29 Oct 2009

Regional council review welcomed

9:00 pm on 29 October 2009

The head of Canterbury Regional Council has welcomed the Government's decision to conduct an independent investigation into the organisation.

Chairman Alec Neill says he is confident the reviewers will find a positive change in its processes.

The Ministers of Local Government and Environment say the council's poor performance is holding Canterbury back.

They cite problems with the processing of resource consents, lack of a framework for managing the region's natural resources and the council's relationships with other councils.

The move followed a complaint from 10 Canterbury mayors and a performance rating which scored the council as the worst in New Zealand - 84th out of 84.

Mr Neill says their main concerns relate to incidents in previous years.

He says recent changes have already started to address the issues and the Government's review team will see a marked difference.

Mr Neill recently replaced former Speaker Sir Kerry Burke as the long-standing chairman of the council.

Canterbury Regional Council is one of the largest in the country. The Government says the review should be completed by February.