OPINION: In his letter this week, William Watt asks whether we really need three territorial councils, one regional council and various boards and trusts to look after the affairs of local government in Southland.
The answer to this question is an emphatic yes, we do!
Just ask the good people of Auckland what they think of the Super City.
In Queensland recently the state government forced the amalgamation of local councils, supposedly to save money and increase efficiency.
The result was the complete opposite, with huge financial costs associated with the amalgamations, project consents coming almost to a halt as bureaucrats fought for position and processes were changed.
As a result a number of these super councils are likely to be de- amalgamated following strong opposition from the people.
Democracy means the people have a voice - the elected representatives are accountable to the people, and the bureaucrats are accountable to the representatives.
Amalgamation is nothing but a creeping takeover by bureaucrats and central government, and should be strongly resisted.
The present craziness between Environment Southland and ICC is a result of poor leadership, with a majority of sitting councillors taking no action on the farcical ''Ruby'' affair. In a true democracy, the people will ensure new councillors are elected, which will result in new and accountable leadership of Environment Southland.
Steve Mitchell is a candidate for Environment Southland - Editor