Napier mayor says bid to amalgamate Hawke's Bay councils was waste of time

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

"It was a waste of time and money trying to amalgamate the five councils in the Hawke's Bay area into one council."

That from Napier Mayor Bill Dalton after the people of Hawke's Bay said "No" to the proposal.

Results so far, show that more than 60% of people voted against the amalgamation proposal.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton says, “In my opinion, it was and it should never have happened.  The local government commission was required to prove that there was demonstrable support in each individual community, now only 16% of the people in Wairoa wanted it.”

Wairoa voiced its anti-amalgamation stance loudly in the form of a music video, a reflection of the vast majority of its community.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little says, “This has just caused so much disruption for Wairoa. It’s like we've had a big cloud over us for the last two-three years.  It's the first time since I've been the Mayor that I've woken up and thought Wairoa knows what direction it's heading now.”

It was an idea first floated in 2009, with the official process underway in 2013 with an application from “A Better Hawke's Bay” group.

Dalton says, “I think the pro-amalgamation lobby will reflect on their advertising campaign, which was absolutely appalling.  They were not getting a serious message across.  It was as though they were selling some new product or something, it was appalling.”

Though it is a majority vote against, the official tally is expected to be out this Friday.

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