Extracted from Chris Hipkins (Rimutaka Labour MP) blog it takes a strong stance on attitude to Super City legislation (no doubt partially fuelled from being in opposition) and the impact it could have on the Hutt Valley (are we next in line?) . It appears fairly obviously that the agenda around local government is moving, and fast.
I think it is important that we clearly think about the road ahead if this was to occur. Given strong feeling against police merger what does the Hutt Valley feel around this? I would appreciate your comments.
Chris Hipkins comments and blog
“Fundamentally I objected to the Super City legislation being pushed through parliament under Urgency because the people of Auckland haven’t had their chance to have a say on it. I think any reform as significant and extensive as the Auckland Super City proposal needs to be endorsed by a referendum,” Chris Hipkins said.
“While the government don’t seem to have immediate plans to replicate the Super City concept anywhere else, I am still concerned that many within National see the merger of the two Hutt Valley councils as inevitable.
“Before I support any reform of local government in the Hutt Valley I would need to be convinced that local people want it. From the feedback I’ve had so far, I sense there is a strong desire to keep our two local councils separate,” Chris Hipkins said.
Mr Hipkins said he had asked Local Government Minister Rodney Hide whether he had received any advice on the possible merger of the two Hutt councils and he confirmed that he had received some background information ahead of meetings he had recently with local mayors Wayne Guppy and David Ogden. Mr Hipkins has requested a copy of that information under the Official Information Act.
“While Rodney Hide claims a local government amalgamation in the Hutt Valley is not currently part of his plans, I’m still not convinced it won’t make it onto the government’s agenda in the near future.
“If they follow the same process they did with Auckland, our two councils could be merged, either with each other or as part of a wider Wellington council amalgamation and local people wouldn’t have a chance to have their say. That’s something I would actively oppose” Chris Hipkins said.
Mr Hipkins said the strong opposition to the proposed merger of the Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt police districts showed that Upper Hutt people in particular have a genuine desire to maintain a separate identity.
“Local government is about local communities. In my view central government shouldn’t go tampering with that unless they have a mandate from the people affected.