Thursday, March 12, 2015
Mike Butler: 63 percent oppose amalgamation
To reflect the proportion of voters in each district, 473 responses were sought from Hastings as 47.3 percent of the total population of the region, 426 from Napier, 58 from Wairoa and 42 from Central Hawke’s Bay.
The poll was commissioned by Hastings Against Amalgamation and was done via email.
Hastings proved to be the soft underbelly of support for amalgamation, as predicted by the Local Government Commission, with 55 percent in favour.
However, all other districts were clearly opposed with 78 percent against in Napier, 90 percent against in Wairoa, and 76 percent against in Central Hawke’s Bay.
Men, women, and all age groups are opposed to amalgamation, the poll revealed.
Opposition from Napier, Wairoa, and Central Hawke’s Bay voters reflects the positions of their respective councils. Wairoa was the only area unable to fill their quota, implying greater lack of interest in the issue in that district.
A ginger group named A Better Hawke’s Bay asked the Local Government Commission to start the process to amalgamate the five councils of Hawke’s Bay and submissions on an initial proposal were heard last June.
The poll result indicates that if the proposal were put to a regional vote it would fail.
The Local Government Commission is yet to release a final amalgamation proposal.
Once a final proposal is released, should that occur, residents in the four regions have 60 days to get together signatures of 10 percent of an affected district to petition for a regional vote.
That would require around 800 signatures in Wairoa or 5100 signatures in Hastings.
Consumerlink is part of the Colmar Brunton organisation that is currently surveying 2000 Hawke’s Bay residents on amalgamation for the Local Government Commission.
at 12:47 PM