07 September 2006

Have your say...

Please leave a comment on whether you think Auckland local bodies should amalgamate into one big council (or two, or three...) and why.

For 724 students, essays are looking good so far, and should be back at the next lecture on Tuesday 12 September.


At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the idea of a 'super-city' is good,it theoretically could reduce the communication difficulties between the 4 main cities as well as some administration issues, what worries me is the whether the amalgamation would be completed successfully. Perhaps it's an effect of our recent 'case study' paper has had on me, but having learned about the birth of Sparc and now having first-hand experience of the organisation, I'm not wholly convinced on the governments' ability to make this transition work well and in a relatively quick timeframe.

It's a big task. Toronto did something similar during the 90's, creating the Greater Toronto Area. I think it's done some good, but despite the claims prior to the creation of the GTA, there still is no direct public transport from the international airport and city centre.

With the transport problems Auckland is having, will this bigger city council have the ability to fix things faster, make decisions faster, and debate less? Will our council rates go down? Or up? There's a lot of questions to be answered, will we get a chance to find out the answers before this goes ahead?

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too can see some merits in the idea of a 'super-city', although I doubt that communication would be one of them. The distinctive councils will all contain factions within that will want to hold on to their perceived power and there may be a tendency to hold onto information causing comms difficulties.

One of the merits I can see is the united position of Auckland councils into 1 could form a much stronger lobby/pressure group that can benefit Auckland. Recent stats I heard was that 34% of NZers live in Auckland and that is a big percentage of the population domiciled up in Ak. Parliament has around 16 out of 121 MPs. Although there is now more and more policy that speaks of specific directions for Ak that are different for the rest of the country Auckland is not a formal priority for this government.

What I see as an issue is that with a super-city the people are the first to be ignored unless they belong to a lobby/pressure group themselves. The impact of people lobbying for their local community within the current model of local governance is likely to be heard and heard at the top levels, with a new super city the impact could well be significantly lessened.

I personally would not like to see a super-city created as I believe that the bigger the beauracracy the less responsive to the issues of the local communities. We have very little power to effect change and I would not want to see it further constricted.


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