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Friday, 23 May 2014

Shared services: good progress on economic development agency

Wellington region, showing major population centres (in red)
As readers will know I'm in favour of more shared services in the Wellington region as an alternative to amalgamating the regions local authorities. This is already happening with our water supply with Capacity Infrastructure. A number of people on the doorstep have said to me that this is a practical alternative, and one they could see benefits from - even those who are in favour of amalgamation agree shared services are a practical approach to the issue.

Upper Hutt City Council is the first local authority in the region to sign up to the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA). WREDA will be governed through a committee comprised of 10 elected members from across the region:
  • Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Kapiti will get one elected member each;
  • Wairarapa with get one elected member;
  • Wellington City will get four elected members;
  • The chair must not be from the Wellington City Council. 
This gives the Hutt valley a strong voice in the regional economic agency - which is great stuff. Good on the regional chair Fran Wilde, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy for working together. I'm sure there's plenty more that can be done.