The first steps are underway for the Kaipara to be run by an elected council in 2015.
The Minister of Local Government has gazetted the 10 terms of reference for the commissioners appointed to the Kaipara District Council.
The terms, staged over a three-year period, are aimed at identifying the extent of problems and addressing these matters in a way which will allow a smooth transaction back to an elected council.
Commissioners John Robertson (chair), Richard Booth, Colin Dale and Peter Winder took up their formal duties on Thursday. They are appointed for a term of three years ending October 18, 2015 - the day after the next triennial general election. There will be no October 2013 election.
As the governing body, the commissioners will have all the functions, powers and legal obligations of the council including support from its chief executive and the ability to engage other support or advice they may require.
The minister has asked the commissioners to immediately begin working through all issues raised by the council's 2010/11 annual report and the council's 2012/22 Long-Term Plan. They are to re-engage with the community and iwi to rebuild confidence and trust - this could lead to the establishment of community and iwi reference groups.
They are to undertake actions to enforce the payment of 2012/13 rates and any unpaid rates from previous years, but also work with the Kaipara community and the Department of Internal Affairs to identify options for dealing with invalidly set rates and other legal compliance matters.
The capacity of the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme will also come under scrutiny.
Together with the chief executive, they are charged with developing and implementing strategies to address the issues including asset and financial management and a review of the council's strategic and policy framework, rating policies, capability (including debt and asset management), to ensure financial resilience and equitable and sustainable funding.
They are to consider any amendments to the adopted 2012/22 long-term plan which could provide a more sustainable operating model and to adopt both the 2013/14 and 2014/15 annual plans, the striking of annual rates and the development of 2015/2025 LTP.
Full details can be seen on the Department of Internal Affairs website.