The Northern Action Group (NAG) has applied to the Local Government Commission to create a North Rodney Unitary Council.
But what could that mean for Auckland Council and Rodney residents?
The Local Government Commission asked for Auckland Council’s assessment of the potential impact of the NAG proposal on the council, for input into its statutory process. The council's Governing Body on 27 November looked at this submission, which provides examples of the potential impact.
Impacts on growth
Auckland is set to grow by one million people over the next 30 years. Warkworth alone is expected to reach a population of 20,000. The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) could generate capacity for 6500 dwellings.
The PAUP has been developed in an integrated way for the whole region. Auckland Council is planning the timing of upgrading infrastructure to coincide with the completion of the new Puhoi to Wellsford highway by 2022.
It is important for growth for the region to maintain close infrastructure links to Auckland.
Benefits of amalgamation
Since amalgamation, Watercare has significantly upgraded the water and wastewater assets of the former Rodney District Council. The price of water has dropped significantly for northern Rodney residents. As part of planning for growth, Watercare is planning future upgrades to cater for planned growth to the tune of $100 million.
North Rodney residents have also been able to enjoy access to the country’s best library service with the ability to borrow a book from anywhere in the Auckland region. Uncoupling library services would mean a delay to projects including library development projects and library IT system upgrades.
Decoupling North Rodney from Auckland would mean planned investment in libraries, roads, water and planning for growth would be significantly delayed and will impact on council’s ability to manage Auckland’s population growth.
Relationships with iwi
The NAG proposal would create a new unitary authority cutting across the geographical area of iwi in the North. This is likely to impact on the progress of Treaty settlement negotiations and may complicate the management of natural resources.
This may also delay progress on completing relationship agreements between Auckland Council and iwi.
Read the full report: Auckland Council’s response to the Local Government Commission.