The Facts about the Proposal
The weak and deficient proposal to restructure Local Government in the Wairarapa
is a meritless solution for a problem that doesn’t exist
except in the minds of the Local Government Commission and it should be rejected.
The Local Government Commission, LGC, has proposed that the three Wairarapa District Councils be restructured and amalgamated into a single Wairarapa wide District Council based in Masterton with reduced representation.
Unless we vote to reject the LGC proposal it will go ahead after the Local Body elections due in October 2019.
The proposal has no point
The LGC can’t define why it should be done. It has not said what the problem is that will be fixed. It has not specified how it will make anything better apart from a few pie in the sky wishy washy desires of its own. It places the huge costs and risks of a mindless restructure of local government on the people of the Wairarapa for no specific purpose or gain.
It won't provide good Local Government
Local government by law is supposed to:
- Enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and
- Meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.
There are no facts provided to show why we should believe that our infrastructure and services will be any better.
It's based on ideology and theory
It is driven by ideology and theory: “best practice” “bigger is better” and all of the baffling waffle and excesses of managerialism that have ever been invented.
The LGC doesn’t understand geography, heritage and culture of our towns. They fantasise that we’ll all be better off if we have our affairs controlled under one set of irrelevant grey rules largely invented by and handed down from central government bureaucrats.
The costs have come from Cloudcuckoo Land
The costs and benefits stated by the LGC are flawed and understated. The IT costs are based on a wet finger guess and don’t reflect the costs of a complete solution. The LGC has an abysmal history of restructuring in Auckland where there were 16% rate increases and where IT costs blown out from their estimate of $71m to over $151m and are still climbing! No one personally or part of an organisation would put up money on the basis of such a shonky guess at costs.
Less representation improves local democratic decision making?
The restructuring will result in less representation - so much for “local democratic decision making”.
It will be harder for you to get your voice heard. You’ll have to deal with a single central standard monolithic bureaucracy with a single set of rules and policies even if initially it has hollow outposts in our towns.
Who actually wants it?
The LGC claims it has support for the restructuring – it had 68% opposition to the draft proposal, the final is not much different and it manipulated a later survey to enable it to claim wide support. It also claims it worked on the proposal with local Councils yet there is little evidence of that.