18 Feb 2014

Whangarei unitary proposal rejected

1:08 pm on 18 February 2014

The Whangarei District Council has rejected a proposal for a unitary authority in Northland.

The Local Government Commission released a draft plan last year for a single council to replace the four councils that now run the region, from Cape Reinga to Mangawhai.

But at a meeting on Tuesday morning the Whangarei Council dismissed the idea.

The mayor, Sheryl Mai, says a phone poll and a series of public meetings have shown very clearly that Whangarei people see no point in amalgamation.

"The community has indicated that a unitary authority is not what they want. The fallback position for that is status quo.

"But I think I also recognise that there's been a general sense that there can be some enhancements to that status quo."

Ms Mai says those enhancements might include shared services between Northland councils, and better Maori representation.

Submissions on the unitary authority close on Friday.