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Commission to meet West Coast communities

Date: 30 May 2016

The Local Government Commission will be on the West Coast in June to talk to communities about local government in the region.

“Last year we received an application asking us to look at your local government arrangements, with a view to making changes,’’ says Local Government Commissioner Janie Annear.  “The application met the legal requirements for assessment, and the step we are now taking is to seek the views of the wider community.”

“We want to hear from you about what you like about the current way your councils are set up and the way services are delivered. We also want to know if you think your local government arrangements can be made more efficient, effective and user-friendly while still remaining accountable to local communities.’’

The Commission is to hold a series of community workshops and drop-in sessions throughout the West Coast, beginning in Karamea on 15 June and finishing in Greymouth on 30 June. The full schedule is attached below.

The Commission wants to talk to and hear from as many people on the Coast as possible.  It wants to hear from you on:

  • What the big challenges and opportunities are on the West Coast
  • What you like about the current way your councils are set up and the way services are delivered
  • Whether there is anything about the current way your councils are set up and the way services are delivered, that you would like to change
  • Whether there are any council services you think would be better delivered over a wider area as shared services by existing councils
  • Whether some councils should be combined.

 “We are coming to the West Coast to listen to your ideas,’’ says Mrs Annear. “We are completely open-minded and genuinely interested in what you have to say.’’

The Commission will be publicising the workshops and drop-in sessions with media advertisements and posters but if you are not able to get to a workshop or drop-in session you will also be able to read about and join in the discussion through pamphlets, articles, online information and an online questionnaire.

 

Community workshops and drop-in sessions

We will be on the West Coast hosting a series of seven community workshops and drop-in sessions in June:

Drop-in sessions (12.00pm – 3.30pm)

Community workshops (7pm start)

Wed 15  June    Karamea i-SITE

Wed   15  June   Karamea   Bowling Club

Thu 16  June    Reefton i-SITE

Thu   16  June  Reefton, St John Meeting Rooms            

Mon 20  June       Fox Glacier Emergency   Services   Centre

Mon   20  June  Franz Josef Medical Centre

 

Tue    21  June  Haast Hall

Tue   21  June  Haast Hall

Thu 23  June    Hokitika, Westland District Library

Thu 23  June    Hokitika,  St John Meeting Rooms  

 

Tue 28 June  Greymouth,    Grey District Library

 

Wed 29   June  Westport i-SITE

Wed 29 June Westport Bridge Club

Thu 30  June     Greymouth,  Grey District   Library

Thu 30 June  Greymouth, Kingsgate Hotel

 

What happens next?

The Commission will collate the feedback we get, then let you know what it says in August.

If the Commission is not satisfied there is enough community support for change at this time, it would either discontinue the application process or it could take further steps to identify possible community support.

If the Commission considers there is support for some change, it could proceed to formally call for different options and suggestions for how the West Coast councils could be structured or how services could be provided. Or it may decide to put forward some specific options identified as a result of the community engagement, for the community to provide further feedback on.

There is more information on the Local Government Commission website about the local government reorganisation process www.lgc.govt.nz

 

Media contact:

Michael Player | Local Government Commission | Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua

DDI +64 4 474 8164| MOB 027 224 8181 | Michael.Player@dia.govt.nz