Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill Submission 930

by | 26 Jun 2009 | Regional governance | 0 comments

As lodged today
Three Legged Race

Untroubled: Long after the Auckland governance angst is forgotten, these citizens will accept as unremarkable that the metropolis has a single overarching council, with many local councils. photographer Max Cumming Mahurangi Regatta 2006

General
Mahurangi Action embraces this historic opportunity to devise better governance arrangements for the Auckland region.

The organisation was formed in 1974, for the enjoyment and protection of the Mahurangi catchment; in 1977 it revived the Mahurangi Regatta.

In 10 articles over 18 months this organisation, through its online publication Mahurangi Magazine, has striven to engage the community in a constructive discussion of the region’s future.

Community councils
Our organisation was disappointed that the royal commission recommended retaining large local councils, at the expense of community councils.

Accordingly we are greatly encouraged by the government’s rejection of the six-local-council recommendation, which by the report’s own admission was an expedient designed to help facilitate implementation by 2010.

Of the submissions by the existing territorial authorities, that by Auckland City Council contained the most comprehensive discussion of community representation. Its ‘menu of options’ model holds considerable promise for adequately addressing the needs of disparate and geographically isolated communities.

Northern boundary
The Mahurangi is the first natural harbour north of Auckland.

Auckland yachtsmen and women make up a majority of those attending the Mahurangi Regatta—it forms an integral part of the Auckland Anniversary celebrations, as recorded in the first edition of the Rodney Times, in 1901.

Many Mahurangi residents commute to businesses and professions in Auckland City—functionally, the area is part of the Auckland region.

In the last five years, the Auckland Regional Council has spent $2.8 million to kick-start action to reduce the harbour’s elevated sediment accumulation rate—cockles were no longer breeding, in areas that have been studied continuously for 15 years.

The regional council recommends that this work be expanded and continued, at current funding levels, for an additional 10 years—commencing by collaboratively producing a Mahurangi plan.

If the northern boundary of Auckland Council is to change, we urge that any new boundary includes the Mahurangi—only by including the catchment will it be possible for the harbour be restored to the satisfaction of all its adherents, whether residing locally or nearer the Auckland isthmus.

Conclusion
Mahurangi Action:

  1. commends Auckland City Council’s ‘menu of options’ approach to local representation
  2. urges that the Mahurangi catchment be included in the Auckland Council territory.

Mahurangi Action wishes to appear before the select committee to speak to this submission.

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