Rotorua 'Super council' discussion

By Matthew Martin


The future of local government in the Bay of Plenty and whether the region should be looking at a "super council" will be discussed in Tauranga on Friday.

The one-day conference - sponsored by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga Chamber of Commerce - called Rethinking Local Government in the Bay of Plenty has attracted about 250 delegates, including members of the public.

Earlier this month The Daily Post spoke to some Rotorua community leaders who stressed the importance of making sure Rotorua was up with the play regarding any possibility of a future super council for the Bay of Plenty.

They said Rotorua ran the risk of being run by a Tauranga-based super council if the city's mayor and councillors sat on their hands and adopted a "wait-and-see" approach.

However, Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters and Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said there had been no official talks between the region's mayors regarding any changes to local government.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce operations, events and training manager Anne Pankhurst said that with two days left 245 people had registered for the conference.

"All the mayors and a good number of councillors from across the Bay of Plenty [have registered]. This is really important for the political arm to hear how the community are thinking.

"The conference has been built around the community's view of local government, rather than the elected officials view of local government.

"Both have a different expectation of what reform can or may deliver."

Ms Pankhurst said delegates would have the opportunity to understand what local government reform meant and the significance of some of the legislation changes.

Comparisons would also be made to overseas governance models. "Finally, all of us - the community - have an opportunity to think about the future and if we are able to inform, or have a part in, what local government could look like for us all and what it could deliver," she said.

- The Daily Post council and city issues reporter Matthew Martin is heading to the conference.

If you have any questions you would like Matthew to ask email matthew.martin@dailypost.co.nz

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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