Plans to merge Wellington and Porirua into one city have been put on ice amid fears the public would not get a say in the matter.
Wellington city councillors voted on Wednesday to let the matter lie until new laws have been passed by Parliament later this year making it easier for councils to merge if they so wish.
That means any talk of a merger will not be back on the Wellington City Council table until after the October local body elections.
Porirua approached Wellington with the idea after plans to combine the Wellington region’s nine councils into a super-city were scrapped in June 2015 due to a lack of public support.
Investigating the impact on rates will be a major part of the work. But indicative figures presented to councillors earlier this month by chief executive Kevin Lavery suggested a merger would see Wellington’s rates rise by 3.2 per cent and Porirua’s drop 16.1 per cent.
The last sentence above should make clear the reason why the Porirua Council came up with the proposal! It should also give the likely outcome of a referendum, considering that Wellington is 3 times bigger!
Frankly, we think the costs to all ratepayers would be such to ensure rates for all would go up and services reduced. For further arguments against the ‘mega-council’ notion, see the posts on the subject from last year.