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Gisborne initiatives “cutting edge”

Date: 20 May 2016

The Local Government Commission says there is a lot to learn from Gisborne’s unitary council.

Following a meeting yesterday with Gisborne’s Mayor, Meng Foon, and Chief Executive, Judy Campbell, Commissioner Leigh Auton said Gisborne’s initiatives were “cutting edge”.

“The Tairawhiti Roads initiative is a very good example of a shared service.   Established last year, Tairawhiti Roads operates as a single entity with responsibility for managing both highways and local roads throughout the Gisborne Region.    The roads are managed under the same contracts with more defined levels of service for maintenance operations.

“Gisborne District Council’s joint management agreement with Ngati Porou is the only one of its type in New Zealand.   It enables Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and the Council to jointly perform local authority functions and decision-making for all land and water within the Waiapu catchment area.

“The Council, which is the single decision-maker for the area, is also to be commended for investigating ways to simplify and streamline its Resource Management Act plans by creating a unitary plan (Uniplan).  The Uniplan will integrate various regional and district planning requirements into a single plan,” said Mr Auton.

The Commission’s Regional Conversations programme is a new approach to engaging with councils, focusing on collaboration and facilitation to come up with solutions to issues regions might face.

“As part of our role to promote good local government we hope to stimulate, enable and share conversations towards meeting common aspirations such as quality local decision-making leading to efficient services and cost-effective modern infrastructure.

“We also appreciate that each region may have particular needs and solutions.  Equally, it’s good for us to hear about any obstacles councils may be having so that we can offer assistance or ideas to help overcome them,” said Mr Auton.

Mr Auton said the Commission was very encouraged by the commitment displayed by Gisborne  to serve the ratepayers and residents of the region.

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