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Banks Hails New City Structure, Labour Opposes It

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Banks
John Banks

Wellington, Nov 20 NZPA - Auckland Mayor John Banks says the city's new local government structure is "an inspired piece of work" while the Labour Party is committed to opposing it and the boundaries that go with it.

The Local Government Commission today laid out proposed new boundaries, the make-up of local boards and the council itself.

Commission chairwoman Sue Piper said key proposals were:

* 20 city councillors coming from 12 wards. Eight wards would have two councillors each and four only one;

* 19 local boards;

* local board membership ranging from five to nine councillors with 126 in total.

The boundary changes followed as closely as possible the existing southern boundary of Auckland region, Ms Piper said.

However, it would take in some urban areas in Waikato.

Mr Banks, who is going to stand for mayor of the new super city, said the proposition was coming together well and people would not lose their representation.

Manukau Mayor Len Brown, who is going to stand against Mr Banks, said he was pleased the commission had taken account of concerns about Auckland's assets.

North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said the new structure was "a good first step" which provided a workable basis for further discussion.

Labour's Auckland issues spokesman, Phil Twyford, said the commission had been hamstrung by bad government decisions.

"The proposed boundaries favour rural and the conservative northern and southern areas of Auckland while disadvantaging the isthmus and West Auckland," he said.

"For example, the changes would give Rodney residents a third more voting power than a central Auckland resident, which is clearly unjust."

Mr Twyford said Labour would strongly oppose the boundaries and the structure.

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