minister Rodney Hide on the one-mayor, one-council plan that was the key recommendation of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance.

The Government will announce its response to the proposal in Auckland on Tuesday.

Community groups and mayors have expressed concerns at parts of the proposal, and the speed at which it's being dealt with,

but neither Mr Hide nor Prime Minister John Key believes further consultation is necessary.

Mr Hide says the royal commission process has already provided the opportunity for consultation, stretching over 17 months and receiving more than 1700 submissions.

Mr Key says changes need to be in place for the 2010 local body elections.

The pair will also brief local mayors, the Auckland Regional Council, businesses and community groups on Tuesday.