5/09/2012 12:00:00 a.m.
The Waikato Mayoral Forum, which includes Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters, says good progress is being made in assessing opportunities for collaboration and shared services among member councils.
The Forum, made up of mayors of local councils in the Waikato region including Rotorua, and the chair of the Waikato Regional Council, met this week.
Forum chair, Matamata-Piako Mayor Hugh Vercoe, says: “The meeting strongly reinforced the importance of the Waikato leaders working together and speaking with one voice.”
The forum is assessing potential collaboration across councils for:
- water and wastewater services;
- road maintenance;
- economic development; and
- governance and management arrangements for any shared services.
“Although there is considerable interest in possible local government reforms, the region’s mayors remain firmly focussed on identifying how we can work better together to improve services to our communities,” Mayor Vercoe says.
“When we look at planning, for example, we see layers and overlap between central government, regional and local government, but we lack a strategy or spatial plan for the Waikato.
“This comes at huge cost to councils and businesses. Over the next three years, our councils need to review and consult on more than 500 different policies, codes of practice, management plans and bylaws. There are efficiencies to be gained from collaboration among the member councils.”
The Waikato Mayoral Forum will meet again in mid-October.