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Christchurch City Council Media Release 27 February 2002

Banks Peninsula asks city to consider some sharing

The Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula District councils are being asked by their mayors to see if it makes sense to combine some administration and services.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore will endorse the request from Banks Peninsula District Council Mayor Bob Parker at tomorrow’s (Thursday, 28 February) full city council meeting.

Mr Moore says it will be important for city ratepayers to be sure that any agreement by the councils to work together will put no pressure on city council finances.

"The benefits of such a process are likely to lie principally with Banks Peninsula rather than with Christchurch but at the same time there are unlikely to be any ongoing costs for the City resulting from any changes," Mr Moore says.

Mr Parker says work done by the Local Government Commission before the amalgamation referendum in March 2000 showed there were potential cost savings to be made while remaining as separate local bodies. In the referendum, Christchurch voted against joining with Banks Peninsula.

"I’m not talking about a back-door amalgamation," Mr Parker says. "There was a strong political message from Christchurch and from many in Banks Peninsula that they did not want that.

"But we have a problem in Banks Peninsula. We’ve got high rates and need to find ways of being more efficient, lowering our costs and making the rates dollar go further.

Proposed is a Joint Committee of the two councils. Its job would be to examine ways in which administration and service delivery within Banks Peninsula can be made more efficient and/or effective through greater cooperation with Christchurch City at the administrative level. Banks Peninsula District Council is expected to discuss the proposal at its meeting on 13 March.

Note: Section 114S of the Local Government Act provides for Joint Committees between councils. That the Joint Committee comprise 4 Elected Members from each Council.

For more information: Phone BPDC Mayor Bob Parker on 027-4434-575 or Christchurch City Council Mayor Garry Moore through his office on 9418-559.

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