4 Mar 2010

Northland council report called waste of money

1:24 pm on 4 March 2010

A report on local government reform in Northland has been criticised as a waste of ratepayers' money.

The $80,000 consultants' report, commissioned by Whangarei and Far North District Councils, recommends either a single unitary authority or two such authorities for the region.

The Northland Regional Council refused to take part or to contribute to the cost.

Its chairman, Mark Farnsworth, says the report has been driven by the political aspirations of territorial leaders, rather than the needs of the region.

He says the original draft report recommended a single unitary council, but the territorial leaders didn't like the conclusion and "massaged" the recommendation.

Mr Farnsworth says the report has no costings for the proposed reforms which makes its recommendations even more dubious.