Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Forced amalgamations of local authorities to continue - Super city for Wellington...

The controversial reform of local government is now under way with the introduction of the bill to parliament. The first reading was passed 61-59. As well as restraining councils from excessive spending - in whose opinion anyway - it is believed we will be back to 1989 and more compulsory amalgamation of local authorities.

It is also believed that the National Party favours more super cities in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

In recent years I have attempted to encourage debate about the amalgamation of Upper and Lower Hutt cities. But the petty parochialism of the two councils has prevented such a proposal from even being discussed. The mayors of the two cities do not support amalgamation, not publicly anyway. I saw the amalgamation of the Hutt Valley cities as a way to avoid a super city. But now it will come regardless. A decision will be made for us before next year's local body elections, at which I had hoped Hutt Valley residents would have been able to vote on a proposal to amalgamate the two Hutt Valley cities and create a district council.

The one good thing that will come out of the forced amalgamation will be the discontinuation of the term "Hutt City". There has never been such an entity in New Zealand anyway.


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