Napier MP Stuart Nash said it was a 'shamef' />

The poll on whether Hawke's Bay's five councils should amalgamate is set to cost ratepayers about $245,000.
Napier MP Stuart Nash said it was a "shameful waste of ratepayer money."
Of the five affected councils, only Hastings District Council supported the Local Government Commission's proposal to form a single council.
Mr Nash said Hawke's Bay Regional Council ratepayers would bear the largest financial burden, having been apportioned just over half the cost of the poll with a bill for $122,500.
Despite that, the ratepayers of each council will now have to contribute to the overall estimated cost of nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
"This proposal was instigated by lobby group A Better Hawke's Bay, and forced on us by the Local Government Commission, yet neither of these organisations will have to stump up a cent," Mr Nash said.
The total cost of the poll includes a fee for Electoral Officer Warwick Lampp, and the costs for public notices, voter pack design, printing, mail processing, postage, insurance and vote processing.
The final cost will depend on how many votes are received, but has been budgeted on an estimated 65 per cent return from the 110,000 electors on the roll.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said the proposal was not being forced on councils and it would be decided by a democratic poll across the region.
"The Local Government Commission believed there was enough support to issue a final proposal.
"A Better Hawkes Bay then obtained signatures to make it a region wide poll. That is transparent and democratic," Mr Yule said.
He said the price of democracy is the cost of asking the people as is done in central and local government.
"This is no different," Mr Yule said.
A Better Hawke's Bay chairwoman Rebecca Turner said that without a poll the recommendation to amalgamate councils would have gone ahead automatically.
"We have always said that such a major decision should be decided by the people of Hawke's Bay, something we would assume Stuart Nash supports considering his current Private Members Bill.
"The cost of such a democratic vote is reasonably minimal, probably about two dollars per voter, and is nothing when compared to the projected savings of $10 million per year under an amalgamated council," Ms Turner said.
The substance of Mr Nash's Bill is that if the Local Government Commission releases a local council amalgamation/reorganisation plan, in order for it to proceed, there must be a majority vote for the proposal in each jurisdiction named in the plan.