1 Apr 2012

Hamilton council to open debate on local govt reform

7:57 am on 1 April 2012

Hamilton City Council is pushing for the reform of local government in the region.

It wants to expand its boundary, have larger rural district councils around it and abolish the regional council.

City councillors have held informal talks and now the council wants to generate discussion in the wider community.

It wants the city to adopt a unitary model that covers both its functions and those of the regional council.

It says this would reduce duplication.

Mayor Julie Hardaker says the Government has sent a clear message to councils about delivering greater efficiencies.

She says it is now time for the people of Hamilton and the region to start discussing openly and intelligently what structure could work best for them.

Ms Hardaker says stronger local government in Waikato would put the region on a better footing with Auckland.