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Amalgamation survey should be treated with caution

Amalgamation survey should be treated with caution

The findings of a new survey on local government amalgamation in the Wellington region run counter to other surveys and should be treated with caution, says the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

President John Milford said the Hutt City survey flies in the face of a poll undertaken last year by Colmar Brunton for the Wellington City Council and of quarterly surveys of the Chamber membership.

“I’m going to suggest that this latest poll is something of an outlier when it’s compared to other survey results, and should be treated with caution.

“The Colmar Brunton poll of last year showed that 52% of residents said they either strongly agreed or agreed that the current structure of local government in Wellington should change because there are too many councils. Overwhelmingly, they said an amalgamated council could offer financial efficiencies. Just 15% disagreed.

“And that is backed by continual surveys of Chamber members which show that more than two thirds are in favour of amalgamation.

“They are two very different stories to this survey.

“It should be borne in mind that Hutt City has always been against amalgamation in any form, and have actively opposed the very idea by being at the forefront of a national campaign aimed at blocking such moves.

“The Chamber believes that having nine city and district councils is holding the region back and that one voice, one plan, and a clear and consistent message will reap benefits that we will all benefit from.

“But anyway, this is not really the time to be having this discussion – we should be waiting for the Local Government Commission to make its recommendation so the issues can be properly debated across the region.”

ends

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