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Potentially a First for Local Government in New Zealand




The Local Government Commission


The Local Government Commission (the Commission) is utilising a reformed approach to investigate re-organisation proposals for the Wairarapa. The Commission has developed six potential local government options in conjunction with the community, Councillors from the Wairarapa and the Greater Wellington Regional Council. The options range from the Status Quo, a Wairarapa District Council through to a Wairarapa Unitary Council. Included in the options are potential new governance structures that would involve sharing governance responsibilities between the regional and district council. If implemented, these will be a first for New Zealand.


Morrison Low was commissioned to complete an assessment of the identified Local Government Options that included an assessment of the qualitative and quantitative benefits and disbenefits of each option. We drew on our extensive Australasian amalgamation experience and Wairarapa local knowledge, making use of the amalgamation financial model that we have built and used on a large number of merger business cases in Australia. We had a strong appreciation of the specific Wairarapa issues based on our previous assessment of a Unitary Authority for Wairarapa that we completed in 2013.


The assessment was undertaken collaboratively with the Local Government Commission and the respective councils to ensure its robustness and understanding of the options as developed.

The Local Government Commission is now seeking community feedback on the proposed options and our assessment, that forms part of the consultation, enables the community to compare the benefits and disbenefits of each option against one another.

A copy of our assessment can be found on the Local Government website.