Local Government Reform Information and Resources
This page has information about regional and local government reform which affects Porirua City.
Local Government Act 2002
One of the Council's guiding statues is the Local Government Act 2002. Since its introduction, it has had several reviews and amendments (see Better Local Government webpage). Some of these amendments have included changes to local government reorganisation processes.
In 2016, the Government announced a further review titled Better Local Services.
Current form of local government in the Wellington region
There are nine councils in the Wellington region providing local government services for a population of ~490,000: eight city and district councils and one regional council.
Role of city and district councils (territorial authorities)
There are eight city and district councils (territorial authorities) - Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Hutt City Council, Kapiti Coast District Council, South Wairarapa District Council, Carterton District Council and Masterton District Council; (population size determines whether they are called a city or district council, but there is no difference in the way they operate).
City and district councils provide a wide range of services including:
- Local infrastructure to manage drinking water, stormwater, wastewater (sewage) and roads
- Environmental safety and health
- District emergency management and civil defence preparedness
- Building control
- Public health inspections and other environmental health matters
- Managing land use through district plans
- Noise control
- Community infrastructure, pools, parks and reserves
Community boards - some councils in the region (not Porirua) also have community boards. Community boards have an advocacy role and may have other functions delegated by the respective council. Community boards may or may not be funded, and can be disestablished by the council.
Role of the regional council
There is one regional council - Greater Wellington Regional Council with the following broad roles:
- Managing the effects of using freshwater, land, air and coastal waters
- Managing rivers, mitigating soil erosion and providing flood control
- Regional emergency management and civil defence preparedness
- Regional land transport planning and contracting passenger transport services
- Harbour navigation and safety, oil spills and other marine pollution
- Sustainable regional wellbeing, including economic wellbeing
Reform of local government in Wellington region
Amalgamation and other reform of the councils in Wellington region has been discussed for several years. Many reports have been prepared over this time by different councils and interest groups in the region. Three documents that involved Porirua City Council were:
Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel:
Joint Working Party Report on Local Government Reform:
Applications for reform to the Local Government Commission in 2013 resulted in the Commission releasing a Draft Proposal for Reorganisation of Local Government in Wellington in December 2014. There was little support for major structural reform and the proposal was withdrawn. However, as 40% of submitters favoured some form of change, the Commission has been working with councils and communities since then on other options to address the challenges faced by the region. More information on this work is available from the Commission’s website below.
Porirua City's interests and obligations in local government reform
Under s10 of the Local Government Act 2012, Porirua City Council has a statutory obligation to:
- enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and
- 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
Porirua City Council has a wide range of responsibilities and functions for its territorial area. But Porirua City is also part of the Wellington region. We are interested in the way in which we contribute to, and benefit from, our place in the region. Over the last several years it has been recognised that while things at city and district level in the region generally run well, the region as a whole has not realised its full potential. We can do better overall but we need to be clear how that might be achieved. One of the challenges is achieving a local and regional balance.
Two workstreams that Porirua City Council is involved in are:
Principles for assessing regional governance options for Porirua
Porirua City Council agreed to consider the implications of change for its communities using a set of principles. These principles have emerged through community input on various regional governance discussions over recent years and discussions with Council. The Council agreed that in any reform of local government in the region, structural change needs to achieve the following for Porirua and the region:
- our local community/village identities are protected as part of a local governance structure
- our local voice is heard through access to decision-making at all levels
- our elected representation at all levels reflects the diversity of the city
- the region has a stronger voice and Porirua has an enhanced voice in the region
- there is efficient and effective provision of core services
- there is affordable local government
If you have any queries or ideas about what you would like to see on these pages, email firstname.lastname@example.org - Subject: Local Government Reform.