Anyone who thought the Government would balk at the Royal Commission's report into the governance of Auckland, or spend months thinking about it, or use it as a door stop and let it go away was plainly wrong. In fact, judging by the speed, the clarity and decisiveness with which it has acted, the Government seems not to have been able to wait to get amongst it.

In one simple fell swoop this week, in one breathless moment of daring, in one effortless flick of the pen, it effected a revolution in Auckland politics. The political establishment was caught flat-footed.

The Supercity will happen. That is that. It was delivered with the clarity we have come to expect from Rodney Hide and the light touch we are coming to see as the John Key trademark. No horses were frightened. The reformation is the most natural, normal thing in the world. And we'll do it by next October.

Strangely, there is no screaming. Not yet. But the announcement must have been especially surprising to those who have spent years in the Auckland political machines, people who have for so long been part of the problem. They seemed to believe at heart that nothing really could ever be done with Auckland, that it was all too hard and we would somehow, with the odd tweak here and there, muddle on.

Hide and Key, with their freshness and some naivety perhaps, took a simple decision. It is not too hard. It will be done.

When I came to Auckland 22 years ago, I found the local government as it was set up - the history, the personalities, the old rivalries - almost incomprehensible. I never really understood it or found my way through it all. It was always as if the Auckland region was structured to be powerless, structured for silly rivalries.

It seemed set up so that real regional progress could not be made, so that areas rivalled each other and became more isolated from each other.

In the end, Auckland City had the prestige because, well, Auckland City was Auckland City. The mayoralty, apart from a couple of recent exceptions, has always attracted strong personalities. These were the mayors of Auckland and they were the people the media went to for interviews, these were the people who got heard.

After all, they represented Auckland City. It did not matter that Auckland City was only that small bit of the region. The other cities seemed second-rate whether you lived in them or not. Auckland City was the flash one. This was certainly how it seemed to the rest of the country.

We never really, I think, saw ourselves as part of a regional totality. Instead, we looked at each other as rivals across the various jurisdictions, potential thieves of monies we should have spent in our own part of the region. In our forced regional separations we looked too often for the angle, not the opportunity.

The Auckland Regional Council never really did it for us, either. No one loved the Auckland Regional Council. It was kind of Auckland, but it wasn't. It was a parallel governing outfit in what seemed, too often, a parallel universe. They were of us, but not part of us. The ARC always seemed liable to capture by odd people, agenda people, high-and-mighty people, people who seemed to answer to no particular constituency, people too happy with our dough.

The Government has bestowed on this dynamic region, which has struggled for so long in the opaque labyrinth of fractured governance - with all the self interest and inevitable petty rivalries it produced - the historic gift of simplicity.

It is one of the most exciting things ever to happen to Auckland. After next October, when the Mayor of Auckland goes to Wellington to make a case for the city, the people of Waitakere will know he or she is speaking for them. The people of Manukau will know the Mayor is fighting for them.

The rejection of the Maori seats, however, provokes a good debate. Pita Sharples - a reasonable man, a magic New Zealander, I think, a man of extraordinary dedication who has come out of nowhere politically to become Minister of Maori Affairs - is extremely unhappy at the Government's rejection of the three appointed Maori seats on the new council.

Sharples believes this means Maori will miss out on representation. But times have changed. Maori are doing it for themselves now. The Maori Party is a major presence in Parliament. The United States has elected an African-American president. Maori, now, might have to get organised for themselves. And would such appointees be active? Would they be tireless for their constituents? Or might they become time servers?

There are many unknowns. But the Supercity revolution is exciting. It is so exciting. It should finally effect a coming together of the people. But we will see the old regional self interests flare up yet.

Already, Rodney fears a loss of power in its bustling capital, Orewa. There will be delicacies and sensitivities. Whoever gets to lead Auckland will have to be someone with a bold vision, someone who can reach out with generosity and touch a wide variety of people.

There is another aspect to what has happened. Most of the old politicos I spoke to before this week's announcement - well, all right, I spoke to one old politician, one from the left, who said the Government would never do it, said there would be too many jobs down the drain, too many councillors and officials out on the street. And many of them are Tories, he said.

And anyway, he said, why would Wellington create a superpower in the north, a virtual city-state? Why would they not keep the place divided? These are good questions. The creation of a single, powerful entity in the north may one day bring tears for this or any future Government.

This Government appears not at all worried about any of that and seems singly intent on getting Auckland to work. Together. As one proud, sprawling city in one of the loveliest settings in the world.