Upper Hutt submission numbers on local government reform prompt extension of time

Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy has officially extended the city’s consultation period after a huge response from the community on local government reform.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 20 JUL 2012— Upper Hutt City Council’s consultation period for local government reform was extended by Mayor Wayne Guppy today. Six and a half weeks after officially opening on 6 June, the consultation has seen what could amount to a record number of submissions with a count of 1017 at 4.30 pm today. This is a considerable response when measured against the recent Long Term Plan submission process which attracted a total of 323 responses.

“Obviously, we are very impressed with the way the Upper Hutt community has come to the table and had their say on how they want local government in this region to be structured going forward,” said Mr Guppy. “It is evident that this issue is one of great importance to our community so we are extending the submission period until 3 August.”

The extension of two weeks has been put in place to ensure residents have the opportunity to have their say.

“As we have advocated from the outset of this process, any change or otherwise to the structure of local government in this region must be led  by the people—a change from the bottom, up,” said Mr Guppy, “We have worked hard to get this message out, to get our community to engage in this debate, and the results are fantastic”

Upper Hutt’s level of engagement not only compares favourably against its own previous consultations, the initial submission figures have already outstripped Wellington City’s engagement on the same debate by 4:1on a per capita basis.

Mr Guppy is adamant that the community should be heard on the matter, and that it’s response will be brought before the Local Government Commission along with those of other communities in the region.

“I want to sincerely thank the people of Upper Hutt for engaging in this debate, understanding that it is their future that they are having a say in,” said Mr Guppy.

The consultation period has now been extended by two weeks and will close at 5.00 pm on 3 August. Upper Hutt City Council expects to have results from the consultation published in mid-August.

For more information on this news release, please contact Wayne Guppy on (04) 527 2110.