28 Feb 2023
Northland’s four local authorities have signed an agreement setting out the way they will communicate and work together over the next three years.
The Local Government Act 2002 requires Northland’s four local authorities – the Northland Regional Council and the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara District Councils – to enter into a Triennial Agreement, post 2022 elections, and no later than March 01 2023.
Northland Mayoral Forum chair Vince Cocurullo says Northlanders have expressed their view through numerous avenues that they expect their local authorities to work together as efficiently and effectively as possible to advance the best interests of Northland.
The agreement sets out the protocols for communication and co-ordination amongst the Northland councils over the three-year term that began with local body elections in October last year.
“It also represents the shared desire of local government in the Northland region to work together, maximise efficiency and promote well-being in their respective communities.”
Mayor Cocurullo says the 2022-2025 triennium will be notable for the unprecedented degree of change - ‘the reform storm’ - local government will face.
He says the triennial agreement recognises that a significant level of formal and informal co-operation already exists between the Northland councils.
Among the issues the latest agreement covers are climate and environmental impacts.
“It details the councils’ commitment to working together through the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee which is the main vehicle within councils’ governance structures for progressing the region’s aspirations to address climate impacts (noting that climate change is a key consideration across all the organisations and their roles and functions).”
Similarly, the agreement details the Northland councils’ commitment to the Northland Forward Together Programme, the collective work programme for all four Northland councils to work together to deliver better outcomes for Northland and its people. (The councils have also agreed to review the Northland Forward Together strategic vision and values document.)
Mayor Cocurullo says the Northland Chief Executives’ Forum and the Mayoral Forum retain oversight of the programme, which has as its current priority projects:
Northland's three mayors at the recent triennial agreement signing. From left, Kaipara mayor Craig Jepson, Far North mayor Moko Tepania and Whangarei mayor Vince Cocurullo. The fourth member of the mayoral forum, Northland Regional Council Chair Tui Shortland attended the meeting virtually.