Auckland Council pushed as template for regions
The amalgamation of councils in Auckland has worked so well it should be a template for the rest of New Zealand, the lobby group for infrastructure companies says.
New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) chief executive Stephen Selwood pushed for reform of councils in regions at the Local Government New Zealand conference in July and he held Auckland up as a template for regions at the Building Nations conference in Auckland this week.
There was no doubt that the unification of Auckland councils in 2010 had been a success, he said.
"NZCID favours full council amalgamations using the two-tier unitary council model used in Auckland as template for governance reform across the nation," he said.
There are 67 sub-regional city and district councils and 11 regional councils in New Zealand.
"At one end of the spectrum, Auckland has a population of 1.5 million. At the other end, 50 of the 67 councils have a population of less than 50,000 people, 13 of which have less than 10,000," Selwood said.
They face the challenge of ageing populations and struggle to afford timely infrastructure investment.
They also struggle to retain technical, commercial and financial capabilities.
NZCID is advocating the creation of 12 or so provincial unitary councils based largely on regional council boundaries.