Wellington super city decision expected today

Following widespread consultation, debate and division between the nine councils involved in the proposed amalgamation, the decision on whether the region will follow Auckland is expected this afternoon.

Initial indications point to the super city being sent back to the drawing board, although it appears that this may not be the end of the matter as councils and LGNZ recognise the efficiencies that can occur from amalgamation. An overview of the current proposal and some of the early-stage reactions can be found here.

As with any amalgamation the cost savings (if any) will not be apparent for some time. in fact often expenditure needs to increase initially as systems are reviewed and consolidated and staffing levels are reviewed. The idea is that, over time, a lot of back office functions can be streamlined and bureaucracy reduced (for a similar corporate example look to ANZ removing/consolidating the National Bank brand).

If the amalgamation does go ahead it will put up some considerations for the industry, such as the effect on current contracts and the value able to be placed on existing relationships built with local councils. Kensington Swan produced an overview of considerations following the Auckland Super City announcement, and these considerations would be equally applicable if the same decision were to be made in Wellington.

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