No super city
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.