24 Jan 2015

Clock ticks for say on supercity

6:18 am on 24 January 2015

Residents in the Wellington region have less than six weeks to have their say on a controversial plan to merge their nine councils into one body.

Under the draft plan, released by the Local Government Commission on 4 December, there would be a governing body of 21 councillors from eight wards.

Residents in the Wellington region have less than six weeks to decide on a super city.

Residents in the Wellington region have less than six weeks to decide on a super city. Photo: 123RF

Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace said 75 percent of people across the region opposed the plan, and in his community it was 80 percent.

Mr Wallace said he hoped those people had their say and that the Commission comes back with a revised plan.

"But if it comes back with the proposal which has been put forward currently I believe it will be defeated in a poll.

"What Hutt City has always said is we're not against change - we want smart change. And this proposal certainly doesn't give us that."

Mr Wallace said the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by Hutt City on its own analysis was necessary, otherwise the Commission would have simply railroaded any opposition.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said while his council backed the supercity proposal, it wanted all sides to be heard.

"What we want to do is encourage local residents to have their say based on what the Local Government Commission has put forward.

"We want to be facilitators of that rather than putting our own spin on what's been happening."

He said the council would look at the proposal formally in the next few weeks and provide clear information to residents on its position as well as gauging the thoughts of residents.

Submissions close on 2 March.