Public meeting on local government reform

Kāpiti residents and ratepayers are being encouraged to have their say on potential local government reform in the Wellington region at a public meeting set up by the independent Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel on Thursday 30 August, at the Paraparaumu Public Library in Paraparaumu from 5.30pm-7.30pm.

The independent Panel, established by Greater Wellington Regional Council and Porirua City Council in late May, will contribute to potential local government reform in the Wellington region. Its members are Sir Geoffrey Palmer (Chair), Sir Wira Gardiner, Sue Driver and Bryan Jackson. The panel will report back to both Councils with a recommended option in late October 2012.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Chair of the independent Panel, says it is an opportunity for residents in Kāpiti to discuss the role of local government in Kāpiti in a public forum.

“This panel has no vested interest in any outcome other than one that advances the interests of the people who live here,” Sir Geoffrey said.

“We want as much public feedback as possible,” said Sir Geoffrey. “The Panel wants to discuss issues that span across the Wellington region. These are issues such as transport, flood protection, water quality and regional planning.”

“We released an issues paper in July outlining the key issues and needs of ratepayers and residents in the greater Wellington region, and this public meeting is one of the ways Kāpiti residents can respond to those issues and have their say.”

“As a region we have some big issues to consider. The pronounced economic decline in the Wellington region has continued with serious social and economic implications. Demographic changes mean councils will need to increase their focus on the needs and services of an ageing population. Councils are also under considerable pressure to deliver services to the community more efficiently while at the same time improving quality.”

“We need to find solutions that address the needs of local communities and how they interact regionally. There is no doubt there is a strong sense of community in this region, but we are also one of the most highly mobile and diverse populations in the country. Each day, over 53,000 people travel to other parts of the region for work, and a large number of residents have a second home in another territorial authority area.”

Residents are encouraged to make a submission to the Panel with their thoughts on the future of local governance in the Wellington region, and the ways to do so are outlined below and at