1989: Local body boundaries announced

The splitting of North Otago between the new Canterbury and Otago regions is confirmed in the final reorganisation schemes announced by the Local Government Commission.

The decision, which it is claimed creates administrative and civil defence nightmares, was announced by the commission chairman, Mr Brian Elwood, to delegates at the Local Government Association conference in Rotorua.

The areas of the five new Otago districts as outlined under the draft final schemes last December have changed little.

But there are several changes within the Waitaki, Central Otago, Queenstown-Lakes and Clutha Districts and Dunedin City.

The Otago region northern boundary has altered slightly to put almost all the lower Waitaki Plains in Otago, and the upper plains and the Waitaki Valley in Canterbury. This puts all Electricorp's Waitaki dams in Canterbury.

The Waitaki District takes in both areas, straddling two regions.

The name of the South and West Otago District Council has been changed to the Clutha District Council, and some of the Clutha wards have lost planned community boards (ward committees).

Lawrence-Tuapeka will get two councillors for the district council instead of the one planned in the draft scheme.

Clydevale and Molyneux have lost their bids to be separate wards.

Cromwell has lost it bid to become part of the Queenstown-Lakes District Council and a special planning committee for Arrowtown has been set up. But Arrowtown does not have a community board. In the Central Otago District a Naseby committee is set up, at least until November 1992. It will report to the Maniototo Community Board.

The name for the Dunedin area authority is confirmed as the Dunedin City Council, and Green Island does not receive designation for a community board.

Compared with the December scheme the Mosgiel-Taieri ward is split in two. The combined area had two councillors, but now Mosgiel itself will have two and Taieri one. This will bring the size of the new Dunedin City Council to 21 members plus the Mayor. Dunedin also lost its bid for a share of the Port Otago Ltd shares in compensation for the extra costs incurred by taking over harbour recreation land and responsibilities.

The Otago region constituencies remain as outlined. These are based on population, to the disappointment of many rural members of the regional transition committee who thought membership should take account of the council's bias towards rural functions like pest control and soil and water management.

Nationally the commission has confirmed its original proposals for the establishment of 14 regions to be governed by 13 regional councils, and for Gisborne to have a district council without a separate regional council.

"This is the most comprehensive set of constitutional changes to the way our communities are governed since the abolition of the provincial government system in 1878," Mr Elwood said.

Other changes will be:

• Regional councils will be required to raise their own revenue through rates and be accountable for projects undertaken. In the meantime existing rate collection systems will be used until June 30, 1992.

• Harbour boards have been abolished except for the Marlborough Harbour Board. Their functions have been transferred to the regional councils.

• Land drainage boards in certain instances have had their functions transferred to the regional councils.

• The seaward boundary of each territorial district is to include all harbours and tidal estuaries which relate to the district of the particular territorial authority.


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