Date: 4 November 2015
Joint statement from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Fenton Wilson and Local Government Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner.
Hawke’s Bay local government leaders, including Regional Council Chair Fenton Wilson and Mayors Bill Dalton, Lawrence Yule, Peter Butler and Craig Little met on Monday with Local Government Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner.
Mr Wilson, who hosted and chaired the meeting at the Regional Council offices in Napier, said the meeting was an opportunity for Hawke’s Bay leaders to share their perspectives on local government arrangements in the region.
“It was important for us to offer our views to the Commission following the amalgamation process,’’ Mr Wilson said. “We also welcomed the chance to meet Sir Wira.’’
Sir Wira, who took up the leadership of the Commission in August, had indicated at the outset he was keen to talk with Hawke’s Bay leaders.
“So I was delighted to receive an invitation,’’ he said. “Monday’s meeting was a chance for me to hear in person from the Mayors and Chair on issues that concerned them and their communities, and on some of their aspirations.’’
While its role in the reorganisation process ended with the public poll rejecting amalgamation, Sir Wira said the Commission remained available, should the Hawke’s Bay councils wish, to assist on local government issues.
“Increasingly, the Commission sees itself as working alongside councils and local government leaders who would like guidance on a range of matters,’’ he said. “It may simply be as a conversation starter, or an ongoing relationship, but we are very happy to listen and help as required.’’
Mr Wilson said the Commission had accepted an invitation to return to Hawke’s Bay to a joint councils meeting, including all councillors, on 30 November. “Yesterday’s meeting was very constructive. I’m sure the next one will build on that,’’ he said.