Royal Commission recommends single council for Auckland

Friday, March 27, 2009

Auckland, New Zealand.

The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance has recommended that Auckland, New Zealand's existing local governments be abolished and replaced with a single body.

The eight existing local bodies — the Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City, Manukau City, Waitakere City, North Shore City, Papakura District, Rodney District and Franklin District — would be abolished. They would be replaced by a single Auckland Council responsible for air, water, waste, transport, planning and services, supplemented by six local councils responsible for service delivery. The eight existing mayors would be replaced by a single directly elected Mayor of Auckland, with additional powers to function in a more executive role.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide welcomed the release of the report, calling it "an important matter for Auckland", but he expressed concern about the democracy of the proposal. "I have some concerns about whether the report provides for adequate local representation in our many diverse communities, and I want to look more closely at this issue," he said.

The government will now consider the report. They are expected to respond within two weeks.

The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance was established in 2007 to produce a plan to reform Auckland's local government to improve economic growth and service delivery in the region. It received over 3,500 written submissions and heard from over 550 individual submitters.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city.