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Published: 2012-03-05 00:00:00

The regional public transport committee has asked Waikato Regional Council staff to review governance arrangements for public transport in the region.

The request, voted on at today’s committee meeting, came after the north Waikato sub region representative, Noel Smith of Waikato District Council, questioned the value of the committee continuing to be the governance body.

Currently, the regional council oversees public transport in the region with input from local councils and others through the committee.

However, Cr Smith thought direct discussions between the regional council and the city and district councils over public transport arrangements might be better.

Cr Lois Livingston of Waikato Regional Council said there could be merit in the public transport committee being absorbed into the Regional Transport Committee.

Hamilton City’s Cr Dave Macpherson said he ultimately wanted his council to run buses in Hamilton.

Most other committee members agreed there might be merit in investigating a change to governance arrangements.

The committee’s acting chair, Cr Russ Rimmington of the regional council, supported staff looking at options. But he had concerns that absorbing public transport governance into the Regional Transport Committee’s responsibilities could potentially diminish the current regional focus on public transport.

“I’m concerned that minority and special sector groups would not have their rightful place as committee members with voting rights around the council table,” Cr Rimmington said after the meeting.

“Staff have been asked to report back to our next public transport committee meeting on the options for public transport governance going forward.

“This is an important issue given everyone’s desire to improve public transport in our region and we need to get the governance arrangements as good as they can be.”