How can the LGC claim wide support for the proposal and which local leaders were consulted and what were their views?
68% of people who made submissions to the LGC (PDF 780kB) were opposed to amalgamation.
The LGC must show the level of support required to proceed with the Final Proposal. Given the strong oppposition to the proposal from submissions, to show the required support it commissioned a UMR phone survey (PDF 250kB) with a leading question that began by reading to each person the following statement:
As you may be aware The Local Government Commission and the councils in the Wairarapa region have worked together on a draft proposal for combining South Wairarapa, Carterton, and Masterton District Councils. This combined council would be called the Wairarapa District Council and would remain separate from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
They were then asked if they supported, opposed the proposal or if they were unsure. This implies that the councils support the proposal.
In the introduction to the Final Proposal it is stated that the Commission has listened to local government leaders and others.
It is not possible to determine the extent to which the mayors either collectively or individually were consulted and what their views were. Did they advocate or actually sell out to the amalgamation proposal? Where are the published records of that consultation?
(Note: Refer to the responses of the mayors to our Q&A - Lyn Paterson supports amalgamation, John Booth need change either way, Viv Napier opposes)