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Commission to assess West Coast application

Date: 21 August 2015

The Local Government Commission has agreed to assess an application for a unitary authority for the West Coast region. The application has been lodged by Peter Salter and Anthea Keenan.

“The Commission will now gauge whether there is demonstrable community support for local government reorganisation in the areas affected by the application,’’ said Local Government Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner.  “If the Commission is not satisfied about community support, it may at this point decline the application.

“If it is satisfied there is support, it will call for alternative applications before deciding on a preferred local government option. If the preferred option is not the status quo, the Commission will then begin developing a draft reorganisation proposal before consulting further with the community and gauging public support for it,’’ Sir Wira said.

“If support for reorganisation is demonstrable, the Commission looks forward to working with local government and other West Coast stakeholders in considering the long-term challenges the community faces and the options for local government that can best meet those challenges.’’


The process for local government reorganisations under the Local Government Act 2002 is:

  • Individuals, organisations or the Minister of Local Government can apply to the Commission for reorganisation of local government
  • The Commission assesses whether there is evidence of community support for local government reorganisation, which in this case is the whole of the West Coast Region
  • If accepted, there is public notification of the application, including a call for alternative applications
  • The Commission identifies options for change, chooses a preferred option and, if this is not the status quo, develops a draft proposal
  • A draft proposal is subject to consultation including submissions and a series of hearings
  • If the Commission decides to proceed it issues a final proposal. Otherwise it can choose to end the process, or identify a new draft proposal for consultation
  • If requested by the community a poll on the final proposal is held
  • If no poll is requested or the poll shows support for the proposal the reorganisation scheme is implemented