10 Aug 2012

Wellington mayors differ on "super" city

9:55 am on 10 August 2012

Some mayors in the Wellington region are pushing for a referendum to decide whether there should be a super city.

A recent poll of more than 3000 residents across the region shows about 60% did not want any change to current council boundaries.

Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy says the results show there is no appetite for change.

But he says some residents want other options and a region-wide referendum will give a better indication of what the councils should do next.

"The results of the Colmar Brunton poll ... 60% of the region said: 'We don't want major structural change, but we expect councils to have things in place to make sure that they actually cooperate more'," Mr Guppy said.

Mr Guppy and some of the other mayors are proposing an option which would involve councils sharing services, but retaining their independence.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the Colmar Brunton poll was framed too narrowly around boundaries and his council is working with the Wellington Regional Council through a panel chaired by former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer to first look at the functions the region requires from its local government.

Some other mayors and councils are participating in patch protection by proposing alternatives which they knew would be unpalatable, he says.

"Instead of politicians setting the boundaries for this ... we actually need a community discussion because local government is about communities," he says.