First of all, let me apologize to BayBuzz subscribers for the “dump” of numerous articles into your e-mailboxes over the weekend. “Operator Error” as they say.

We launched the new BayBuzz website over the weekend (check out all the new features) and managed to publish every new article in the queue as a blog post. Sorry!

But there is a method to our madness. This week we will be featuring a number of articles on “governance” here in the Bay, starting with Mayor Yule’s favourite issue … amalgamation.

Amalgamation is the “800 pound gorilla” on our local scene, with local elected leaders and the public divided at this early stage. Kathy Webb, in Na-Pure and Ha-Stinks, looks at the divided opinion on amalgamation, as well as “shared services,” its more incremental rival approach. And along the way, she provides some entertaining historical perspective on the issue.

Kathy put several dozen hours into pulling together her comprehensive report. Because it’s a feature-length article (4000 words), I’ve attached it as as a Word doc give you an easy option to print it out.

Tom Belford

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  1. On the subject of local body amalgamations, they are now questionable in their relevance after the last comments from the super-city team that there will be no redundancies or staff reductions with the Auckland super city. I thought the whole rationale behind the amalgamation process was to cut costs, move resources from the back-room support roles (accounting, HR, IT) to the front-line so that their ratepayers (clients) get better service.

    Unless amalgamation can deliver on this, how do we expect the councillors or public to support it – it will just be another case of the turkey’s not voting for Christmas.

  2. I think you'll find regarding the "Supercity" amalgamation format that it will reduce a lot of staff across the various councils that will naturally get absorbed into the Super-Hub and within Auck. Central admin etc.

    The underlying agenda up here in AK is to " farm" out contracts to the bigger private players to fulfil a lot of the existing council staffing roles with the intention of compressing staff levels ,costs and , hopefully, providing better outcomes.

    The upshot of this is that ACT's Rodney Hide, who is driving a lot of the agenda will appease private enterprise and most of our rates up here will go up.

    Game-Set-Match .

    As for the Bay and amalgamation….just get on with it !

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