26 Jul 2010

Super-city merger comes with risks, says Key

4:10 pm on 26 July 2010

Prime Minister John Key has acknowledged there are to the merger of Auckland's councils.

Mr Key, speaking at a local government conference about the merger of Auckland's eight local bodies into a single super-city later this year, said there would always be risks implementing change of this scale, but unlocking Auckland's potential was vital for the economy.

He told the conference the reforms would simplify and streamline the region's governance structures, and result in better, more cost-effective public services for Aucklanders.

Mr Key said the merger would create an organisation controlling $29 billion of assets.

Mr Key said low turnout at local elections was a worrying trend, especially in view of the impact local councils have on people's lives.

He said he personally would be pushing strongly for people to vote in this year's elections.

Voter turnout in the 2007 elections was 44%.