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Friday, 19 April 2019 02:22 pm

Super city gone, but Wellingtonians still want change for local economy

Jun 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

UnemploymentA WELLINGTON super city may be ditched but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time for change.

Newswire asked Wellingtonians for their reaction to the scrapping of the super city proposal, and for their thoughts on economic issues such as Wellington’s increasing unemployment rate.

Central Wellington café owner John Matias says he thinks there should a different approach to the super city.

“If there is a better plan for a super city then I’m all about it, but I think there needs to be something different. I think if there was a bigger airport or a music stadium or something that would be really helpful,” he says.

Michael Lawrence from Christchurch says he has heard about the super city from news outlets.

“I think the region would lose identity and interest if it went ahead but I think people would be more in favour if they were aware of the possibility of the unemployment rate going down,” he said.

Tailors Peter Gittings and Jason Antonopoulos say the negatives aspects of the proposal outweigh the positives.

Mr Gittings thinks ditching the Super City is a good idea.

“There aren’t many connections in the outer suburbs and looking at all the finances and spending that went into Auckland, the unemployment went up instead of down,” Mr Gittings, of Johnsonville, says.

Mr Antonopoulos, of Hataiti, says the benefits were not obvious.

“I think the trouble with the proposal is the fact that there wasn’t enough information about what all the benefits are and some people might not understand.

“I think anything that brings unemployment down would be good,” he says.

After the announcement last week, Wellington Chamber of Commerce released a statement saying it was disappointed with the decision.

“Abandoning the proposed local government amalgamation model for Wellington is a missed opportunity for the region and the local economy,” the release says.

The latest Statistics New Zealand employment figures show the creation of the Auckland Super City in 2013 coincided with a rise in unemployment rates.

Auckland’s unemployment rate is 6.9% (59,400 people) for the March quarter was, while Wellington’s was 6% (16,800 people).

From March 2013 to March 2015, Auckland’s unemployment rate has had an up and down trend, compared with Wellington’s slow incline.

In the past four months, Auckland’s unemployment rate has increased by 1.1 percentage points, compared with Wellington’s increase of 0.3 percentage points.

The national unemployment rate has been steadily declining since March 2013 and is currently sitting on 5.8 per cent.

Northland has the highest rate of unemployment (9.9 per cent), while Canterbury has the lowest (3.1 per cent).


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