The Commission had previously declined to assess the NAG application on the grounds that the application was not in the public interest. This was challenged by NAG in the High Court which found the Commission had erred and it must make an assessment.
Since then NAG has argued that the ‘affected area’ is only North Rodney but the Commission has now ruled that all Auckland is the ‘affected area’ and has called for alternative proposals from anyone in the Auckland Council area.
In a major development, the commission ruled on the "affected area" for the application from the Northern Action Group (NAG) for a North Rodney unitary authority, separate from Auckland Council. The commission determined all of the Auckland Council area is the affected area, rather than just North Rodney.
In doing so, it determined the operational scale, scope or capability of Auckland Council would be materially affected if local government in the North Rodney area were to be reorganised as proposed by NAG.
The commission will now call for alternative applications. These are other suggested local government arrangements relating to the Auckland Council area, which can be made by any person, body or group. It will then decide on its preferred local government option.
If the preferred option is not the status quo, the commission will then begin developing a draft reorganisation proposal before consulting further and gauging public support for it.
"The commission will be inviting ideas and suggestions from people and parties interested in local government in the Auckland Council area," said Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner. "We look forward to receiving and considering these."
A submission opposing the ‘Our Waiheke’ proposal has already been sent to the Local Government Commission.
There are many on Waiheke who are disaffected with the way the current Waiheke Local Board is operating to the detriment of the community. The current Waiheke Local Board Chairman floods the Board’s propaganda sheet, the Gulf News, with weekly with tales of woe about his inability to do his job. He says he cannot work with Auckland Council officials. By his own admission he is simply not coping. Nor is the Waiheke Local Board under his leadership.
The Local Government Commission has afforded an opportunity for those on Waiheke who are sick and tired of paying our rates to support a failed Waiheke Local Board that, by its own admission, cannot cope with the demands of the job, to suggest alternatives. I don’t doubt they will, as will others around Auckland who are saddled with similar local boards that waste their money and should be removed.