Note – this version is presented as an accessible alternative. The pdf version (2.1mb) is the authoritative version.

Proposal overview

We propose a single new Hawke’s Bay council for the region with a governing body and local boards sharing decision making and representing the interests of the region’s various communities.

Hawke’s Bay is lagging behind the rest of the country. Its population is stagnating and its economy is underperforming. A more efficient, effective and united council structure would greatly help in addressing these challenges

In this section, we set out the key features of the proposed reorganisation. The full proposal is headed Proposal in detail later in the document.

Hawke’s Bay Region is diverse but also strongly interdependent, with shared infrastructure, services and an integrated regional economy.

One new council will better support the region’s development and its future, including strong local boards that will support local communities to manage their local needs. In addition the council will be supported by specialist boards to ensure hapū/iwi/Māori, rural and environmental views are heard.

This proposal balances the benefit of working together and achieving efficiencies and greater capability with the benefits of maintaining strong local community representation and decision making. We are confident this proposal will help sustain and grow the region and the communities within it.

We invite you to read the detail in this document.

Key features

One council

The single council will be named Hawke’s Bay Council, replacing Napier City, Wairoa District, Hastings District, Central Hawke’s Bay District, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils. The council would be a unitary authority, responsible for both regional council and territorial authority functions.

The council’s decision-making responsibilities will be shared between a governing body and five local boards.

Council governing body

Broadly, the governing body will be responsible for big-picture, region-wide strategic decisions, including decisions on policies, networks, infrastructure and rates.


The council governing body will consist of a mayor elected by voters across the region and 18 councillors elected by voters in fi e wards, with the same boundaries as the local board areas.

Local boards

The region will be divided into five local board areas – Wairoa, Ngaruroro, Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay.

The five local boards will provide a strong community voice in local affairs.  Broadly, the local boards will be responsible and democratically accountable for identifying and responding to local interests and preferences in agreement with the governing body.

In practice, local boards will be responsible for governing local amenities such as parks, libraries, swimming pools and town centres.

They will make decisions on local business initiatives, events and activities within budgets agreed with the governing body. They may also have delegated responsibility for local regulatory matters such as parking and road signage.

See the section Shared decision making in practice on page 15 for more information on how responsibilities are expected to be shared between the governing body and the local boards.


Each local board will consist of six to nine members elected by voters in subdivisions of the local board area, to ensure all communities are well represented. Each local board will also have two councillors as members, appointed by the governing body. Maps of the local board areas and subdivisions can be found on pages 45-48.

Local Access

In addition to headquarters in Napier, there will be permanent council area offices in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Waipawa, and a service centre in Waipukurau for at least five years.

Hawke’s Bay Region wards and local board areas

map showing where proposed regional wards and local board’s facilities will be located.


The people in each area will be represented by a local board, and their local councillors. Overall there will be 18 councillors and 37 local board members, representing different areas as set out below:



Local board members

Total representation

















Central Hawke’s Bay




Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee

The existing regional planning committee is expected to be given legal status as part of the region’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee will be a statutory body sharing regional resource management governance and decision-making responsibilities with the council.


The committee will reflect the joint council-hapū/iwi membership of the existing committee. It will be made up of 10 representatives of local hapū/iwi and 10 councillors. It will have two co-chairs, one nominated by the council and one by tāngata whenua.

Māori Board

A new Māori Board will advise the council on Māori and Treaty of Waitangi related issues. It will provide advice to the Hawke’s Bay Council and input into the council’s plans, policies and practices.


The Māori Board will be made up of the mayor, three councillors and Māori representatives appointed after consultation with hapū/iwi in the region.

Natural Resources Board

A Natural Resources Board will advise the council and the regional planning committee on environmental management, land use and primary production, and how they link to the region’s economy. It will provide advice and input into the council’s plans, policies and practices.


The Natural Resources Board will be made up of three councillors and representatives of rural, primary production and environmental organisations and interests, appointed after consultation with interested parties across Hawke’s Bay.

Taupo and Rangitikei Districts

In order to provide a consistent approach and keep these existing districts intact, the areas of Taupo and Rangitikei Districts now in Hawke’s Bay Region will not be included in the proposed new Hawke’s Bay District. However responsibility for river catchment management functions in these areas will be transferred to the new council.

Reflecting Hawke’s Bay community views

We have listened to a wide range of community views over the last two years. There have also been changes in the environment we are operating in, including changes to legislation and Treaty settlements in the region.

We have given a great deal of consideration to all the ideas and information presented to us and this has led to changes from our draft proposal in 2013 including:

  • Strong local boards: Each of the five areas will have a local board to ensure communities have a say in their local affairs. Local boards have greater powers than the Community boards suggested in the draft proposal. Local boards will be accountable to their local communities and responsible for a wide range of local issues.
  • More councillors: The number of proposed councillors has doubled from nine to 18 to broaden the council and increase the representation of each local ward.
  • Local services: Council area offices in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Waipawa, and a service centre in Waipukurau, will make access to council services easier. Most of the local boards will meet in their local area office, except for the Ngaruroro board, which is likely to meet in either Hastings or Napier.

What happens next?

It’s now up to the people of Hawke’s Bay to decide whether or not this proposal goes ahead.

Diagram outlining next steps for the people of Hawke’s Bay


Securing a prosperous future

More efficient, effective and appropriate local government will support the people of Hawke’s Bay to build on the region’s assets and advantages.

In this section, we discuss why we conclude that existing local government arrangements must change and why we consider one council with a governing body and five local boards to be the best option.

Why change?

Hawke’s Bay Region has a great deal going for it. It is blessed with a climate and natural resources that underpin its rural production sector and related industries and services.

Hawke’s Bay is also a destination of choice for fellow Kiwis and international visitors, creating economic activity and jobs in the tourism sector.

However Hawke’s Bay is lagging behind other parts of the country. Between 2007-2013, the region had the second lowest rate of economic growth in the country[1]. The employment rate is lower and unemployment has been increasing faster than in many other parts of New Zealand.

The population is also forecast to decline in many parts of the region, and is aging. These population changes will increasingly put pressure on the ability of councils to afford local services and key infrastructure.

By making local government more efficient and effective and able to meet both current and anticipated future needs, the people of Hawke’s Bay will be better placed to build on the region’s assets and advantages.

A single council for Hawke’s Bay will have the scale, capability and coherence to attract and retain skilled people and capital investment, and to promote the region.

A single Hawke’s Bay council is the best option for the region’s future because:

  • Hawke’s Bay is lagging behind the rest of the country
  • The region’s population is falling in rural areas. Even in Napier and Hastings it is only growing slowly, which will pose financial challenges in the future
  • Historic local government boundaries don’t reflect today’s reality of interconnected communities  with a regional economy dependent on regional infrastructure
  • A single council will save money which can be invested in the region
  • The region will benefit from coordinated planning and decision making on region-wide issues – and local communities will benefit from decision making and services locally
  • A single council with five strong boards will deliver more efficient and effective local government
  • A single council will have the scale to achieve more for the region, more quickly

Hawke’s Bay Region population changes, 2011 to 2031

map showing the expected population changes in the Hawke’s Bay Region from 2011 to 2031.


Changing Population

The population in the rural areas of Hawke’s Bay is falling, and is forecast to continue to fall.

Even in the urban areas of Napier and Hastings, forecasts are for only limited population growth.

There will be fewer people in the working-age population and an increase in the older-age groups. Even Napier’s population is forecast to almost ‘flat-line’ and age.

This means current councils would be relying on fewer and older ratepayers to maintain services and assets, let alone fund improvements. The councils in rural areas in particular will struggle to remain viable.

Napier and Hastings have always benefited from primary sector activity in the region’s more remote and sparsely populated areas. This will probably continue to be the case, and a single Hawke’s Bay council would be better placed to provide ongoing support for the interconnected urban and rural areas, to achieve wellbeing for the whole region.

Sticking with the status quo would see the declining viability of local government and the services it provides in the rural areas, leading to a negative impact on the future prosperity of Hastings and Napier.

Common Interests, common infrastructure

Existing local government boundaries in Hawke’s Bay reflect historical limits on transport and business activity. Today the Hawke’s Bay community is much more closely connected and inter-dependent than it ever has been in the past, both economically and socially.

While the communities defined by local government boundaries have their own local identities and issues, they also have much in common.

Across the region, communities face the same need to balance environmental protection and economic development. All Hawke’s Bay communities want the best opportunities for their children and grandchildren. All want good quality infrastructure and services, designed to meet local needs.

Regional roading and transport networks play a major role in the Hawke’s Bay economy. This reflects the significance of primary production and the need to transport products as efficiently as possible either to the port, airport or the state highways leading out of the region.

The major natural challenges facing the region, such as earthquakes and rising sea levels, reach beyond existing local government boundaries and need region-wide planning, capacity and expertise.

A single Hawke’s Bay council will make it possible to move with speed and agility to address the issues and opportunities the region faces.

The current structure is simply too slow, disjointed and expensive to get the pace, scale and consistency of actions and results that Hawke’s Bay residents and ratepayers deserve.

Savings create scope for investment

Reorganising local government into a single council with five local boards will lead to significant net savings and other efficiencies[2].

The Commission has estimated savings of around $10 million a year from year fi e of the new council’s operations. These are forecast to come from the efficiencies of a single set of systems, policies, governance, staffing and plans for the region.

Overall, the proposal is expected to save a net $260 million over the next 30 years. This will cover the costs of local government reorganisation and provide for new investments.

The reorganisation costs include moving to single technology and business systems, transition body costs, and staff changes. The estimated transition cost of $19 million would be offset by savings from year five of the new council’s operation.

It will be up to the new council how best to re-invest these savings on behalf of the people of Hawke’s Bay. For example the savings give it scope to speed up investment in infrastructure, minimise rate increases, and/or invest in new recreational facilities. A single Hawke’s Bay council will be able to do more, and more quickly, to improve the economic, social, environmental and financial well-being of Hawke’s Bay.

Major sources of savings

Diagram showing percentage of total savings: 37% Corporate personnel, 30% Other corporate activities, 14% Operational expenditure, 9% Capital expenditure, 6% Governance, 4% Audit costs 

Shared decision making in practice

At the heart of this proposal is shared decision making between the governing body – the mayor and councillors – and the local boards.

In this section we outline our expectations for how shared decision making between the governing body and local boards will work in practice.

Broadly, the proposal sees the governing body (the mayor and councillors) responsible for the big picture – region- wide, strategic issues. Local boards will have responsibility for particular decisions, oversight and representation at the local level.

Local boards are a new approach to community representation, first established in Auckland. We have closely observed their operation and propose some important differences for Hawke’s Bay.

In Hawke’s Bay, we propose cross-membership; that is, two councillors will be members of each local board. This will provide greater connectivity and communication between local boards and the governing body, and help better co- ordinate their decision-making responsibilities.

We are also using existing local government boundaries for the local board areas. This means that they will represent well-defined communities with an established identity.

The Hawke’s Bay local boards will elect their own chair. They will be responsible and democratically accountable to their local communities for a wide range of local services and functions.

The local boards will develop a three-year plan in consultation with their community. Each year, the governing body and the local board must reach an agreement on the year ahead. This agreement will set out how the council will reflect the priorities and preferences in each local board’s plan in respect of local activities, allocations and delegations to the local board, and any local board proposals on bylaws.

If a local board and the council governing body cannot agree on future allocations of responsibility or proposed bylaws, then they can ask the Local Government Commission to step in and make a determination.

The council will have to provide predictability and certainty of funding for local boards, set out in a local board funding policy.

Here we give some examples of how responsibilities may be shared. The final allocation of responsibilities and delegations to local boards will be decided in consultation with the Transition Board, which is made of local representatives.

There’s more information in The proposal in detail section.


The local board will hear community views on whether a facility such as a new swimming pool is wanted, and assess whether there is adequate demand in the local area. If it supports the idea for a new pool it will take the proposal to the council governing body, either as a one- off proposal or as part of its local board plan.

The council governing body will take a region-wide view – how well served is the community for swimming pools; can the region afford it; where does it fit in the region-wide list of priorities; and who should pay?

If the governing body agrees the new facility should go ahead, the local board will be responsible for decisions on the detailed design, location and oversight of the development within a budget set by the council governing body.


A major event, such as the Art Deco Weekend in Napier, will be considered as part of a regional events and promotion strategy, agreed by the governing body. An overall budget will be allocated to each event.

The local board will be actively involved in working with the Art Deco Trust to make the event successful.


If a proposed development is notified in your area under the Resource Management Act, you will be able to make a submission as you can now. You will also be able to express your views to your local board which we propose will be able to have input into notified resource consent decisions.

The governing body will be the decision-maker on the application.

Council governing body responsibilities

Some examples of council governing body responsibilities are:

Budget – long-term and annual plans, setting rates, financial management.

Regulation – district plan, regional coastal plan, resource consent applications, building consents, bylaws.

Transport – planning, funding and asset management for transport networks.

Water – planning, funding and asset management for infrastructure networks for water, wastewater and stormwater.

Council–controlled organisations – governance in relation to Hawke’s Bay Airport, Port of Napier, Hawke’s Bay Opera House, Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Quality Roading and Services (Wairoa) Ltd, and other council- controlled organisations.

Facilities – overall budget allocation, designation and governance of regional facilities.

Libraries – number and distribution of libraries, prioritising upgrades.

Local board responsibilities

Some examples of local board responsibilities are:

Budget - overseeing spending on specific local facilities and events within plans and budgets agreed with the governing body.

Regulation - specific delegations such as local parking and signage; input into resource consent decisions; proposed bylaws.

Transport – identify local priorities such as bridges and seal extensions; levels of service for local infrastructure such as walking and cycling paths and tracks in line with agreed council policies and budgets.

Local activity – business initiatives, events and activities.

Facilities – governance of local facilities, decisions on detail of new facilities in line with agreed council policies and budgets.

Libraries – governance of local libraries in line with agreed council policies and budgets.

What it means for you

We’re proposing a single new Hawke’s Bay council for the region with five strong local boards. We are confident this will support a better future for the region, its people, its communities and its economy.

In this section we set out what ratepayers and residents in Hawke’s Bay may see and experience, as a result of moving to a single Hawke’s Bay council with five local boards.

Your rates

The Commission cannot say at this point what the effect of a new rating system will be on your individual rates, because that will be in the hands of your elected representatives on the Hawke’s Bay Council.

The new council will be required to move to a single region- wide rating system by 2021, and it will have choices to make about the use of different types of rates and charges including:

  • Targeted rates (for example for particular areas that benefit from certain services)
  • General rates (how much everyone pays, in proportion to the value of their property)
  • Uniform annual general charges (where everyone pays the same fixed amount irrespective of the value of their property)
  • Any differential between residential and commercial rates
  • User charges (for example paying for services such as using a swimming pool or applying for a building consent).

The new council can also choose how quickly ratepayers need to adjust to the new rating system. It will be required to prepare and use a rates transition management policy to moderate the impact of the integrated rating system on individual ratepayers. Experience from other reorganisations suggests that some ratepayers will experience an initial upward adjustment to their rates, while others will have an initial downward adjustment.

What happens to existing debt and assets

From 1 November 2016, when the new Hawke’s Bay Council would come into effect, until 1 July 2021, when the council would introduce a new integrated rating system for all ratepayers across Hawke’s Bay, the loans or debt of the Hastings, Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay and Napier councils will be paid or serviced by targeted rates to be paid by the ratepayers of those districts (or part of the district) that benefited from the loan.

That means that the ratepayers of Napier, for example, will be responsible only for their own loans until July 2021, after which the new Hawke’s Bay Council will decide how to finance the remaining outstanding debt across the region.

During the same period (until 1 July 2021) the financial assets of the Hastings, Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay and Napier councils, and/or income derived from them, must be used only for renewing and replacing infrastructure in those areas.

This means that the financial assets of Wairoa, for example, will be set aside to contribute to the renewing and replacing of infrastructure in Wairoa for this period but does not mean the financial assets and associated income have to be exhausted in this period.

These ‘ring-fencing’ arrangements, and their time-limited nature, are designed to give the new Hawke’s Bay Council the flexibility to reap the full benefits of a larger council and ratepayer base, while acknowledging that some existing councils have higher levels of debt than others, and some have infrastructure in newer or better condition than others.

Your infrastructure

Under a single Hawke’s Bay council, infrastructure such as water, sewerage and roads will be managed on a regional basis.  From July 2021, when the ring fencing of debt and assets ends, infrastructure costs will be paid from a region- wide budget. This means the region will be better placed to manage any essential replacements or upgrades regardless of where they are needed.

Your area office

Permanent council area offices in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Waipawa will be your door to many council services including:

  • Applying for building consents, planning consents, dog licenses, liquor licenses
  • Paying rates
  • Making complaints
  • Booking council facilities and getting permits for activities
  • Information about council activities and services.

Your voice

You will elect local representatives by the first-past-the-post electoral system and they will be accountable to you. If you are a resident or non-resident ratepayer, you will vote for the mayor, local councillors for your area (ward) and local board members.

You will be able to attend local board and governing body meetings, and the new council will continue to consult you and provide you with information in the same way your council does now.

Your local amenities and services

Your parks, recreational facilities, libraries, and arts and cultural facilities will continue to be available.

Every three years your local board will develop a plan for your community, and you will be able to have a say on the future of these facilities and other local services through that plan. You will also have a say on the governing body’s plans, especially where they affect your local amenities and services.

Council services such as rubbish collection and recycling will continue to be provided. Your local board will be involved in deciding and monitoring the standard of service provided in your area.

Your plans

Whether you are planning a subdivision, a home renovation or building project, or a major commercial investment there will be one consistent set of plans, policies and rules across Hawke’s Bay that will reflect the differences between areas, for example rural and urban variations. The council will be able to share the expertise of staff across the region, so all areas will have access to the same quality of advice and regulation.

Residents per representative

Graphs showing the current (2014) and proposed ratio of representatives to poulation for each area (excluding mayors and Hastings Rural COmmunity Board members) 


Better Local government

The only reason for reorganising local government in Hawke’s Bay is to make it work better for the people in the region.

In this section we set out how our proposal will promote the purpose of local government and facilitate economic performance, as required by the Local Government Act[3].

The purpose of local government is:

  • To enable democratic local decision making and action by, and on behalf of, communities
  • To meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost effective for households and businesses. Good quality means being efficient, effective and appropriate to current and anticipated future needs[4].

A single Hawke’s Bay council with a governing body and five strong local boards sharing decision making will enable local government in the region to promote and achieve its purpose.

Democratic local decision making

Hawke’s Bay is in many ways one community of interest. The region is defined by physical and geographical factors, demographic and social characteristics, and has a distinct regional economy.

A single Hawke’s Bay council, including a directly elected mayor, will represent the region as a whole and promote Hawke’s Bay interests with central government and a wide range of national and regional interests.

The council governing body – the mayor and councillors – will make decisions on matters that affect everyone in the region.

At the same time, five local boards will be able to advocate for and make decisions in the interests of local communities.

There are strong local communities of interest that are broadly defined by the existing local government boundaries – Wairoa, Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay, and the distinct urban and rural areas of the existing Hastings District. Each of these five areas will elect a local board to represent and make certain decisions for their local communities.

The membership of the governing body and local boards crosses over; that is, each local board will have two councillors as members.

Decision making will be shared between the governing body and the five local boards, within the parameters of the Local Government Act. The Hawke’s Bay local boards will have maximum possible responsibility and democratic accountability for decision making and action for, and on behalf of, their local communities.

See the previous section Shared decision making in practice for more information on how responsibilities are expected to be shared between the council governing body and the local boards.

Good quality infrastructure, public services and regulatory activity

A single Hawke’s Bay council with a governing body and five strong local boards will deliver more efficient and effective local government.

Infrastructure investment and management

Efficiency will be achieved through economies of scale, scope and management.

Take roading, for example. Currently each local council has to attract and retain their own roading expertise. Roads of course form part of wider networks, yet they are largely managed along local council boundaries that don’t always match freight and commuter realities.

A single council will be better able to deliver roading to expected standards right across the region, because it will be better able to afford appropriate investment in up-to-date resources and equipment, and employ highly skilled staff. It will also have greater capacity to negotiate roading contracts from a position of relative strength compared to the existing four territorial authorities.

At the same time, investment can be matched to local needs and expectations. Small local water supplies, for example, can still be provided as standalone schemes, provided they meet minimum national standards.

A single council will be in a position to meet both region-wide and local standards and expectations.

Public services

Good quality services and functions means they are appropriate to present and anticipated future needs. Declining and ageing populations will make it ever more challenging for councils to fund services into the future because of rising standards and public expectations. A single council will help meet this challenge through economies of scale, enhanced organisational capacity and spreading costs over a wider area.

Regulatory functions

A single council for Hawke’s Bay will be able to provide a consistent set of regulations for the region and consistent administration.

One council will be better able to attract and retain the qualified and skilled staff who are the key to efficient and effective regulation and enforcement of regional and national standards.

New Zealand faces skill shortages in a number of professions and trades and, as a result, there will be increasing competition for workers in these areas. One well-resourced council will be in a better position to compete for such staff than five smaller organisations. This is particularly the case for the Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay councils with their more limited resources.

Facilitating economic performance

A single council will have more scale to maximize the opportunities to build on the assets and advantages Hawke’s Bay has in terms of its natural resource base, primary production and service industries such as tourism.

Currently there are a wide variety of individual policies, activities and initiatives across the fi e existing Hawke’s Bay councils.

The Hawke’s Bay Economic Performance Update report prepared for the Local Government Commission identified the need for an overall agreed long-term regional economic plan, with buy- in from all sectors[5].

One set of region-wide policies, activities and initiatives would better reflect the interdependency of key elements of the regional economy. This includes critical infrastructure such as transport (roads, port and airport), provision of water and removal of wastewater. There needs to be integrated regional planning, prioritising and funding of infrastructure renewals and upgrading so as to ensure the best value is achieved, and investment goes into the areas that need it most to support the regional economy and community.

Increasing certainty and confidence

Local government also has a significant impact on the regional economy through its regulatory responsibilities, whether through making land available for particular activities, or through controls on the impacts of those activities. One consistent set of plans, policies and rules for Hawke’s Bay would provide more certainty and confidence to those wishing to establish new activities or expand existing activities. This would contribute to improved economic performance for the region. Reducing the number of plans, policies and rules would also free up resources and capacity that could be put to more productive use for the benefit of the regional economy.

Having a single council taking a consistent approach to achieving the right balance between economic growth and protection of the environment would also increase certainty and confidence. This is particularly critical for Hawke’s Bay in terms of managing demand on existing water resources.

Providing certainty and confidence will make the region more attractive to potential investors. Investment coupled with the right level of environmental protection will make the region a more attractive place to live and boost the labour market.

Assessing the advantages and disadvantages

Moving to a single Hawke’s Bay council with a governing body and five local boards is a significant change. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this proposal for the people of Hawke’s Bay Region, and the neighbouring

Rangitikei and Taupo Districts. The impact of the change is discussed throughout this document, and summarised here.

In this section, we set out a balanced assessment of the advantages and disadvantages, as we are required to do under the Local Government Act[6].

A single Hawke’s Bay council



Recognises and reflects the common interests across Hawke’s Bay Region.

Provides greater scale and capacity to achieve desired outcomes for the people of Hawke’s Bay.

Brings together both regional council and territorial authority responsibilities for better coordinated economic, social and environmental decision making for the region.

Gives Hawke’s Bay one voice when promoting the region’s interests with central government and other parties.

Reduces the number of councillors across the region from 49 to 18.

Will result in a period of uncertainty while the new council becomes established.

Has the potential to impact on council staff employment.

Creates a risk of losing key council personnel and institutional knowledge.


Five local boards



Represent the five distinct and different local communities of interest in the region.

Provide for democratic local decision making with 37 local board members elected to represent subdivisions of each area.

Make decisions and act for, and on behalf of, their communities to the maximum extent possible.

Local board members will be seen as having less powerful roles than councillors.

Boards have less power than current territorial authorities, for example they cannot directly rate their communities, employ staff, enter into contracts, or acquire, hold or dispose of property.

There will be administrative costs for servicing local boards including meeting and annual agreements with the governing body.


Participation and access



The interests of hapū/iwi/Māori groups across the region with be better recognised through one Māori Board for the region, because their rohe don’t often correspond with territorial authority boundaries.

The proposal reflects the proposed Treaty of Waitangi settlement legislation relating to Hawke’s Bay.

Rural, primary production and environmental voices will be heard through the Natural Resources Board.

Area offices will be located in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Waipawa to make it easier for people to access services and attend local board meetings.

Hapū/iwi/Māori groups may be seen to have a channel to advise and influence the council in a way the rest of the community does not.

Rural, primary production and environmental groups may be seen to have a channel to advise and influence the council in a way the rest of the community does not.

 The council administrative headquarters will be in Napier which is a significant distance from some communities in the north and the south of the region.

The level of services provided at area offices will be decided by the new council and may change over time.


Economic impact



Estimated cost savings of $260m over 30 years and increased efficiency in local government.

Simplified planning processes through the integration of regional and district statutory plans and a reduction in the number of plans to be consulted on and adopted.

Coordinated region-wide planning, prioritising and funding of key infrastructure to support the regional economy.

One set of regulations, policies and rules relating to land use and activity impacts across Hawke’s Bay.

One consistent approach to economic development and promotion across Hawke’s Bay.

Uncertainty for ratepayers about future rates after July 2021 (when the new council will adopt a new integrated rating system).

Additional financial costs, estimated at $19m, arising from the establishment of a transition body including remuneration for the transition board chairperson and payments for any consultants engaged in this period. These costs will offset savings for the first five years of the new council.

There may be further unexpected costs as a result of the reorganisation.


Impact on other areas



The existing Rangitikei and Taupo Districts will remain intact with no disruption to the provision of current council services and activities at the district level.

Bay of Plenty and Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Councils will be responsible for new areas they are presently not familiar with.


Changes to responsibilities of local authorities



There will be one authority (the new council) responsible for the management of the entire Taruarau and Mohaka river catchments and related regional council statutory obligations.

Accountability for regional council functions will be more complex in these parts of Taupo and Rangitikei Districts and will require new processes for identifying required levels of service and necessary funding and accountability arrangements.





[1] Hawke’s Bay Economic Performance Update, prepared for the Local Government Commission by Sean Bevin, Economic Solutions Ltd, Napier.  September 2014.

[2] The financial case for change is based on a report prepared for the Commission by Stimpson & Co dated 6 November 2014 which is available on the Commission’s website www.lgc.govt.nz

[3] Clause 22 (2)(a) of Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002 requires a full and detailed statement that explains how the final proposal will promote the purpose of local government and facilitate economic performance as described in clause 12 of Schedule 3. 4Section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002.

[4] Section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002.

[5] Hawke’s Bay Economic Performance Update, prepared for the Local Government Commission by Sean Bevin, Economic Solutions Ltd, Napier. September 2014.

[6] Clause 22 (2)(b) of Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002.