February 25, 2015
Tangata whenua bogey in amalgamation debate
An opponent of local government reform in the Hawkes Bay is citing an increased voice for Maori as a reason to reject the plan.
Mike Butler from Hastings Against Amalgamation says the plan to merge four district councils and the regional council into a super council headquartered in Napier needs to be put to a region-wide referendum.
He says amalgamation in Auckland has increased debt, cost jobs, and led to powerless local boards, a Maori board, local race-based spending, and involved local tribes in building consents.
Mr Butler is a contributor to a new book Twisting the Treaty: A tribal grab for money and power.
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