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Tasman District Council releases it submission on amalgamation

November 28th
[TDC press release]

The Tasman District Council discussed its draft submission to the Local Government Commission on the amalgamation petition today. The draft submission has been released publicly after the Council debate with the final draft to be released closer to the November 8th closing date for submissions. The submission covers a number of areas including:

  • the significant differences between the communities of interest within the Tasman District and Nelson City,
  • the possible impacts on representation throughout the Tasman District,
  • the impact of changes to either Council's rating systems,
  • the relative satisfaction with the current delivery of services and decision-making, and
  • the shared services currently operating between the two Councils.

It also identifies some of the costs associated with such an amalgamation to be borne by ratepayers for no obvious benefit.

"The new Council had little time at its second meeting to do anything else but work through what is a very comprehensive submission," said Mayor Richard Kempthorne.

"What is apparent is that there are no compelling reasons for the 17 settlements of Tasman to amalgamate with Nelson. The reasons cited within the petition are either; unproven, unquantified or have no relevance or benefit to Tasman ratepayers.

"The Council is elected to represent the best interests of Tasman residents and ratepayers - this debate is no different. We have assembled the facts as we see them to inform the Local Government Commission's decisions and as such, the submission is designed to enable the right decisions for both areas.

"While released today in a near final draft, it was very pleasing for the submission received unanimous support from the Councillors for its progression forward. The changes we suggested today were either further clarification of points or very minor changes.

"It is about what is right with Tasman District Council, it is not about what is wrong with Nelson City Council and explains what we believe is wrong about the Union proposal.

"In the process of putting the submission together we have identified further opportunities for collaboration, shared services and co-operation that will further benefit both areas without the added cost of amalgamation.

"It is imperative that people submit to the Local Government Commission on the amalgamation proposal before 8 November 2010 and people are welcome to use the Council's submission to inform their own. This is a once in a generation opportunity to shape the future of the place in which people choose to live, it is not the time to sit back and wait," concluded Mayor Kempthorne.

Note: The draft submission document can be found at TDC's website here »

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