11 Mar 2014

Mayors' meeting 'has created friction'

11:59 am on 11 March 2014

The head of Local Government New Zealand says a meeting of mayors over concerns about new super cities has created friction within the local-government sector.

The meeting has been criticised for being secretive, rebellious and exclusive.

Its organiser, Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace, says it's appropriate for mayors to get together and discuss their concerns. He says he organised it to be held in Taupo on Monday because he is worried the Local Government Commission has already made up its mind about future council amalgamations.

However, Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule, who says he only found out about the meeting indirectly, says concerns could have been put on the agenda at a major meeting in Wellington this week.

He says instead the earlier meeting has created friction, with some mayors not invited, and others thinking such meetings shouldn't be happening at all.

"If they had come to us and outlined their concerns we would certainly have organised the meeting. We would have organised the meeting with the Local Government Minister or the commission - that's what we do."

Mr Yule says there are processes in place for different areas to decide on their own super city plans.