Do we need/want to amalgamate with our neighbours?
Should we amalgamate with our neighbours to achieve cost savings? Wanganui's debt over the next 10 years is planned to rise and then gradually fall. For our two near neighbours it's forecast to rise to the point where when combined it's equal to ours. This might suggest a good case for amalgamation or are we taking on an increasing debt burden?
Per capita debt (see graph on left) shows the same story. Again, Wanganui is looking to reduce debt - but there's no sign of that in the case of our near neighbours.
Wanganui's rates take is significantly higher than our neighbours and rising faster (see below).
Looking at projected rates for all regions, they're very similar.
The question: is there a case for amalgamation or at least sharing costs? If much bigger centres are considering it, why shouldn't we?
Perhaps at least sharing services might be a much more palatable solution?
I'd like your feedback.