To sort out the public business of 166,000 residents of Hawke’s Bay?
The photo above, taken this week as our five councils met to consider their options on the Government’s proposed ‘3 Waters’ reforms, provides a clue.
But only a clue as some councillors are missing and other players — iwi reps and chief executives — are present.
The answer: Hawke’s Bay has 49 councillors (including a chair for HBRC), 4 mayors and 5 chief executives to take care of business.
That’s one elected representative for each 3,132 residents, or one for each 2,471 eligible voters. Seems like a heap of representation!
Perhaps we should take comfort that so many agreed on a day to meet!
As for the substantive outcome … they agreed to put skeptical questions to the Minister for Local Government. Here is the letter sent, with a strong focus on local accountability concerns, but no real challenge to the economies of scale afforded by the Government’s scheme. What seems clear is that — one way or the other — consolidation of water services is going to occur … and is overdue.
And they issued a huffy media release.
But uh oh, beware the last line of the release: “In the meantime, Councils are working towards submitting individual feedback to Government.” [Italics added!]