OPINION: When I first stood for election to Environment Southland, I stated that I supported one council for Southland. Nothing in the intervening years has made me change my mind.
Having four councils for a population of just over 90,000 is like having six blacksmiths in a one-horse town. We are seriously over-governed.
Auckland has one council and Wellington will follow suit. In a recent article in this paper, Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said that the status quo was OK, but gave no reason for supporting that statement. He is quite right - there are no good reasons for having a 40,000 ratepayer base to support four councils.
The cost of plans alone is prohibitive. As a start, I would like to see the attendances and part attendances for all meetings that they are required to attend of Environment Southland councillors, and the cost to the ratepayer.
I think the attendances of all council meetings should be published, so that we know what we are getting in the way of representation. I would like to hear what other people's views are on this.
- The Southland Times
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