As I type, a debate over whether the Hawke's Bay amalgamates into a single council rages at Napier Boys' High School, which was partly organised by one of the local rags, Hawke's Bay Today. I have come into this debate late and ill-prepared. Yet these are my thoughts.
I heard local Labour Napier MP Stuart Nash do his anti-amalgamation argument a couple of weeks ago at the Hawke's Bay Deaf Club in Taradale, where his booked adversary, Hastings mayor and head honcho of Local Government New Zealand Lawrence Yule, totally failed to turn up to rebut.
So it's some comfort to see Yule turn up tonight. He's not completely rooting the corgi over this. Nonetheless, I can't shrug the feeling Yule has been fed a reluctant Viagra on this argument. I have just moved out of the wellington region, which recently decided against amalgamation, resulting in Fran Wilde's head on a figurative pike. Yule's playing with fire and a fearful desire for not rocking boats.
Only Auckland is Auckland, and its problems are singular. As far as NZ local government goes, at least. Render unto Rome what is Rome's. Render unto the provinces what is theirs.