19 Aug 2009

Super-city to save Auckland millions, says Hide

1:27 pm on 19 August 2009

A snap review of Auckland council projects has revealed hundreds of millions of dollars of savings can be made under the super-city, Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says.

The Auckland Transition Agency, which will oversee the move from eight Auckland councils to one, has spent a week looking at the councils' 10-year spending plans.

Mr Hide has always said the super-city will save Aucklanders millions of dollars - but the latest figures look only at projects that will be cut from existing budgets.

It does not weigh them against new spending that will have to be made under the super-city.

The initial estimate from the Transition Agency has identified more than $200 million of projects that are not needed because of the new regional focus.

Mr Hide says it is too early to say what the final savings will be.

Finance staff from Auckland City Council say the councils need to take a unified approach to their financial management in preparation for the move to one council.

But Rodney District Mayor Penny Webster says ratepayers are unlikely to see any savings once the costs of the transition are taken into account.

Her sentiments are shared by North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams, who says Mr Hide is putting a positive spin on the change process.