New Local Government CommissionersLocal Government
New appointments to the Local Government Commission will continue to foster strong and effective local democracy, Local Government Minister Paula Bennett says.
Sir Wira Gardiner has been appointed as Chair, and Mr Leigh Auton has been appointed as a member. They join Commissioner Janie Annear, who has been reappointed. The appointments are for a three year term, commencing 1 August 2015.
“I’m thrilled with these appointments, and believe that Sir Wira, Mr Auton and Ms Annear have the right knowledge and expertise to help communities focus on the issues that matter,” Mrs Bennett says.
“Fundamentally, we need local government to focus on delivering sustainable infrastructure, making sensible spending decisions, and listening to its citizens.
“It is the Commission’s role to look at the structure of local government and ensure we have a strong regional focus to promote job growth and increased social wellbeing.
“For too long the argument has been on how many mayors we have, instead of looking at key infrastructure and economic growth.
“I will be asking the Commission to be creative and think seriously about the different kind of local government structures that will help our communities continue to prosper.”
Sir Wira has a long and distinguished public service career. He was a founding director of the Waitangi Tribunal and the founding Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.
Leigh Auton has extensive local government experience with a particular background in planning, infrastructure and transport, and is former Chief Executive of Manukau City Council.
Janie Annear has been a member of the Commission since 1 July 2014 and served three terms as the Mayor of Timaru from 2004 to 2013.
“I’d like to thank outgoing Chair Basil Morrison and member Anne Carter for their service and significant contribution to the Commission’s work since 2011.”
Mr Morrison and Ms Carter complete their terms on the Commission on 31 July 2015.
Editors Note: The Local Government Commission is an independent statutory body. Its main roles are to make decisions about the structure and boundaries of councils and the representation arrangements for local authorities.