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Napier City Council Opposes Amalgamation Proposal

March 5, 2014

Napier City Council Opposes Amalgamation Proposal

Napier City Council is against the current amalgamation proposal for Hawke’s Bay.

The Council voted not to support the Local Government Commission’s proposal saying it put forward “idealist views but with insufficient substantive data or objective analysis”.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, who campaigned strongly against amalgamation during last year’s elections, said the proposal would have a damaging effect across the region if it came to fruition.

“Each community of interest will lose the ability to control and manage what is important, and what is best, for its residents,” Mayor Dalton said.

“I continue to question how a small minority group feels they have the mandate to gamble with our lives and our livelihoods. There is no sense in this proposal and I’m pleased my council agrees.”

Napier City Council CEO Wayne Jack said he supported his Council’s decision.

“Under the proposal the number of councilors per head of population in Napier with increase from 4,770 to 19,080 – that’s a pretty significant loss of interface with your elected representatives.”

Mr Jack said Council’s key concerns were:
• Purported rates savings would not eventuate. Rates would in fact increase due to a need to cover the cost of amalgamation.
• Amalgamation would see either Hastings or Napier decimated through loss of jobs and industry focus.
• Communities of interest would lose focus
• Proposed Community boards would have no ability to set rates or fees
• Meaningful representation would diminish and residents would face a lack of accessibility to councilors due to their expanded coverage areas.
• The loss of an independent regulatory board (HBRC) would mean environmental risk is increased.

ENDS

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