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Community Board submission opposes Nelson-Tasman amalgamation

November 11th

The Motueka Community Board has made a submission to the Local Government Commission (LGC) opposing the proposal to unite the Nelson City and Tasman District Councils. The Board decided on this stance based on informal discussions with residents showing the majority opposed amalgamation.

The Board's meeting held on Tuesday read and approved the submission, written and tabled by chairman David Ogilvie, which supported and added to the more detailed submission by the Tasman District Council (TDC) which also firmly opposed the amalgamation proposal.

"The Motueka Community Board supports the Council's conclusions in recommending that the Union should not proceed," the submission said. "Although the Board has not formally surveyed local attitudes, it is of the opinion that most Motueka residents oppose the proposed Union/Amalgamation."

The submission qualified this opinion subject to two conditions: (1) that the Community Board concept for Motueka and Golden Bay be continued under either the current structure and under any future structure that may result from an amalgamation should it proceed; and (2) that the LGC require TDC, or the amalgamated council, to "delegate each Community Board specific functions / activities with the appropriate resources so that each community is empowered to make its own decisions on as many activities as (is) practicable".

The Board submitted that "providing these functions and activities locally will be more efficient, more cost effective, more democratic and will give each community 'ownership' of these functions and over the rates that are collected".

If amalgamation does eventuate, the Board suggested that "Rural Tasman - Motueka Ward - Golden Bay Ward representation be calculated on a "differential-style" basis, which the Board believed would retain a non-urban presence at the amalgamated Council to balance the "Nelson - Richmond conurbation".

Additionally, the Board asked for office services in Motueka, Golden Bay and Murchison to be retained for at least 15 years, if amalgamation goes ahead.

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