The Local Government Commission’s draft amalgamation plan provides little clarity or certainty to the questions being raised by a large number of submitters - that was the central message delivered by the Tasman District Council today.
In presenting Tasman District Council’s submission to the Local Government Commission this morning, Mayor Richard Kempthorne and Deputy Mayor Tim King supported a significant numbers of submitters who have called for greater certainty and clarity regarding the process and costs of amalgamation.
“As representatives of Tasman residents and ratepayers we were heartened to hear the Chairman of the Commission identify his three key issues that must be satisfied as they reflected the Council’s position.
“The Chairman, Basil Morrison, specifically pointed to the issues of representation, identity and cost, all of which are core to the arguments for and against amalgamation and we agree that these are the areas requiring clarity and certainty.
"The proposed loss of representation will not be satisfied by creating another level of boards and committees as was discussed this morning.
"Our experience has shown that providing communities with close connectivity to the Mayor and Councillors as we have at present provides the level of representation required to deliver on their aspirations and needs.
"We believe that waiting for a new Council to make the decisions that will impact on the pocket of ratepayers is not the solution many are expecting. A greater degree of clarity and certainty is required before electors should be asked to vote.
"The Tasman Council has always said we will be in favour of anything that enhances governance in the region, recognises and further empowers our communities and reduces costs to ratepayers. This has proved difficult for the Commission to act upon as they are only able to deliberate on the one option, amalgamation, for governance in the region despite the initial discussion which promised an in-depth study investigating all the options.
"In putting together our response to the proposal we could only respond to what was presented to the residents of the District and City. We have no choice as representatives of the District but to take the position we presented today."