Friday 20 February 2015

Franks on proposed super-cities

I agree with Stephen: is puzzling that business has not watched the Canterbury experience, and the extent to which Canterbury has been saved from presenting unrelieved incompetence by the safety valve councils of Selwyn and Waimakariri.  You’d think they might have asked Hugh Pavletich to come up and report. Christchurch has been hostile to business ever since Christchurch City was jammed together as a prototypy ‘super-city’ two decades ago.
Many Wellington business reps have an intuitive faith in  ’bigger is better’ territorial government. I say ‘territorial’ because it would be a lie to call Uber-City Wellington and Super-City Auckland “local government”. Two councils governing half the population of New Zealand may be government, but it is certainly not ’local’ government, on any measure.
This faith based policy development by business reminds me of the business elite of Britain on the Euro.
I think folks in central government are grasping at straws here, trying to find ways to make local government suck less. My preferred approach instead suggests fixing councils' incentives by changing local government finances, then letting small councils compete with one another for residents, businesses, and industry.


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