The Auckland “SuperCity” has proved to be a failure in delivering on the promises made when mooted.
Yes we have a unified voice to Wellington, but that is about all. Poor governance and out-of-control spending from a wastrel Mayor and his little band of helpers have seen ratepayers fleeced, services reduced and rates massively increased…all for nothing.
The latest debacle is the more than a billion dollars blown on IT costs.
Others around the country who resisted amalgamation plans are relieved. Stephen Franks covers this well.
Remember this time last year – before Uber-Wellington was killed by overwhelming resistance from suspicious voters. Our ‘betters’ were deriding the instinct that empire building, not democracy, was the motive for bigger, more remote Councils. The Local Government Commission was still peddling claims they must have known were dodgy on how much more efficient big local government would be.
An ‘efficiency’ goody we missed out on was consolidation of ‘fragmented’ computer systems.
Bernard Orsman in the Herald tells us how that is going for Auckland, after spending of $1.24bn. At one stage it was going to save money, despite estimated transition costs of $600m.
Now it seems Aucklanders have to be satisfied that some day they will have the huge benefit of being able to use the same system across Auckland, for example to hire their local hall.
No one has ever explained who, other than a compulsive tidier, thinks it a benefit that everyone across a region must use the same processes and systems, when they rarely, if ever, want or need to use more than the nearest.
Orsman’s report does not make clear how much of that $1.24bn since 2010 would have been spent without supercity amalgamation. But I’m reliably told that the cost for Auckland local government IT recently has been around $165 per annum per person. Not much, you think – a couple of cups of coffee per week per ratepayer. Possibly worthwhile if dealing with the Council is 10x quicker than before, or elsewhere.