Answer imminent on whether size matters
This is the month when either the axe falls or the city sun rises, depending on your point of view. The Local Government Commission is to give its verdict on what it thinks is best for the Wellington region in terms of local government. What we expect is either a recommendation of the status quo or a proposed draft model for amalgamation. Common opinion is it will be the latter.
There are vocal proponents on both sides, and we need to decide where we want to be on the issue.
In The Dominion Post last month, Sue Kedgley, Wellington regional councillor, said: ‘‘ It’s quite clear that Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, and the Wairarapa don’t want it [amalgamation]. It’s going to be up to the people of Wellington, and that’s how it should be.’’
But should it be up to only the people of Wellington? What about the rest of us? Is the idea to subsume the rest of the region?
From all accounts, the Auckland super-city is not exactly the answer to all the region’s previous woes.
My question is: Is megaeverything going to consume us in the end? We have mega- stars, mega-centres, mega-cities – all in the name of economic progress.
But with New Zealand’s limited population, how much ‘‘mega’’ can we support? Common wisdom tells us not to put all our eggs in one basket. And what about those to whom ‘‘mega’’ is an impossible dream, given that they are struggling just to get the basics for their families?
How is the proposed amalgamation going to affect them?
Will rates be reduced, instance? Will the few
for free services they can enjoy be improved? Will they have access to the powers-that-be?
We need to look at these questions if and when we are called upon to vote on the issue.
Last month, we were given some very wise advice by Denise Brown of the Public Trust on the very important issues of powers of attorney and wills.
This month, we are looking at a subject far removed from that.
I’m sure you have noticed the numbers of people of different ethnicities now appearing in our cities, many of them refugees from their home country.
How do we as a society deal with these displaced people? Come and find out.
Kate Twyford of Red Cross Refugee Services will be our speaker. Everyone is welcome. Grey Power meeting, The Porirua Club, Lodge Place. Tuesday, June 10, 1.30pm. Phone Gloria Hazlewood. Phone: 233-0162 (also contact for Grey Power Electricity).