LG is a creature of statue, and 'consultation' is firmly entrenched in those statutes. Plus, there are three competing streams of playaz whose interactions create, extend, and perpetuate the dither:
1 - Central Gubmint, who can (dimly and fitfully) sense the macro-economic picture which emerges from the 70-odd LG layers whirling away beneath them. CG is purposefully designed to be movable only incrementally, so observing an unwanted, emergent effect (like the AKL hoosing bubble) has no timeline for the fix, even if the causes and cures are clear (which is rare...).
2 - LG pollies, like Len the Bruin, have particular positions to cleave to, and need to not offend enough electors, in order to get elected next time around. Pollies can only set Policy, not Manage, and particularly not micro-manage. So they rely on unelected staff to do the heavy lifting (in every sense, including intellectually) with regard to policy options for proposed changes, day-to-day implementation for existing policy, and reporting to and from on the results of or issues with, existing policy. Most LG pollies are to be frank cowed by the superior horsepower of staff, so tend to occupy an uncertain DMZ between staff and ratepayers. They are essentially cheerleaders for whatever the staff du jour have dreamed up, done, or screwed up.
3 - LG staff hold most of the cards except the money one. As a bureaucracy, they run by two immutable principles:
- Peter (rise inexorably to one click above their level of competence), and
- Preservation (defend turf, extend it where possible, never yield ground.)
- a united front,
- a heap of dead wood, and
- a rigid observance of 'rules'.
Dithering, as should be clear, is structural.....the only real handle the Council has is the $ one.