Options outlined for Wellington 'super-city'
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 8:48a.m.
Wellington's regional council has issued a consultation document openly discussing the potential for substantial savings on operational spending and capital investment if the region's existing nine local governments work together more closely.
The paper, issued by a review panel chaired by former prime minister Geoffrey Palmer, stresses the form of Wellington's future regional government is less important than ensuring it does the job citizens require of it at lower cost than today.
The paper draws heavily on the Auckland super-city amalgamation for comparisons.
In the preface, Mr Palmer is also critical of the fact that only one of the other local governments - Porirua City - has joined the WRC initiative, with the other seven local councils doing their own consultations on the future form of Wellington's local government.
"The situation... is one of clutter and confusion that will make public consultation difficult and coherence hard to achieve," he says in the preface to the 84-page document.
Three key considerations were driving the discussion of Wellington's arrangements: formation of the Auckland super-city, a "pronounced economic decline in the Wellington region" with "serious social and economic implications" requiring urgent attention, and local body reforms.
"There is a case for a better approach to local government in the Wellington region," the paper says.
"What is not yet apparent is what the options are, and what they mean for everyone. Does it mean major change or simply doing things better?"
The panel estimates that if the efficiencies gains expected of Auckland were translated to the Wellington region, operational savings of between $300 million and $600m could be expected over 10 years.
At things stand, forecast spending over that period is $11.8 billion.
The combined financial strength of Wellington's local authorities also provide opportunities for more efficient borrowing, with the paper noting Auckland's amalgamation has given it sufficient size to tap global financial markets, the only New Zealand local government entity permitted to do so.
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20/07/2012 6:06:40 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "In the preface, Mr Palmer is also critical of the fact that only one of the other local governments - Porirua City - has joined the WRC initiative, with the other seven local councils doing their own consultations on the future form of Wellington's local government."So Mr Geoffrey Palmer is dissapointed with the seven councils in the Wellington Region - doing their own research and consultations. He should not be surprised.The Auckland Supercity example so far is a joke. The ratepayers were promised huge savings with amalgamation but so far the ratepayers in Auckland have only received increases in rates, but wait - they have been told they are going to have to pay more.Last week we were all told that the annual rate of inflation was less than 2% - I would say from past historical experience that none of the Councils in NZ will increase their rates close to 2%.Mr Palmer - it is the continual lies from Councilors and politions that we have endured for years is the reason that seven local councils have wisely looking at the ramifications of your report with wild estimates of savings - but very short on details and hard data.I am not surprised with their extremely cautious approach for a call to start another Super Doopa city in Wellington.
20/07/2012 9:58:53 a.m.
Dont go there Wellington. We ended up with higher rates, an out of control dictator and debt for years to come. Auckland got well and truly screwed over. All supposed benefits are lies and then you get one power hungry leader who is now obsessed with building monuments to himself and won't even listen to his own advisers. Supercity is a joke.
20/07/2012 9:47:56 a.m.
Don't fall for it, Wellington. Here in Auckland we were sold on the savings a supercity would produce - but that turned out to be lies. More cost, higher rates. Same will happen to you.
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