Northern News : February 13th 2013
6 NORTHERN NEWS, FEBRUARY 13, 2013 NEWS Kaitaia - 31 North Park Drive - Tel: 09 408 4031 Waipapa - 30 Klinac Lane, Kerikeri - Tel: 09 407 6953 Kamo - 2 Springs Flat Road - Tel: 09 435 5037 Whangarei (South) - 10 Southend Ave - Tel: 09 438 8824 Dargaville - 1 River Road - Tel: 09 439 7693 Helensville - 97 Mill Road - Tel: 09 420 8307 Pukekohe - 86a Harris Street - Tel: 09 238 8853 State Highway 14, Dargaville Phone 09 439 8998 Fax 09 439 4170 Email email@example.com Postal PO Box 103 Dargaville 21-23 February 2013 The Friendly Field Days Beinto WIN our Daily Gate Prize just by attending GATES: 9.00am - 4.30pm ENTRY: $15 adult $5 child 5 - 16yrs incl under 5 years free Proudly Supported by www.northlandfielddays.co.nz AVOID THE QUEUE! Purchase your Northland Field Days tickets through your local store today! 5156545AA Unity move gets recognition It has been a year since Northland mayors and Te Taitokerau Iwi leaders met former Local Government Minister Nick Smith on Wai- tangi Day last year to outline their proposals for better local government in the region. And advocates for a Far North unitary authority call Waitangi a fitting place to mark a milestone that would see Maori representation at the local government level. Mayor Wayne Brown says it is fitting that the proposal originated at Waitangi where the Treaty was signed. We believe that the Far North has a better chance of prospering if Maori and non- Maori address social and economic problems and opportunities as partners in a strategic alliance. We re breaking new ground here and hopefully setting an example that other progressive councils in New Zealand will follow. Working group co-chairman Rangitane Marsden says having the support of the iwi/Maori sector is highly progressive. The Far North must not squander the opportunity for Maori and non-Maori to come together and work col- laboratively in the best interests of all people in the district. The proposal represents an opportunity to build nationhood, heal past grievances and look to the future. The future can and will be shaped by us coming together through a vehicle of strategic direction and part- nership, which is what our unitary authority proposal offers. Last month, the Govern- ment announced it would investigate a reorganisation proposal developed by a group of Far North District Council and Te Taitokerau Iwi Leaders Forum members. Mr Brown says the Better Local Government in the Far North Working Group is delighted its appli- cation is progressing. Commission to look at changes Potential changes to the way Northlanders are rep- resented around the Northland Regional Coun- cil table are a step closer after a visit from the Local Government Commission, a Northland Regional Council release says. The proposed changes at the regional council level would see the estab- lishment of seven con- stituencies to replace the existing three and an increase of councillors who would take a pay cut to ensure that no more than the current $388,840 sal- ary pool is spent. As part of a six-yearly representation review required under the Local Electoral Act 2001, regional councillors are proposing abandoning what they see as an out- dated model governing how they re elected and who they represent. After considering sub- missions made during a month long public sub- mission period, councillors in October last year agreed to a number of pro- posed changes. Council chairman Craig Brown says several sub- mitters had subsequently lodged appeals against various aspects of the council s decision and the commission had travelled to Whangarei on February 5 to hear from the regional council and those opposed to the changes. Mr Brown says the three-member commission will now consider the vari- ous matters raised and is expected to issue its de- cision by early April. He says it s important to bear in mind the review is an entirely separate legal process from the Far North District Council s proposal to become a uni- tary authority, which the commission is also invest- igating. Our representation review is not concerned with what form the vari- ous arms of local govern- ment in Northland should take. It s about the way our councillors are elected to the regional council. It s designed to strengthen the represen- tation Northlanders get at the council table. It aims to empower communities to better serve their own needs and aspirations and contribute to regional decision- making. Submissions to address submissions People will have another chance to make further com- ment on the Northland Regional Council s Proposed Regional Policy Statement. The policy statement must identify Northland s signifi- cant resource management issues and establish how resources will be managed. A previous two-month long period for public comment on the proposed policy state- ment ended December 2012 with 885 submissions. The most common sub- mission themes included genetic engineering, mining, the mapping process iden- tifying the region s outstand- ing natural areas and coastal land, and economic wellbe- ing, says Ms Ross, the regional council s general manager planning and pol- icy.The next step is a further submission period, where people will have an oppor- tunity to support or oppose those original submissions. It s important to remem- ber this period is designed to allow for further comment on the issues that have already been identified through pre- vious submissions; it s not an opportunity to raise new issues, Ms Ross says. She says the latest sub- mission period will run for a fortnight, from February 18 to 3pm March 1. If anyone needs help to understand how best to use this opportunity, regional council staff are happy to assist and can be contacted on 0800 002 004. Once the latest submission period ends, a panel of three independent commissioners will then hear from any sub- mitters who wish to speak in support of their submissions -- as well any objectors. The panel then considers all submissions along with council staff recommenda- tions before making recom- mendations to councillors on final decisions. Regional council staff have worked closely with a seven- member committee of regional councillors, the deputy mayors of the Far North and Kaipara districts, and a senior Whangarei dis- trict councillor. While the Proposed RPS doesn t set rules itself, it does filter down into district and regional plans which contain the rules around how people, businesses and industry use Northland s resources so it s been really important to get that inter- council co-operation, Ms Ross says. The proposed policy state- ment and supporting docu- ments are available online at nrc.govt.nz/newRPS or as hard copies at regional coun- cil offices and at public lib- raries.
February 6th 2013
February 20th 2013