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Single City Would Be A Timely Signal For Business

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Single City Would Be A Timely Signal For Business

15 January 2009 - A key Auckland business group says it is encouraged by media speculation that the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance may recommend a single city region to replace greater Auckland's seven city and district councils and regional council.

"It's a nightmare at the moment for businesses wanting to expand around the region under the current arrangements. Every area has different district plans, different consultation, different development rules, and different rating structures," says Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

"A lot of consultants and lawyers fees are wasted on businesses having to start from scratch every time they expand into a new area. A one city model would be a very positive signal for business, particularly in this economic climate.

"With building consents falling to their lowest since 1994 and with much talk about the building sector needing a "kick-start", rationalising the rules and regulations around Auckland's local government would certainly be positive."

Cameron Brewer also believes a one-city model would also improve co-ordination around public projects.

"At the moment it's very hard to get the left hand to talk to the right. We're seeing it in Newmarket at the moment with hundreds of millions of dollars of public projects all happening at once.

"Amazingly, the majority of the key roads into Newmarket are currently unable to run at full capacity, putting a lot of pressure on traffic and business. As of today we've got about half a dozen separate publicly funded agencies working on upgrading Newmarket's infrastructure, with no one's eye on the big picture. We have to do better."

The Newmarket Business Association is keen to pay tribute to the Employers and Manufacturers Association for its leadership on the one-city model, largely through its comprehensive Fix Auckland campaign.

"The EMA has done a superb job in selling the many benefits of the one-city model. The leadership from the likes of Alasdair Thompson and Marie Hasler has been first class. The Auckland business community now awaits the Royal Commission's report with much anticipation," says Cameron Brewer.

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