Regional councils

The Auckland Regional Council has made public its submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland’s governance structure, and it wants to abolish itself, and replace itself with a new super-council (an issue I blogged about previously here) saving Auckland ratepayers $160 000 000 per year. Although I have no strong opinions on the matter, $160 000 000 is a lot of money, and provides a good arguement for amalgamation. Perhaps equally importantly, it will mean only dealing with one council, and not two, when applying for consents for building consents, and dealing with council regualtions and bureaucracy. I have no doubt that the Royal Commsion will look into its proposal, and recomend what it thinks is best, and I hope they come up with a very good solution to the local government issues facing Auckland.

If $160 000 000 can be saved by abolishing Auckland Regional Council, it leaves me with the question, why stop at Auckland, and why not extend the reforms to the whole country? At the moment Giborne, Nelson and Tasman are unitary authorities, and appear to do fine without any regional councils. Obviously some local government areas are too small to do the tasks a regional council would, or dependent on others, but this is an idea worth looking into.

Also, earlier this year, in Queensland, Australia, the number of councils was halved, from 156 to 72, in a radical reform of local government. The effects of this could be looked into for any future local governemnt reform here, especially as Queensland has a similar population to New Zealand.

Explore posts in the same categories: Auckland, Local Government

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