Sunday, October 31, 2010

Endings and beginnings

Tonight midnight will be a little more momentous than usual. Not just the end of a day, or a month, it’s also the end of existence for eight local councils in the Auckland region. In their places, Auckland Council will come into being.

This is an historic change, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Well, it’s bigger than most people have ever seen, including all New Zealanders. The new Auckland will be huge and will dominate the country in ways it never did before. That’ll be a challenge for some to accept, or simply to get used to.

As it happens, today I bought a book on the history of North Shore, one of the councils that goes out of business tonight. I’ve long been fascinated by the history of the place I’ve lived most of my years in New Zealand. Now, of course, I’ll be learning about the history of a part of Auckland. Even for me, that’s kinda weird to think about.

Whatever any of us thought about the creation of this "super city", all of that's now irrelevant. We have to pull together to make the new city work because no one would benefit from failure. It'll probably take awhile before the people in the new Auckland start to think of themselves as truly part of the same city, but I think that will come in time.

But for now, it's time to say farewell to Auckland City, Manukau City, North Shore City, Waitakere City, Franklin District, Papakura Disrict, Rodney District and the Auckland Regional Council. Welcome, Auckland Council.

Now, let's get on with making our Auckland great.


Roger Owen Green said...

Don't know if this was happening when you were still living in the states, but a lot of city governments are now coterminous with the county lines (Miami, Indianapolis, Charlotte). Not at all what you're talking about, of course, but an interesting trend.

The closest thing I can think of in the US is the creation of NYC in 1898 from the consolidation of the five boroughs.

Anonymous said...

i wish you very well with the change.

Arthur Schenck said...

Roger: You know, you're the second person who mentioned the NYC amalgamation to me—I'd never thought of it. Interestingly (or not…), we don't have anything like counties in NZ (or provinces, either), so there are only two layers of government: Town/city and national. I kind of like that.

Mhairi: Thanks! I'm actually really confident about it!