Petone Settlers Museum:
by Peter Petterson
A majority of Hutt Valley residents, both in Upper Hutt City and further south in Lower Hutt City do not want a bar of amalgamation with Wellington City. It will not benefit them they believe, but may advantage Wellington City more. Wellington has never gone out of its way to support those in the Valley. Some older residents claim it has been a case of what they could get out of the Hutt Valley. A majority of residents will fight the amalgamation of the Wellington region including the Wairarapa who vehemently oppose amalgamation. The National government does support the creation of Super Cities, despite the faults of the Auckland model. North Shore should never have been forced into amalgamation with the rest of Auckland. They have taken legal action against the Auckland Super City. The fight continues and has a long way to go yet. A recent poll across the region claimed that 75% of people oppose a Super City.
Hutt City Council is taking legal advice from the consultant preparing a lawsuit against Auckland’s super-city, as the Wellington region braces for an amalgamation announcement any day.
But the pro-amalgamation camp said ratepayer money was being wasted on the Hutt’s premature effort, and debate should take place after publication of a report from the Local Government Commission.
Lawyer and former ACT MP Stephen Franks has been employed in the fight against a single Wellington council by the Local Democracy Coalition, a group of anti-amalgamation councils. It is being spearheaded by Lower Hutt, and its spokesman is Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace.
Franks was helping North Shore City with a court case allowing it to break away from Auckland City, Wallace said.
He denied Lower Hutt was planning any similar action, but said North Shore officials had visited the council to discuss the case.