Home' Napier Mail : January 30th 2013 Contents 5
NAPIER MAIL, JANUARY 30, 2013
Reaction: Pragmatism and disgust
FROM Page 4
might have been made at the
Auckland council's head office, the
extra administration costs of run-
ning the council-controlled organ-
isations needed to run Auckland
had eaten that up, she said.
There might be a few benefits''
to amalgamation but she believed
the marginalisation people would
suffer outweighed them.
been a pro-
tion. He said
the Better Hawke's Bay proposal
was a pragmatic way of looking
He said the completely angsty''
concern being expressed by some
The process is quite simple,
despite how complicated some
people seem to want to make it
and it is amazingly democratic. It
will be a majority decision by all.
In the end, Hawke's Bay has to
grow up and recognise that what's
important to the entire region is
more important than the individ-
included Central Hawke's Bay in
this proposal and not one of those
people have approached us ever
He said the people involved in
ABHB should stand for council to
drive their desired changes
They're nearly all ex-
councillors or ex-wannabe-
councillors. And the ex-councillors
did not leave their positions of
their own volition.
These people are trying to tell
us what to do and they haven't
even spoken to us.''
He said the topic had come up
at meetings of the region's mayors
but not in any depth and not
Mr Butler publicly opposed
amalgamation when he stood for
mayor in the 2010 election. He
remained opposed and would be
standing for office again this year.
and he does
not care who
roa mayor, that's my job.''
The retiring mayor said A Bet-
ter Hawke's Bay's proposal is like
the parson's egg; good in parts''.
His main concern was that if
the proposal got the nod, Wairoa
would be under-represented with
the potential for that represen-
tation to be cut even further.
With six for Napier and six for
Hastings, Wairoa and Central
Hawke's Bay [with two council-
lors] would be pretty legless,
there'd be little ability to push
things through that we really
He said Wairoa's experience on
the regional council provided clues
to what could happen. Since the
mid-80s it had had just two rep-
resentatives at the table and Mr
Probert said he had recently had
to beg the Government not to
reduce that to one.
But really, that second one is
only hanging there by the skin of
their teeth. And that could hap-
pen with this proposal.''
Mr Probert could not see that
amalgamation would save Wairoa
ratepayers money. The district
had no debt and rates were mid-
dle of the road''.
He believed the potential 16
councillors and one mayor would
be paid considerably more than
what his councillors were paid,
and the proposed community
board members would have to be
paid. That would add up to more
than politicians cost his residents
at the moment.
I can't see Hastings and Napier
ratepayers wanting to subsidise
At 78 years of age and after 26
years in politics, Mr Probert is not
standing in this year's local body
presently done by the regional
council and the district's urban-
based councils is not a natural
fit'', said Mr Wilson.
He said the regional council
work was predominantly long-
term and strategic'' whereas many
of the urban council's problems
could be fixed almost instantly.
I can fix a pot hole here, a
noisy stereo there instantly . . .
Issues like water quality, coastal
erosion, hillsides subsiding can't
be fixed overnight.''
He said his council had not dis-
cussed whether it would offer an
alternative proposal and had no
firm policy on amalgamation.
Will the election go ahead this year?
While the law allows that a local
government election can be
postponed to allow for
reorganisation, it is unlikely that
an application lodged now would
make the time frame, says the
Local Government Commission.
Senior policy analyst Gavin
Beattie said there were many
steps in the proposal and it was
most unlikely'' they could be got
through before the electoral roll
process got under way in July.
Mr Beattie said that a Hawke's
Bay application would be its
second council amalgamation
request. It was working through
one from the Far North.
Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule
and Napier mayor Barbara Arnott
both preferred the election to be
put off, rather than hold an
election then run a poll on
amalgamation. Mr Yule agreed
there would be problems, as the
commission would take some time
over deciding a preferred option
and when it did there would need
to be a conversation'' among the
region's leaders over whether they
should apply to have the election
But I think Hawke's Bay is
grown up enough to have that
Mrs Arnott did not want three
years of uncertainty for the
If there is going to be change
then we should put the election off
for a year.''
Regional council chairman
Fenton Wilson believed the
election would go ahead, saying
the application would be too late
to make the cut this year''.
Councillors (including mayors and the regional council
chairman) at the moment:
Councillors Population (2006 census)
Central Hawke's Bay
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