Today Mayor Yule announced that he would stand for re-election as Mayor of Hastings in 2010.
More significantly, he announced a proposal for unified, two-tiered governance of the region.
Under his scheme, a unified authority (Unitary Council) would hold responsibility for region-wide functions, including many implemented now by the HB Regional Council. Hastings and Napier would continue to have governing boards with more restricted scope. Some elected officials would serve on both the unitary and second-tier body; others only on their local board. Iwi representation would also be specifically provided on the Unitary Council.
The scheme would be debated in 2011. Put to public referendum in 2012. And serve as the basis of representation in 2013 elections.
Because of the importance and complexity of the proposal, I have included it in its entirety below, or you can download it here.
Further commentary to come!
Council for Hawke’s Bay – As announced by Mayor Lawrence Yule
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule has today announced his intention to stand for Mayor of Hastings for a last term at next year’s Local Government elections and promote the formation of a Unitary Authority for Hawke’s Bay.
It is 20 years since Local Government was significantly changed in the region in the 1989 Government-led reforms.
“The time is right for our respective communities to consider a new way of doing things which preserves the very best of what we have, yet makes Hawke’s Bay more competitive in the future,” Mayor Yule says.
The reorganisation in Auckland and the review of the RMA will potentially have big impacts on Local Government. There are also potential changes to building inspection systems.
The current recession also provides an opportunity to improve things so we are able to take full advantage of the economic upturn. I am also mindful that Maori will play a major role in the development of our region in the future, particularly post-Treaty settlements.
The Royal Commission model for Auckland offers a potential template for Hawke’s Bay. The trick is to build a system that suits us in Hawke’s Bay, both as a region and as individual communities. I am suggesting an approach which is non-threatening and constructive. I am keen to build on the current spirit of regional co-operation.
The former referendum on amalgamation between Napier and Hastings did not gain universal approval, but I am confident we can find a structure that makes sense to Hastings, Napier and the region. I am also confident such a solution can be supported by the majority of our citizens.
The proposal is prefaced on providing a two-tiered structure which gives us a strong regional capability, while supporting strong local identities and decision-making where desired.
The decision to release this concept at this stage hinges around timeframes.
It is just over one year until nominations close for next year’s local Government elections. This will give councillors and prospective councillors time to decide on their future plans and provide input into any structure.
– October 2010 Local Government Elections
– 2011 development and consultation on a proposed structure
– Late 2011 review and hearings by Local Government Commission
– Early 2012 referendum on an agreed alternative structure
– Mid-2012 Transitional Committee formed if structure is to change.
– October 2013 Local Government Elections for new structure.
Significant debate will centre on representation. The model below is just an initial concept which attempts to provide a strong regional structure while recognising the significant importance of local decision-making. The leader of the Unitary Authority could be termed a Chair or a Mayor.
Governance Model and Structure
A Unitary Authority would cover the current Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Boundary. It will effectively govern regional activities within Napier City and Hastings District and the Regional Council activities within Central Hawke ‘s Bay and Wairoa Districts.
The District Councils of Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa would retain their current structures, but would be welcome to join if they wished. This would change the representation mix.
1 Mayor elected at large
1 Vice-Mayor elected by Napier
1 Vice-Mayor elected by Hastings
2 Iwi Representatives
10 councillors elected by wards across the region
2. Activities Governed by the New Unitary Council
– Land use and Resource Consents
– Water and air quality monitoring and standards
– Development of a Combined District Plan
– Interaction with proposed Environmental Protection Agency
– Erosion Control and River Protection works.
– Coastal Erosion consenting and control.
– Building Consents/ Data recording and inspections.
– Liquor licensing
– Dog Control
– Noise Control
– Iwi Relationships
– Regional Transport Planning
– Port of Napier and Hawke’s Airport
– Water Harvesting and storage
– Investment management
– McLean Park , Park Island , Pettigrew Green Arena, Regional Sports Park
– Significant Parks Lake Tutira, Te Mata etc
– All engineering design and construction work carried out by NCC, HDC and HBRC
– Hawke’s Bay Museum Collection and Archives
– Omaranui landfill, waste collection and recycling
– Civil defence
– Strategic Partnerships Rotary Pathways, Unison Networks
– One rate demand and collection system
– Existing debt to be funded by existing ratepayers
– Treasury management and secretarial support
– All staff employment contracts to be with Unitary Authority. All services will be delivered by the Unitary Authority.
– Housing of staff to be in the three current HDC, NCC and HBRC buildings.
Promotion Marketing and Economic Development
– Venture Hawke’s Bay
– Alignment with Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, EIT
– Pest management
– Animal Health Board Partnership
– Strategic partnerships with Sport Hawke’s Bay, DHB
2nd Tier Governance Structure for Hastings District and Napier City
1 Vice-Mayor – also on Unitary Authority
3 councillors – also on Unitary Authority
1 Chair of Rural Community Board
1 Vice-Mayor – also on Unitary Authority
3 councillors- also on Unitary Authority
– Urban design
– Water supply
– Waste water
– Urban storm water
– Local roading
– Street lighting
– Local road upgrades
– CBD upgrades
– Theatres and halls
– Rating for local services
Marketing and Economic Development
– City marketing
– CBD retailers relationships
– Tourism attractions
– Sister City activities
– Pensioner housing
– Community grants
– Community partnerships
– Community safety
– Rural Fire (HDC only)
– Local art and culture
– Community centres
Community Boards could be established in Havelock North, Flaxmere and Taradale. It is intended to retain the Rural Community Board as part of the Hastings representation. Community Boards would report to the respective Napier or Hastings Board.