Thursday, March 11, 2010

The new Auckland

It’s been months in the making, but the new Auckland came a step closer today: The Local Government Commission released revised maps and boundaries for the New Auckland. The northern boundary is the same, the southern has changed a bit, but most people—apart from those affected—won’t know that.

The Commission has also decided that some wards in the new city will have two councillors, while others will have one. I have no idea why. I would’ve thought it would’ve made sense for them all to be single-member wards, but maybe there was some limit in the number of wards they were allowed to have, or something equally illogical.

In any event, I checked out the maps at the official site, and I can’t say that I have any more feel for the new city, or my elected representation, than I did before. Maybe that’s something that comes with time.

But one doesn’t have to have intimate knowledge of the area to realise what a challenge this new city will be. The new city is 100 kilometres or more, north to south: More than an hour of driving time (and pushing two hours during peak times). That doesn’t sound like a recipe for a unified, cohesive city.

Still, this is what we get. We’ll have to make the best of it, somehow.

The New Auckland begins in November of this year.


toujoursdan said...

Canada went through a round of amalgamations (unified Montréal island which then de-unified, Toronto and Ottawa) and they generally don't produce what is promised - in both maintaining the level of service and cost savings.

There is always some urban/rural conflict and many suburbs see services cut.

Maybe Auckland will be different but I would be surprised.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I don't think anyone who lives in the new Auckland seriously believes that the new city will be cheaper (one of the things used to try and "sell" it), and they mostly expect deterioration and cuts in some services. However, others will improve: There has never been a regional transport strategy, for example, because eight different councils had a say. Hopefully, there'll be at least some good things to come of this in the short term.