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Wellington Partnership will save ratepayers heaps

Media Release
16 August 1999

Greater Wellington Partnership will save ratepayers "heaps"

Local authorities could save their ratepayers "heaps" if they got together to buy services and products according to Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky.

Mayor Blumsky has invited all the mayors in the Wellington region to establish a Greater Wellington Partnership to deliver regional savings through better interaction and collaboration between councils.

"If we all work together, I believe we could significantly cut our maintenance and operating costs and save our ratepayers real money," he says.

"When buying everything from insurance to library books to toilet paper, our combined purchasing power could get us better deals. Further, our power needs could be combined, as could our postal and election services or our radio advertising on broad issues such as Y2K."

Mayor Blumsky stresses the proposal is different from the local authority amalgamation idea - the so-called 'Super Council' - that he floated last year and has now dropped.

"Further amalgamation within our regional boundaries is unlikely to occur," he says.

"But for a number of years now I have been mulling over the potential savings that might accrue from taking a regional approach. I'm no longer talking about amalgamation, just co-operation. It's a matter of logistics and supply."

Mayor Blumsky is proposing membership of the Greater Wellington Partnership include all the mayors and CEOs of local authorities within Greater Wellington including Wairarapa and the Wellington Regional Council. Chairing duties would rotate between members on an annual basis and a small secretariat of 1 or 2 full-time, independent officers would be employed to work with each member Council to research the extent of possible savings and the mechanisms to deliver them. Each local authority would contribute funding to the Partnership on a population basis.

"It's important we move forward positively as a region," says Mayor Blumsky.

"The Greater Wellington Partnership will give added confidence to the region's ratepayers that their local authorities are fully committed to supplying the best value for their money.

"We should leave no stone unturned to deliver on that commitment."

ENDS

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