Greater Wellington welcomes progress on Wairarapa governance
GWRC Chair Chris Laidlaw has welcomed the Local Government Commission's decision to explore in detail the possibility of a single district council for the Wairarapa.
"The Commission has run a very extensive engagement with Wairarapa communities about the future of local government in their area", Mr Laidlaw said. "The clear frontrunner was a single council. This has many potential benefits of scope and efficiency, and would give the Wairarapa a stronger voice in this region.
Mr Laidlaw said the work ahead would include examining the kind of formal relationship a single district council might have with Greater Wellington, and that the regional council was very open to exploring new ways to work together. "After a year or two of talking past each other we are now very much on the same page. I'm very pleased with the progress we've made toward identifying what is best done at the local level and what is best done regionally.
"The region invests significantly in the Wairarapa, in flood protection, farm plans, biosecurity, improving water quality and environmental management", Mr Laidlaw said. "Greater Wellington is absolutely committed to programmes that directly benefit the Wairarapa, and we'll keep working towards getting the best outcomes for the communities there.
"We've been closely involved in the LGC's work on future governance, and it's been a constructive and positive process", he said. "We're seeing genuine convergence in thinking, and genuine trust, across the region".
"While final decisions are some way off, I'm confident that we'll keep finding ways to align our services and collaborate on projects within whatever governance arrangements exist", Mr Laidlaw said. "This whole process has been great for strengthening relationships across councils, and we look forward to that continuing."
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