South Island mayors join forces over super city

8:49 pm on 13 October 2010

At least 10 South Island mayors are calling for a united approach to compete with the likely economic demands of the Auckland super city.

The mayors are worried their infrastructure projects will come second best to the new council powerhouse when Government funding is handed out.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker has called for a meeting to form a group to represent their interests in Wellington.

Other mainland mayors say a united front for the South Island is important to counter the pulling power of the Auckland Council which, by amalgamating eight councils, will represent 1.3 million people.

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman says, for example, the massive cost of proposed rail projects in Auckland could swallow up funds for roading in the South Island.

Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt says he is keen to attend.

He says the mayors talked last year about taking a united approach to tourism and other common interests.