For the record, here is a copy of my submission to the Local Government Commission
“Firstly let me express my utter disappointment at the way this entire process has been managed. The release of the draft proposal from LGC was badly timed and there has been insufficient opportunity for robust public debate as a result. It’s clear that this suited the agendas of certain politicians who are hell bent on forcing a change that, it has become clear, the majority of people do not want. This is not good enough and we expect more of our elected officials and taxpayer funded civil service.
On that basis my submission is simply this:
1. That the entire process addressing changes to local body governance in the Wellington region be halted and subject to an independent review.
2. The existing proposal from LGC be scrapped and a new proposal be developed involving a far more democratic approach and with much deeper public engagement.
3. The existing Wellington Regional Council members be removed immediately and replaced with a temporary commissioner.
4. We already have a pan-regional council. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. What we need are functional board members who can work collaboratively with existing councils around the region.
This process is on the wrong path right now. I would urge the LGC to take heed of public opinion. Thank-you for your consideration of this matter. ”
Postscript: We won! 90% of public submissions were against the merger and LGC has canned the existing proposal. More background here.