Is Lawrence Yule’s legacy project rooted?

lawrence yule

Local Government NZ chairman and Hasting Mayor Lawrence Yule has staked his legacy on amalgamating the Hawkes Bay Councils. He has faced vigorous opposition from the three other mayors in Hawkes Bay, and a well funded, well run anti amalgamation campaign by Labour MP Stuart Nash.

Yule got sledged by Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, and was too slow witted to come back with the obvious response that the status quo was proven not to work.

Dalton is staunchly opposed to the proposal, Yule very supportive. Yule said the big issues were not each council’s debt, or a fear of losing representation, which he said was unfounded. They were competition, climate change and global trends.

He listed some of the statistics in which the region features poorly compared to others: youth unemployment, GDP and population growth.

Yule said the region could tackle all those issues more effectively if it worked as one, rather than as various parts.

Dalton wasted no time in dismissing Yule’s claim that amalgamation would help this occur. ??

“This is the kind of rubbish we hear day after day after day. It doesn’t tell us anything about what amalgamation is going to do about these things, because we all know it can’t. You then trot out all your boring old statistics.

“We know we’re performing particularly poorly, but you don’t tell us why, and you don’t tell us how amalgamation is going to deal to those problems.” He said Yule was proposing a “revolution”, where he favoured an “evolution”.

The problem for Yule is that the public?s enthusiasm for amalgamation is never very high.

Polls in Northland and the Greater Wellington region have been heavily opposed to amalgamation, and Local Government NZ has completed a survey on Hawkes Bay residents to see if there is enough support to even have a referendum.

The inside word from Local Government NZ is that it is absolutely too close to call as to whether there is enough support for a referendum, which suggests that even if there is a referendum it will be lost by the pro-amalgamation people.

This will put amalgamations around the country back a generation, thanks to the sloppy and inept leadership of Lawrence Yule, who has run a very, very poor campaign promoting amalgamation.


– Hawkes Bay Today