11 Dec 2009

Super-city submissions timeline criticised

8:05 am on 11 December 2009

There is criticism that Aucklanders have been given too little time to consider the boundaries proposed for the new super-city council.

The Local Government Commission unveiled its vision for Auckland three weeks ago, with submitters required to give their feedback by Friday.

The commission is proposing 12 wards; eight having two councillors each and four with one councillor, making up the total of 20 representatives for the super-council.

Nineteen local community boards will sit within the greater wards, comprising between five and nine members each, making a total of 126 board members around the region.

Auckland City Councillor Leila Boyle says the length of the submission period is outrageous, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

Ms Boyle says she blames the Government for imposing a tight deadline on the commission.

She is also angry only written submissions are being accepted, saying verbal submissions carry more weight.

In the district of Rodney, residents also believe the amalgamation process has been unreasonably fast-tracked.

The Local Government Commission proposes that the new Rodney ward, which will elect one councillor to the super-council, be made up of all of the current Rodney District except the Hibiscus Coast and a small area on the west coast.

However, residents in Rodney's northern boundary do not want to be part of the Auckland super-city and have made a submission to amalgamate with Kaipara District Council.

Rodney's Northern Action Group spokesperson Bill Townson says current law will not allow the plan to go ahead, but a petition aimed at facilitating the change will be submitted to Parliament in February next year.

Submissions on Auckland's boundary changes close at 5pm on Friday.