Amalgamation Not On The Agenda – Prime Minister Says

Report from Radio New Zealand:

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide wants a re-think of the roles and size of all local councils in New Zealand.

Mr Hide says a review of the constitutional status and functions of local government will look at how to get rid of red tape.

The minister told Morning Report on Tuesday that he wants to empower local councils, saying they should be recognised as an independent and autonomous tier of the Government.

Mr Hide believes the changes in Auckland will drive a change in how central government deals with local bodies.

However, Prime Minister John Key says the Government has no plans to push for local government amalgamation in areas other than Auckland, where reforms will result in eight councils being merged into one in November.

Mr Key says there were serious problems in Auckland that needed to be addressed. While there may a case for consolidation in other parts of the country, he says he would prefer it to be community led.

While it is clear that changes in Canterbury are likely in the functions of  the Regional Council on the one hand and the District/City councils on the other, such changes can occur without changes to the boundaries or number of local bodies.  There are a number of conceivable scenarios.

See also my previous post: https://davidayers.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/will-the-government-do-an-auckland-on-us/

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