The national picture

In the last few years the Auckland ‘super city’ has been formed.  A number of councils, including the Auckland Regional Council, were merged to form a single Auckland Council representing around 1.5 million people. 21 local boards were also set up to oversee local services.

In March 2012 the Government proposed a series of local government reforms. This was a response to the tough global economic environment and, consequently, a drive to provide better services while keeping costs down.

In November 2012 the Government passed new law that aims to:  
  • Refocus the purpose of local government
  • Introduce financial responsibility requirements (i.e. income, expenditure, debt levels)
  • Strengthen council governance provisions
  • Streamline council reorganisation procedures

The Government says these aims may in part be achieved through the amalgamation of councils.  The process for making this happen has also changed.  Find out more about that here.

The regional picture 

Councils around New Zealand, including those in Wairarapa/Wellington, are currently considering how they might best be organised in future.

This work has gathered pace with the introduction of the Government’s Better Local Government reforms in March 2012. 

In recent years the three Wairarapa district councils have been working together to share more services and plans in order to become more effective and efficient.  

The Wairarapa Governance Review Working Party has thoroughly investigated options for the future.  It has gathered and analysed information through independent reports and sought and received community feedback. This continues, along with discussions with Wellington councils on how Wairarapa and Wellington could work together in future on issues of strategic and mutual interest e.g. public transport. Find out more about the Working Party's activities here.

Other councils in the region are considering options and consulting with their communities. 

Greater Wellington Regional Council and Porirua City Council set up the Wellington Review Panel to investigate local government reform in the Wellington region, including in  Wairarapa. The panel's report with its  recommended option can be found here.