Rodney and Waiheke await decisions on Auckland Council split

The Rodney district, north of Puhoi, could soon have its own council.
The Rodney district, north of Puhoi, could soon have its own council. Photo credit: Auckland Council / Newshub.

Unhappy residents of Rodney and Waiheke might finally have found the super city's kryptonite.

They'll find out Thursday afternoon whether their applications to quit Auckland and form their own councils have been successful.

If so, the area of land governed by Phil Goff and Auckland Council will be dramatically reduced.

Rodney is a sprawling, mostly rural region north of the city, while Waiheke Island to the east is large, but sparsely populated.

Rodney locals under the Northern Action Group (NAG) banner applied to break away from the rest of the city in 2013. It called for a 'North Rodney Unitary Council' to take over the top half of the existing Rodney Local Board area - from Puhoi northwards.

But the Local Government Commission (LGC) said that wouldn't be in Auckland's best interests and turned the group away.

In 2015 the High Court overturned that ruling, and only a few months' later Waiheke residents put in their own application to split, under the Our Waiheke banner.

Following months of consultation and polling of residents, the outcomes of both applications will be revealed at 3:30pm on Thursday afternoon.

If the breakaway groups are successful, LGC will also present its preferred options for how new local government authorities might be structured.

But it's still not a guaranteed thing - if enough residents sign a petition, a vote on whether to go ahead with the change will take place. If fewer than 50 percent vote in favour of change, it goes back to the LGC for another go.

If the LGC says its preferred option is the status quo, that is essentially the end of the road. NAG plans legal action if it doesn't get its way.

A study commissioned by the LGC suggests rates will rise 50 percent every year for Rodney and Waiheke residents if they are split.

Around 55,000 people live in Rodney and fewer than 9000 on Waiheke.


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