The “P”s of Amalgamation in HB


“Amalgamating Hawke’s Bay’s five councils into one entity WILL result in lower council rates”

This is one of the major selling Points “A Better Hawke’s Bay” / “Amalgamate Hawke’s Bay” and their Proponents would have you believe.

And you know what? They’re right – it will!

But, as always, there are catches. In this case they all begin with the letter “P”.

Just as one nasty “P”, Pseudoephedrine, has been found silently contaminating local state houses recently, another nasty “P” contaminates the minds of those who hope for and bankroll the campaign to amalgamate Hawke’s Bay.

This “P” GUARANTEES lower rates.

But when Pushed for Proof by its Proponents this “P” is seldom highlighted – it’s Practically a “silent P”.

Because it’s “Privatisation”

It’s simple, really.

If, under a new amalgamated council’s strategy, contracts to Provide the likes of rubbish collection, water supply or libraries across Hawke’s Bay are sold off to Private companies – your rates WILL be lower, because you won’t be Paying the council for them!

For a time Hawke’s Bay residents may still Pay the same total overall as they do now to get all the services we receive under the current structure – just with one Part going to the council rates and the other Part going to Private enterprise.

But then along comes the second “P” and this is one that will really catch you out!

Because, unlike local governments, Private businesses are PROFIT-driven.

Somewhere, sometime down the track you WILL be Paying more for all the services you receive now.

But, unlike now, where ratepayers can at least vote out councillors who hike rates, fail to Provide services, or go back on Promises. If a service you Pay for, like water supply for example, is controlled by a single, Private entity – you don’t get a say in the matter. Private companies’ / corporations’ loyalties are ultimately to their “bottom lines” and shareholders.

Privatising such essentials of human life as water has been done before and does continue around the world.

But when Profit Pandering overrides common and commercial sense, People Power often kicks in and it doesn’t end well for the Privateers. That should cause Pause for thought.

But while Private companies and corporations are often seen as and act like, heartless, mindless drones to Profit, our recent current civic leaders don’t appear to have shown much in the way of credibility, accountability or consideration of the finances they are using being Public money.

So there you go.

We ALL want Hawke’s Bay to do better than it has been over recent years, but Picking out its Prime assets and services for Private Profit won’t improve things – it will just Put us further down the Path to Pandemonium.

Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is just taking the Piss.

3 thoughts on “The “P”s of Amalgamation in HB

  1. Very interesting, but you miss one Point: Amalgamation is not a Prerequisite for Privatisation i.e. Privatisation could just as easily be already on the table under the current regime. Hence your Post linking Privatisation to Amalgamation is a red herring.
    It’s also interesting to note that in the example you quote re accountability, the MTG was and is a council owned and operated business, yet still managed to have significant Problems i.e. status quo is also not a option. And no doubt any Amalgamated council would also have humans working for it and there would be errors made. My Point is, neither status quo or Amalgamation Per se is likely to bring us to Perfection, but we should at least consider the bigger Picture.

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