Local Government amalgamation is still being pitched around the country as power hungry local politicians like Lawrence Yule press hard to merge their Councils with adjoining territorial authorities.
The problem with that is Auckland Council has proven every reason why amalgamation is a bad idea.
Merging the councils was supposed to reduced red-tape, create efficiencies and remove the onerous Auckland Regional Council to enable more liberal planning.
But what we got is more red-tape, more staff and thus more costs, more expenditure and more draconian rules.
In part that was because the same Council people simply merged into a bigger organisation and with less restriction have been empowered to roll out even more utopian madness.
The problem is mostly the people in the organisations, not the structure of the organisations.
But the real issue isn’t amalgamation per se. Rodney Hide had the right idea but the mistake made was trusting that a larger organisation would be more honest and would do the job the way that the architects of amalgamation thought. They didn’t. Because of the people. Read more »