Kāpiti mayor K Gurunathan says it is time to pull the finger at Wellington City's mayor and councillors following reports an independent government commissioner may be called in to sort out their political differences.

"I'm making a public appeal to Wellington City's mayor and councillors to pull finger and sort their differences for the sake of the Wellington Region," Gurunathan said.

"I do this reluctantly but the importance of the city's economy to the rest of the region is so critical that some regional concern at what's happening must be signalled.

"I'm confident other mayors in the region are equally concerned.

Advertisement

"The region, like the rest of the country is facing unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The negative economic impact on local economies is huge and we are in the midst of a growing global recession.

"We need Wellington City politicians to be concentrating on providing leadership at this time, instead the region is hearing that an independent government commissioner may be called in to sort out their political differences."

Subscribe to Premium

Gurunathan said regional councils such as Kāpiti Coast District Council have often been told that what's good for Wellington is good for the region and is saying it goes the other way too - what's bad for Wellington is bad for the region.

With an asset value of $7.2 billion, an operational budget of $538m, and a capital expenditure of $228m, Gurunathan said Wellington City was undoubtedly the economic and cultural engine of the region.

"Of the 7700 Kāpiti residents who commute out of the Kāpiti district to work, 5000 work in Wellington. So Kāpiti has a stake in the continued prosperity of Wellington and the region."

Challenging Wellington City politicians to think of this as an opportunity to decentralise Wellington, Gurunathan believes technology has enabled thousands to stop commuting and instead work from home.

READ MORE:
Covid 19 coronavirus: Key points from Kapiti medical centres
Foodies' stories tell Kāpiti's history
Phone line set up for Kāpiti residents most in need
Business as usual but in a different way for Kapiti Youth Support

Advertisement

"I like to challenge Wellington City councillors to have early and meaningful discussions on a regional response to a post Covid-19 world. For example, regional transport and work patterns have changed.

"Online employment hubs in Kāpiti, and elsewhere in the region can continue these positive changes reducing transport capacity and congestion problems.

"These are only some of the challenges facing the region. We need to review, complete and adopt the Wellington Regional Growth Framework and the spatial plan this will create to enable the Wellington Region to work together.

"I appeal to our Wellington City Council politicians to put aside differences and support the people of the region during this time of crisis."