Home' Hastings Mail : August 23rd 2011 Contents 4 HASTINGS MAIL, AUGUST 24, 2011
TO ALL WINNERS!
Napier 'the loser'
By NAPIER MAYOR BARBARA ARNOTT
Napier will be a loser in any amalgamation.
That s the big reason why councillors declined
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule s request to con-
tribute $50,000 to a study on local government
structure leading to amalgamation.
Their decision is supported by a huge volume of
reports and information already available on
amalgamation, including two 2011 Local Govern-
ment New Zealand reports. Professor Graham
Sansom, one of the authors, talked on his report at
an amalgamation meeting at EIT on July 14.
He said amalgamation is very expensive and
very disruptive , amalgamation is not the only
way to improve local governance and there are
winners and losers .
Napier will be a loser. Here are some of the
Napier is a financially sustainable city with low
debt ($4 million) and low rates. This will be put
significantly at risk for us and future generations
Napier does not have increasing debt issues for
the future and our sewage treatment plant is
already funded. Ring fencing a debt without ring
fencing a revenue stream is meaningless.
Past amalgamations of local government have
pulled financial performance down to a common
denominator rather than enhancing it to the
Napier representation will be a minority one on
an amalgamated council. In 1998, the Local Gov-
ernment Commission determined that eight Hast-
ings and six Napier councillors would constitute
the new council.
There is no evidence at all that the list of
perceived problems -- low household income, low
population growth, ageing population, low skills-
based workforce -- can be addressed even to a
minor degree by amalgamation. Where are the
benefits from this?
Napier and Hastings have distinct cultures and
different communities of interest. Even Mayor
Yule s poll shows that the majority of Napier
citizens reject amalgamation. We are already one
Hawke s Bay . The region has two cities, numer-
ous towns and a large rural area. When necessary,
we speak and act with one voice. It works.
So, what do we think will work in favour of our
There are real alternatives to amalgamation
that bring significant benefits to communities.
We already work with Hastings District Council
on more than 20 different services to our cities and
recently committed to a Shared Services business
model with Hastings to work more closely. This is
where cost efficiencies and improved services will
be made regionally.
Shared Services, everywhere it has been used,
has been proven to decrease rates and increase
efficiencies. Napier City likes this. On the other
hand amalgamation has delivered increased rates
and decreased efficiencies.
Prime Minister John Key and his government
have no agenda for amalgamation post Auckland.
In fact he said let s wait and see how Auckland
[which needed fixing] works .
The focus then should be on Shared Services,
respecting the independence of Napier and Hast-
ings which are both critical to the future of the
region, and aligning resources and services. Not
on tearing each other apart for the next 18 months
when real economic opportunity appears to be
within our reach.
Our council believes the resolution of the debate
should be in the hands of the people.
Instead of spending precious time on a political
agenda to re-debate the question of amalgamation
in Hawke s Bay, let s have a referendum now -- let
everyone speak and resolve the issue in a demo-
The closer government is to the people, the
better the decisions for the people.
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Eyes of the world
The world is coming to Napier
for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
There will be thousands of
visitors going to McLean Park.
There will be television crews
filming from around the world
covering the international teams
-- France, Canada and Japan --
playing at the stadium.
It s not only my concern but
the concern of a lot of other
rugby fans, that the main gates
of McLean Park are disgraceful.
A cheap option to improve
them would be water blast the
brickwork and entranceway.
The steel gates are rusty and
need a paint job too.
Perhaps some funds could be
put to one of Napier s best
assets, McLean Park, in time for
the Rugby World Cup.
The eyes of the world are on
No climate change
Should we look after our
But we don t need the emotive
language in the Mail (August
17), where it was reported that
the sea is predicted to rise by up
to 1.6 metres by the year 2100.
We have always had climate
change and we always will. A lot
of reports say that climate
change is man-made, but the
facts don t support this: 1. Over
time, the sea around New
Zealand has not been warming,
and 2. Over time, the air has
warmed slightly (globally), but
slower, and by less than is
usually reported. So there
probably won t be any
appreciable rise in sea levels, if
And if there isn t a problem,
why do we have an Emissions
Trading Scheme which adds
costs, especially to farmers, for
Mankind knows a lot, but
there is a lot we still don t know.
Niwa can t accurately forecast
our weather three months
ahead, so how much confidence
should we have in their
predictions 20 to 100 years from
now? It took about 100 days to
stop the flow of oil following the
leak in the Gulf of Mexico, then
mother nature took care of the
huge oil spill in the ocean. How
was it that the brains of the
world couldn t fix it sooner? It
took several weeks to even
determine the cause of the
recent outbreak of bacteria in
Why is there so much
reporting of the pro-lobby for
climate change, and so little
reporting of those against it?
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