No su­per city

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -


I am op­posed to a su­per city for the Welling­ton Re­gion.

1. A sin­gle re­gional body would se­ri­ously un­der­mine democ­racy in lo­cal gov­ern­ment. Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the vot­ers by the su­per city elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives could not be ac­com­pa­nied by trans­par­ent accountability. The demo­cratic process de­pends on mean­ing­ful lo­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion. A su­per city would re­sult in the elected coun­cil­lors be­com­ing direc­tors of a cor­po­ra­tion which would op­er­ate on the ba­sis of its own agenda.

2. Each lo­cal au­thor­ity in the Welling­ton re­gion re­flects unique com­mu­ni­ties which col­lec­tively make up the unique vi­brancy of our di­verse re­gion. A su­per city would weaken that di­ver­sity in favour of a com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor which ef­fec­tively would mean the iden­tity, val­ues and as­pi­ra­tions of mid­dle-class pakeha.

3. The lo­cal authorities have de­vel­oped a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to re­gional af­fairs as­sisted by the re­gional coun­cil. There re­mains the need to be vig­i­lant lest pub­lic ameni­ties such as sports sta­dia, swim­ming pools are du­pli­cated when one would ad­e­quately serve more than one lo­cal au­thor­ity. Un­der the cur­rent sys­tem there is the op­por­tu­nity for a trans­fer of re­spon­si­bil­ity for roads, pub­lic trans­port, sew­er­age, and wa­ter to the re­gional coun­cil if that was deemed to be more eco­nomic than the present sys­tem.

4. The ar­gu­ment that a su­per city would be cheaper to run than the ex­ist­ing sys­tem of lo­cal authorities is not sub­stan­ti­ated by facts. The cost of lo­cal authorities needs to be dealt with sep­a­rately from the su­per city pro­posal.

The present sys­tem of prop­erty-based rates needs to be re­placed by in­come tax de­ter­mined na­tion­ally. The present in­come set­ting sys­tem for coun­cil staff is es­sen­tially a closed shop – wages should be pegged to com­pa­ra­ble agree­ments in the pub­lic sec­tor.

5. My per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing a pre­vi­ous Porirua rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Welling­ton Area Health Board, the Welling­ton Har­bour Board and the Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance proved to me that the more pop­u­lous, wealthy, and es­tab­lished parts of the re­gion dom­i­nated de­ci­sion-mak­ing to the detri­ment of Porirua.

DON BOR­RIE, Ti­tahi Bay.

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