"It doesn't matter how you want to slice the Auckland local government cake," says Liberty Scott, "it is still cholesterol laden and tasteless. It's too big. Arguments about the best structure avoid the first point - what should local government do?"
Excellent point. The Local Government Act 2002 essentially gave councils the power to do anything they damned well pleased, and even in their current form, they have. Hence the rise and rise of your rates bill. When you combine this with a bureaucracy that's already large enough to be out of control -- and John Banks's struggles to put a leash on his chief executive David Rankin indicates how out of control the bureaucracy already is -- then foisting a super-city with its super-bureaucracy on one-third of New Zealand's population just looks more and more insane.