29 May 2010

Cost of super-city transition put at $160m

8:28 pm on 29 May 2010

Auckland ratepayers will pay about $160 million for the creation of their super-city council.

It's the first time the Auckland Transition Agency, which is merging eight local bodies into one, has tallied up the costs.

Computer systems and information technology are expected to account for more than three-quarters of the bill. Some of that would have been spent anyway by the region's eight outgoing councils, but the agency can't say how much.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says about $60 million is being spent on IT to have the regionwide council functioning when it comes into being on 1 November.

A similar sum will be spent after that to complete the job of matching or replacing systems used by Auckland's existing councils.

The money will be covered by a loan that the new council will have to pay back to the Government.

Mr Hide says the transition cost sits nearly midway in a range estimated by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance.