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West Coast Reorganisation

Overview & decisions


April 10, 2018

The Local Government Commission has published its draft proposal for a combined West Coast District Plan. The proposal would see the formation of a joint committee comprising members of the Buller, Grey and Westland district councils, the West Coast Regional Council and iwi, to be responsible for preparing and approving a new combined district plan.

Read more here

Draft Proposal document PDF (PDF, 3MB)

Draft Proposal document (Word) (DOCX, 336KB)

Media release

Public Notice


The Commission invited submissions in response to the draft proposal.  It received 38 written submissions. These can be read here:


The Commission held hearings in Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika on 30 and 31 May 2018. 

For further information see:

Media release: Commission: ‘no’ to amalgamation, ‘yes’ to combined district planning (6 December 2017)

Determination (PDF, 113KB)

West Coast decision paper (PDF, 990KB)

MartinJenkins financial and operational analysis report (PDF, 1.6MB)

Communities of Interest report (PDF, 2MB)

UMR public opinion survey (PDF, 911KB)


In June 2015 the Local Government Commission received an application asking it to look at local government arrangements on the West Coast, with a view to making changes. The application met the legal requirements for assessment.

The Commission ran a community engagement programme on the West Coast in June and early July 2016 to find out what the community thought. In August 2016 the Commission decided it was satisfied there was demonstrable community support across the West Coast and that it would progress the application.  

In December 2017 the Local Government Commission determined its preferred option for local government reorganisation on the West Coast to be the transfer of district plan preparation from the Buller, Grey and Westland district councils to the West Coast Regional Council. This would include a joint committee of the four councils to be responsible for developing and approving a new combined West Coast district plan.

As well as progressing the West Coast reorganisation application, the Local Government Commission has worked with the West Coast councils on two regional efficiency projects – Resource Management Act services and transport arrangements.

West Coast – Alternative reorganisation applications and other proposals for change

The Commission’s call for alternative  reorganisation applications or other proposals for change to West Coast local government arrangements closed on 15 March 2017. The Commission received 23 responses, 19 of which made specific proposals for change. These fall into two broad categories: Proposals for structural reorganisation, and proposals for some form of shared service. These can be read below.

Proposals for structural reorganisation:

1. Michael Sexton (PDF, 136KB)
2. Keith Morfett (PDF, 221KB)
3. Terry Archer (PDF, 238KB)
4. Paul Maunder (PDF, 202KB)
5. Mike Rogers (PDF, 207KB)
6. Charlotte May (PDF, 560KB)
7. Charles Bruning (PDF, 405KB)
8. A. Kremer (PDF, 421KB)
9. Deborah Hogan (PDF, 708KB)
10. John Currie (PDF, 249KB)
11. Allan Birchfield (PDF, 131KB)
12. James Russell (PDF, 1.1MB)
13. Allan Gibson (PDF, 72KB)
14. Les Mathieson & Colin Pattison (PDF, 985KB)

Proposals for some form of shared service:

15. Joanne Howard (PDF, 577KB)
16. Anthony Black (PDF, 100KB)
17. West Coast councils (PDF, 852KB)
18. Barbara Holland (PDF, 184KB)
19. Allen Morris (PDF, 1.5MB)

Or download the complete document below:

Invitation for alternative reorganisation applications and other proposals for change

The Commission now invites alternative applications to the original application, and other proposals for change.

The deadline for the Commission to receive these is Wednesday, 15 March 2017.

For more information about alternative applications and other proposals please refer to:

Regional Efficiency Reports

The Local Government Commission and the West Coast councils have worked together to get independent reports prepared on transport arrangements and Resource Management Act services in the West Coast region.

The next step is for the councils, together with the Commission, to decide whether further work should be done on these projects.

Summary of West Coast Feedback

Between the end of May and 8 July the Local Government Commission engaged with the West Coast community through community workshops, drop-in sessions, stakeholder meetings, newspaper advertisements and articles, radio advertising, shop-window posters, an on-line and hard-copy questionnaire and a pamphlet distributed throughout the region.

On August 12, 2016, it released its summary of community feedback along with an outline of next steps.

Media release: Commission releases community feedback, next steps (12 August 2016)

Talking to West Coast communities