The amalgamation debate has been riddled with anecdotes and historical rumour regarding ‘lost opportunities’, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said today following hearings with regard to the region’s amalgamation debate.
“Since this debate was started with the original petition a number of promises have been made about its benefits and subsequently proven to have no foundation but the ‘lost opportunity’ myth has stayed around.
“This supposed reason for amalgamation while yet to be backed by fact, it has given rise to some interesting claims such as ‘one voice is better than two’ and ‘we will get more from the Government as one region’ when this has been proven to be untrue in the current environment as confirmed by the relevant government departments.
“In public forums I have heard the claim that we are suffering from the lost opportunities as two areas but when pushed to identify them the examples are difficult to quantify.
“I have yet to hear of any lost opportunity because we have two Councils representing two different areas with often distinct and unique aspirations and needs.
“It appears that the ‘lost opportunities’ has become the longest standing myth of the amalgamation debate, however, if the proposed union does not proceed I will lead a discussion to maximize the benefits of the collaboration and shared services that currently exist”, concluded Mayor Kempthorne.