This week's poll asks:
Do you support the current trend towards amalgamations and bigger local body councils?
*Already too big and unweildy! Marilyn
*Yes. Economy of scale. Jean
*In these cases smaller is best! Terry
*This is just another power grab by a bunch of incompetents trying to play God. JACK
*Auckland has yet to see benefit, and yet massive rates increases have occured. Murray
*Generally yes but having second thoughts after seeing where Auckland is heading, why does the looney left believe money just grows on trees, could it be that many of them have never had to really work for a living? John
*Bigger does not mean Better. Each area of a city has different requirements and people from those areas need to be living and working in them to know what is best. Mary
*But my approval is qualified in as much as constraints need to be placed on amalgamations that go beyond the rational of efficient local body working. There are examples of these and the best to date is Aucklandwhich encompases rural areas not well suited for amalgamations with an urban authority. Victor
*It takes away local democracy. There is little evidence that there are actually cost savings, as usually the bureaucracy booms, and extra spending also happens. Hugh
*In my opinion all regional councils should be disbanded under this process of amalgamation. NZ with a population of only 4m or so is totally over-governed. Jeff
*I used to be in favour of the bigger, co-ordinated approach, but now I am not so sure.
I can recall when Auckland had small councils in the local boroughs, Mt Albert, Mt Eden, One Tree Hill etc, there might have been some duplication at times, but in the main the councillors were locals, often retired, some business people who lived in the area and stood for and against local issues.
One of the main areas that I believe has led to the ever increasing costs has been the evolution of the professional local politician , this is now a career choice or the an “interest” for a wealthy individual who probably has little concept of living on a fixed income.
The everyday man or woman in the street has little chance of becoming a councillor, they are too busy working out how to pay for all of the council related costs.
These large councils have the potential to be really effective, but need to stick to their knitting and look after the basic needs of the community not the multitude of touchy feely programmes and activities. Rob