Published 25 May 2009
Rodney District Council resolved at its 21 May meeting to investigate the option of becoming a unitary authority and for the outcome of these investigations to form a basis for the council’s submission to the parliamentary select committee considering the Local Government (Auckland) Bill.
The council also voted to continue to co-operate fully & supportively with the Auckland Transition Agency, whose members were named on Friday.
A report prepared for the council identified 4 options for considering the future boundaries of the Auckland region as they related to Rodney District.
The first option considered was for Rodney to become part of the Auckland super city. The second option was for part of the district to form part of the super city and the northern part of the district to be part of the Northland region. The third option was for the whole of Rodney to become part of the Northland region.
The fourth option was for the council to investigate becoming a unitary council, which would involve the council carrying out the functions of both a territorial local authority & a regional council within Rodney District. That’s also what the Auckland super city will be.
Rodney mayor Penny Webster said: “The local community has been saying that Rodney is not Auckland, we are a rural community and our concerns are very different to Auckland.
“If we become part of a super city we are likely to have one ward councillor who will have very little influence over the decisions that are made about the future of Rodney. There is widespread concern amongst the community that their interests will not be well served through a super city.”
The report to the council identified that the transition costs of becoming a unitary authority would be cheaper than becoming part of a super city. It also noted that the Rodney District Council already performed some of the functions of a regional council.
Council staff will carry out further work to determine the likely cost implications of becoming a unitary council.
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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.