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Regional Governance. WCC Officer Presentation November 2012. Independent Wellington Local Government Review Panel. A Two Tier Proposal. The Local Government Review Panel’s Recommended Structure. Greater Wellington Council – the Upper House. Lord Mayor elected at large

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Regional governance

Regional Governance

WCC Officer Presentation

November 2012


Independent wellington local government review panel

Independent Wellington Local Government Review Panel

A Two Tier Proposal


The local government review panel s recommended structure

The Local Government Review Panel’s Recommended Structure


Greater wellington council the upper house

Greater Wellington Council – the Upper House

Lord Mayor elected at large

10 Councillors - 4 in Central Wellington; 2 in Lower Hutt; 1 in Upper Hutt; 1 in Porirua; 1 in Kapiti; 1 in Wairarapa

Four year-term, with a maximum of three terms

CEO of Greater Wellington Council (GWC) provides overall administrative support for GWC and local councils

Single rating system

Rates freeze for three years with no increases beyond the level of inflation and those necessary to pay for already committed works in the LTP

Responsible for:

all functions not specifically identified as delegated to local councils

funding and financial management

budgetary control, asset and debt management and revenue raising


Local area councils the lower house

Local Area Councils – the Lower House

Mayor elected by peers; 14 Central Wellington councillors; 12 in Lower Hutt; 10 in Upper Hutt; 10 in Porirua; 10 in Kapiti; 12 in Wairarapa.

Same boundaries as currently in place

Delegated budgetary authority

Has a Local Area Plan setting out priorities and actions

Manager and staff to provide administrative support and deliver local services

Can choose to have Community Boards


Wellington s governance priorities

Wellington’s Governance Priorities

Democratic representation

Efficiency of service delivery mechanisms

Efficiency of decision-making

Effectiveness of decision making and service delivery

Mechanisms that enable Wellington to reach its potential

Wellington has an opportunity to build on the experience of Auckland, and there is an alternative


Power distribution

Power distribution

One tier offers residents - one way in, decisions made at one table

Two tiers requires residents to engage with local boards and/or councillors on some issues – two ways in, two decision-makers. Upper House makes final decisions


Direct engagement

Direct engagement

One tier allows residents to engage with decision-makers who have both a local and regional perspective

Two tiers requires residents to engage on some issues with local board members and councillors who may have differing perspectives


Accountability

Accountability

One tier offers residents an ability to engage directly with a decision-maker with power to influence outcomes but who is also directly accountable to them

Two tiers requires councillors to make decisions with a regional focus but often relying on local boards for the local perspective


Areas of agreement with the panel

Areas of agreement with the Panel

We agree that there are a range of matters that are best dealt with on a region-wide basis. These include:

Transport

Three Waters and Solid Waste

Economic Development

Planning

Financial Governance and Management

Leadership

We also agree that it should be left to any new entity to decide whether or not to establish separate CCOs for these functions


Areas where we disagree

Areas where we disagree

But, the system the Panel recommends:

spreads planning between two entities which will frustrate its drive for coordinated and cohesive planning across the region

sets up a power imbalance between the Upper and Lower House that will come into sharp relief during the budget setting process

requiring each LAC to negotiate their budgets with the GWC will be time consuming and it will be challenging for the two bodies to reach agreement

the public will have to lobby both tiers

creates conflict through having a second ‘local’ level of leadership

The various ‘leaders’ will come into conflict when they hold different views on matters affecting them


Analysis of panel s report

Analysis of Panel’s Report

The Panel assesses five options against the ‘characteristics of good governance’ and concludes that a two-tier governance model with an Upper and Lower House “is clearly superior to all other options”

But the report does not clearly set out how it arrives at this conclusion

The Panel rejects the single-tier model, because it “would involvean intolerable loss of local democracy; a fracturing of local sense of community; and the absence of a regional perspective for the entire region”

but does not say why, and doesn’t appear to have included this model in its assessment

and despite acknowledging some of the benefits of a single-tier model

The Panel also rejects the Brisbane City Council type of solution because it “would not meet the requirements of the political culture in this region”

although it does not explain the unique features of Wellington’s political culture and why the BCC model does not meet its requirements

And does not discuss other examples of single tier governance which might meet the needs of the Wellington region

The panel makes unequivocal statements

But the analysis to support these findings is not always easy to find

And the alignment with the government’s Better Local Government objectives for the sector - to deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings, productivity improvements and simplified planning systems in the most cost effective way for households and businesses - is not always clear


Conclusion

Conclusion

The Panel recommends an ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’ House which adds a layer of bureaucracy and confusion that:

requires the arbitrary separation of local issues from strategic, network and regional issues when these things cannot be easily separated

puts in place a range of administrative and financial mechanisms to allow the two bodies to do business with each other

requires separate legislation to proceed

appears to be out-of-step with the government’s objectives for the sector to deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings, productivity improvements and simplified planning systems


Conclusion continued

Conclusion Continued

The Panel recommends a two-tier option and rejects the single-tier model of governance because it would lead to a loss of local democracy

but does not explain its reasoning

Our assessment of a Unitary Authority Single-tier Structure against the Panel’s ‘Characteristics of Good Governance leads us to believe that a single-tier model:

is a simpler form of governance which is democratically responsive

aligns with the Government’s objectives

will allow the Wellington region to be better positioned to create an environment where local businesses and industry emerge and grow, and communities can flourish


Structure

Structure

Single Tier and Two Tiers


Wellington regional governance process

Wellington Regional Governance Process

WCC Cr Workshops

Surveys

Information

Submissions

CE Workshop

10/10

Wairarapa Working

Party

Local Government Review Panel

Report 30/10

Other Councils working through processes

CE Discussion

Individual Council Workshops

Regional Hui

21st Nov

Mayoral Forum to discuss common ground

Common View?

Regional Submission to LGC

Multiple submissions to LGC

No

Yes


One tier or two tiers

One Tier or Two Tiers

It’s said that:

Two tiers keeps the “local” in Local Government and that the inevitable trade offs between one tier and two tiers is that:

One tier offers efficiency of decision-making to the detriment of local democratic representation and engagement, and

Two tiers can be more complex, confusing and costly but it means residents have a local aspect to engage with.

Is this the case?


Starting propositions

Starting propositions

Former Local Government Minister Rodney Hide commented in 2009 that reform to Auckland’s local government structures was needed to achieve more effective governance for Auckland because intervention by Auckland councils and Government had gone as far as it could.

He said there was a lack of vision, there was fragmentation, division and lost opportunity.

(9 February 2009, Ministerial Presentation)


Auckland has two tiers

Auckland has two tiers

The only example of post-reform local government structure in New Zealand currently is Auckland’s two tiered structure for 1.4m people:

An Executive Mayor

A three year electoral term

A Unitary Authority for all of Auckland

21 Local Boards

20 Ward Councillors.

Based on a principal of splitting functions between regional and local


In reality regional and local issues are interconnected

In reality regional and local issues are interconnected

Regional issues need to be informed by local views

Local issues need to be considered within a regional framework

Libraries can be thought of as a ‘local’ issue.

However the placement of libraries depends on where other libraries are located, user behaviours, the quality & consistency of services, budgets, and the capability network – these are all regional level consideration.

Transport policies can be thought of as a ‘regional’ issue from a network management perspective; but bus routes are local, roads are local.

This regional issue needs to be informed by local views.

21


Two tiers issues

Two tiers - issues

Two tiers can be complex, expensive and competitive:

Local boards draw upon Auckland Council resources but derive no income

Cannot act on local issues without Auckland Council appropriation and agreement.

Tension between councillors on one hand and residents on the other.

Highly resource intensive and potentially complex and confusing structure for residents.


Now wellington

Now, Wellington?

Principles…

Democratic representation

Efficiency of service delivery mechanisms

Efficiency of decision-making

Effectiveness of decision-making and service delivery

Mechanisms that enable Wellington to reach its potential.


Alternatives

Alternatives?

There are apparent complexities and tensions between two tiers of local government.

Auckland Council is currently undertaking a review of structures to address issues already emerging.

Wellington has a chance to build on the experience of Auckland, but, there is an alternative.


One tier e g gold coast

One Tier – e.g. Gold Coast

Gold Coast City Council has a single tier council for 500,000 people – similar to the population of the Wellington region with:

An Executive Mayor elected at large

14 Ward Councillors

“Independent” Councillors

Directly resourced councillors

A committee structure

No local boards


One tier e g brisbane

One Tier – e.g. Brisbane

Brisbane Council has a Unitary Authority. With about 1.1m people in the Council’s jurisdiction, this is what it looks like:

An Executive Mayor elected at large

26 Ward Councillors

A Civic Cabinet, Chaired by the Mayor, comprised of the Deputy Mayor and Committee Chairs

A Council elected Council-Chairperson

Directly resourced councillors (ward office, staff)

No local boards.


Single tier

Single tier

Do ratios matter?

Auckland c1:66,000 (+/- 10%)

Brisbane c1:43,000 (+/- 10%)

Gold Coast c1:38,000 (+/- 10%)

Christchurchc1:28,000 (+/- 10%)

Wellington c1:14,000 (+/- 10%)

Porirua c1:4,000 (+/- 10%)

MPc1:55,000 (+/-10%)

A greater determinant of the quality of democratic representation is direct access to decision makers rather than arbitrary ratios.


Power distribution1

Power distribution

One tier offers residents - One way in, one way out, decisions made at one table.

Two tiers requires residents to consider local boards and/or councillors – two ways in, two ways out, two decision-makers.


Democratic engagement

Democratic engagement

One tier encourages residents to directly engage with decision-makers at both a local and regional level.

Two tiers requires residents to engage with local board members as well as Councillors with potentially competing perspectives and priorities.


Direct accountability

Direct accountability

One tier offers residents an ability to engage directly with a decision-maker with power to influence outcomes but who is also directly accountable to them.

Two tiers lets tier-one Councillors to make decisions with a regional perspective while being informed by / irrespective of local boards / local perspective.


Purpose of design then

Purpose of design then…

The reform question for Auckland was about fixing something. The question for Wellington is about opportunity.

To create a structure that maximises Wellington’s future success through leadership, vision and unity.


Achieving the purpose

Achieving the purpose

An approach to the structure of local government in Wellington that is:

Democratic and unified

Effective and efficient

Agile and responsive

Transparent and accountable

Visible and accessible.

An approach that is simpler, smarter and even more democratically responsive.


Key structural proposals 1

Key structural proposals 1

Council

Wellington Council

1 Mayor

Up to 29 Councillors

Metropolitan Wellington (app. 450,000 popn.)

C1:15-16,000 (currently c1:14,000)


One council

One Council

One Tier Council providing for efficiency of decision-making with a regional view from a local context.

Focus is not on a complex functional split but on responsibility with increased direct accountability.

High quality local democracy is about access to decision-makers who are directly accountable to residents.

Unifying Wellington with one table of decision makers for all Wellington


Key structural proposals 2

Key structural proposals 2

Mayor

Elected at large by the whole of Wellington

The Voice of Wellington

Empowered by the LGA02 Amendment Bill

Appoints the Deputy Mayor

Appoints Committee Chairs.


One mayor

One Mayor

“The need for effective leadership at the regional level is necessary particularly when dealing with strategic issues or where collaboration across city or district boundaries is required.”

One Mayor for all of Wellington with a mandate to speak, act and advocate for the region.


Key structural proposals 3

Key structural proposals 3

Councillors

Up to 29 Councillors

Ward based (multi or single)

c1:17,000 ratio (current in Wellington = c1:14,000)

Free to work in collectives by area or by issue

Supported by a visible community presence

Supported by a staff resource.

Decision makers who have more responsibility with matching accountability


Representation

Representation

Projected Councillor: Resident ratios (29)

Kapiti Coast (3 Wards) - 3 Councillors1:16,597 (-7.65%)

Porirua/Tawa (3 Wards)- 4 Councillors1:16,887 (-9.53%)

Northern/Onslow- 4 Councillors1:15,500 (-0.54%)

Lambton/Western- 4 Councillors1:15,325 (+0.60%)

Eastern/Southern- 4 Councillors1:15,500 (-0.54%)

Lower Hutt (3 Wards)- 7 Councillors1:14,707 (+4.61%)

Upper Hutt (3 Wards)- 3 Councillors1:13,833 (+10.27%).

Councillor: Resident ratio average 1:15,417


Possible wards

Possible wards

Possible multi member ward boundaries under a single tier metro proposal.

Note:These are estimated boundaries and are provided as an indication only.


Possible wards1

Possible wards

Possible single member ward boundaries under single tier metro proposal.

Note:These are estimated boundaries and are provided as an indication only.


Key structural proposals 4

Key structural proposals 4

Committees formed on the basis of the decisions Wellington Council would make

Chairs appointed by the Mayor, with Committees structured around:

Planning decisions

Finance and expenditure decisions

Statutory and Regulatory decisions

Managing assets, infrastructure and networks

Environment, economic and social development decisions

Council Administration and the Chief Executive.


Key structural proposals 5

Key structural proposals 5

Sub-Council bodies

Established around priority areas of advice:

Maori interests

Pasifika interests

Specialist business advice

Community engagement and relationships (multiple) which would also provide for community boards where those are desired by residents consistent with future ward boundaries.

Ad hoc:

E.G. Major Events

E.G. Major Issues.


Key structural proposals 6

Key structural proposals 6

One council organisation

One Chief Executive

Smart organisation development:

Interactive

Accessible

Transparent

Visible

Responsive.


Key structural proposals 7

Key structural proposals 7

Council “Commissioners”

Council Commissioner (Environment)

Council Commissioner (Administrative Review)

Council Commissioner (Maori).

Council “Commissioners” would be semi-autonomous officers reporting to the Wellington Council with authority to consider appeals and make recommendations.


Key structural proposals 8

Key structural proposals - 8

Community boards

Continue to be provided for

Under multiple member ward approach, defined by the ward

Under a single member ward approach, defined by criteria

Functions continue:

Advocate in the interests of their community to decision-makers

Provide a collection point for views on broad community issues

Provide advice and views to local decision makers to inform their decision-making

Liaise with community organisations and special interest groups

Undertake any agreed delegated responsibilities


Key structural proposals 9

Key structural proposals 9

Assets and resources

Council Operated Business Units

Council Committee Controlled Businesses

Council Controlled Organisations.

There is a role for a specialist business advisory group to assist a Committee and the Council.

Regional assets are owned in trust by the Council, performance reviewed by Assets and Infrastructure committee.


Democratic engagement and service delivery

Democratic engagement and service delivery

Our approach is to focus on a simple governance approach supported by a smart customer service model.

Strengthen local democracy and civic engagement

Access and influence

Directly accountable and accessible

Design a customer service model that best fits the region and is appropriate for the 21st century

Transparent and affordable

High quality, value for money


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