Don’t want to be part of a ‘super city’? Sorry, Paula says she’s going to make you

Here we go. ?National is back into Labour-mode.

The Government is proposing a governance model similar to the Auckland Council for regions that have voted to reject a Super City-like structure.

Under the proposed changes, regions would be encouraged to integrate their core services such as water or transport across council boundaries.

Regions that took a more integrated approach, allowing the Government to work more closely with them, could be in line for a funding “top up” from central government.

Announcing the proposals earlier today, Local Government Minister Paula Bennett said: “Without a doubt there are regions in New Zealand that have got increasing expenditure needed in core infrastructure and looking at it in a piecemeal fashion by council boundaries is not in the best interests of a region as a whole.”

This approach did not deliver results for ratepayers or create an environment in which business could grow, she said.

In the past three months, Northland and Wellington have voted against amalgamating their councils. Read more »

So you think amalgamation is a good idea?

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 »

I’ll give Nashy a B+ for his sledging

Stuart Nash is on fire at the moment pointing out, rather too politely for my liking, that he is debating facts not making personal attacks.

I have been accused in the HB Today of personal attacks against ABHB founder and funder Rebecca Turner. Those who know me and have followed my political career will know this is simply not true.

I don’t play this type of dirty politics, however, i will never apologise for holding those to account who make public statements that i believe are incorrect – and ABHB organisation has based their whole campaign around claims that have been proven false.

A ‘personal attack’ is NOT going hard against statements my opposition have made that I believe are disingenuous; that is robust political debate, and if those in ABHB can’t handle their lines being called into question, they should never have gone public in the first place.

A personal attack is a direct criticism of the person’s character or physical being (or family). I have never once personally attacked Rebecca Turner, but I will continue to hold her to account for the falsehoods she parades as facts. ?? Read more »

Wellington doesn’t want amalgamation – the Len Effect no doubt

The whole country can see what a total stuff up Auckland amalgamation is. ?Everything that was promised has not come to pass, especially cost savings. ? What has come to pass is that previous councils would not work together so things that would benefit the region were very hard to achieve.

Now Aucklanders are enjoying a mayor and a council hell bent of using its new powers to commit the region to a rail network that is going to cater for only 15% of the population, yet causing rates increases that will be hundred of percent in excess of inflation on a yearly basis for the foreseeable future.

Wellingtonians don’t want a bar of it.

Submissions close [today]?for people to have their say on whether to make Wellington a super city.

The local government commission is recommending nine councils that would be governed by one body. But many don’t feel they’ve been given enough information on it. Read more »

Guest Post: Best Little Capital group launched

Wellingtonians would be dumber than a sack of hammers to want an Auckland style ?Super City? for the capital. ?Unfortunately it?s all the vested interests, ratepayer funded throughers and former MP who were forced into retirement now pushing for amalgamation. ?A couple of young lawyers from Wellington law firm Franks Ogilvie have, on their own bat, launched a group to coordinate resistance and push back against Wellingtonians falling for the ?bigger is better? rhetoric.

New Group Against?Amalgamation

A group of Wellingtonians have launched a campaign to resist the Greater Wellington Regional Council?s scheme to amalgamate Wellington?s existing councils. The group, Best Little Capital, has been formed by Wellingtonians Michael Moughan and Digby Livingston.?

Mr Moughan says, ?Best Little Capital is a call to arms for those who want better local government, but worry that Wellington City has been drifting towards amalgamation without establishing that it is the right solution for the region?s problems.?? Read more »

Aucklanders: “Don’t do it Wellington!”

Why is it that some unelected juggernaut pencil pushers can foist something on us that the majority of us don’t want? ? Worse, we’ve seen how to stuff it up well and proper in Auckland, but that isn’t stopping the idiots around the capital

Wellington??is heading for an Auckland-style super-city, unless voters say otherwise.

The Local Government Commission published its draft recommendation yesterday, calling for the region’s nine councils to unite into a single body, to be called the Greater Wellington Council.

The merger could happen at the 2016 local body election and is expected to cost about $30 million.

But most of the region’s mayors oppose the plan, and the decision on whether it goes ahead is likely to be made in a referendum, which could be held as early as the middle of next year.

Critics say the plan is too similar to the Auckland super-city model. That has been credited with making $180m in savings since 2010, but has also led to about 1200 job losses, and rates rises as high as 10 per cent.

It is unknown how many jobs in Wellington would be lost and commission chairman Basil Morrison said there would be “winners and losers” in terms of rates bills. Read more »

Wellington doesn’t want a “Len” situation

The irony is that “Wellington” forced Auckland amalgamation, but now that “Wellington” wants Wellington to do the same, suddenly it isn’t a good idea?

There is little public appetite for an “uber council” that would span from Miramar to Masterton, says Wellington’s mayor.

Hutt City Council today released the results of a region-wide survey which showed more than 75 per cent of residents in Wellington City, Hutt City, Porirua, Upper Hutt, Kapiti and Wairarapa wanted council boundaries to remain unchanged.

The Local Government Commission has been investigating proposals for a merger between Wellington’s nine councils, with or without the three district councils in Wairarapa, which could merge into a separate unitary authority.

Yes, well. ?You can thank the totally dysfunctional Auckland Council for that “little public appetite”. ?And, sorry Rodney, I know you read me, we’ve learned some stuff from Auckland that ?people really don’t want to see repeated until they are fixed. ?Recall elections would have to be an absolute minimum. ? Read more »