Archive | Auckland Council

Council OKs budget for consultation, signs off contributions policy

Auckland Council made a number of important decisions this week – its annual budget & development contributions policy at the top of the list.

The budget, for the July 2019-June 2020 year, goes out for public consultation in February and will be approved at the end of June.

The contributions policy has been through consultation, including a number of workshops with developers. Some changes were presented yesterday, which I’ll detail in a subsequent item.

Both went quickly through the council’s governing body yesterday after considerable debate at earlier sessions.

Unfortunately, my own website battles have got in the way of the stories, so, for today, you can check out details on council links, and I’ll aim to point to specific areas in both the budget & contributions policy for Monday.

Links from this week’s finance & performance committee and governing body meetings, on budget & development contributions:
Annual budget 2019-20 item for public consultation
Mayoral proposal for the annual budget 2019-20
Mayoral proposal for the annual budget 2019-20
Annual budget 2019-20 – consultation material overview 
Rates &fee issues for annual budget 2019-20 
Proposed changes to the urban rating area 
Proposed increases in regulatory fees and deposits 
Annual budget 2019-20 – consultation material overview
Rates & fee issues for annual budget 2019-20
Proposed changes to the urban rating area 
Proposed increases in regulatory fees & deposits
November workshop – Auckland Council’s debt strategy
Contributions policy 2019    
Draft contributions policy 2019 – analysis of feedback received 
Contributions policy for adoption Contributions supporting analysis – transport unit of demand factors 
Local board views 
Attachment C – development contributions stakeholder presentations workshop minutes
Attachment E – development contributions workshop minutes
Attachment G – development contributions discussion workshop minutes
Annual budget 2019-20 – consultation material overview
Rates & fee issues for annual budget 2019-20
Proposed changes to the urban rating area
Proposed increases in regulatory fees & deposits 

Attribution: Council documents & meetings.

Continue Reading

Auckland Council reappoints chief executive

Auckland Council approved the reappointment of chief executive Stephen Town for 2 more years on Wednesday. Mr Town’s initial 5-year term as chief executive expires on 31 December. To go beyond 7 years, the council must advertise the position.

The council’s governing body also agreed to a 1.16% increase in his salary, from $690,000 to $698,000. The remuneration package consists of a base salary of $677,669.90 & a $20,330.10 employer’s KiwiSaver contribution.

Mayor Phil Goff said: “Stephen’s contract extension reflects the stable leadership he has provided over the last 5 years and the steps he has taken towards creating a more cost-effective & customer-focused council.

“Stephen’s leadership will help ensure stability & continuity in council as we deliver transformational infrastructure investment in Auckland and continue to find efficiencies.”

Attribution: Council release.

Continue Reading

Early leaders win in 3 by-elections

Josephine Bartley (Labour) was confirmed yesterday as the new councillor for Auckland Council’s Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward, replacing Denise Lee, who was elected last year as National MP for the Maungakiekie electorate.

In 2 local board by-elections to replace 2 other new MPs, Dave Pizzini (Manurewa Action Team) won in Manurewa and Denise Roche (City Vision) won in Waitemata.

24.85% of electors voted in the ward, 19.13% in Manurewa, 18.43% in Waitemata.


Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward:

Josephine Bartley (Labour), 7225 votes
Josh Beddell (C&R/Future Auckland), 5648 votes

Manurewa Local Board:

Dave Pizzini (Manurewa Action Team), 5038 votes
Brooke Loader (Labour), 3411 votes
Michael Bailey (independent), 1384 votes
John Hall (independent), 967 votes
Jokaveti Nakabea Bai (independent), 378 votes

Waitemata Local Board:

Denise Roche (City Vision), 2993 votes
Greg Moyle (Balancing the Board), 2744 votes
Allan Matson (independent), 1970 votes
Chang Hung (independent), 1140 votes
Morgan Avery (independent), 1020 votes

Earlier story:
19 February 2018: Bartley in clear lead for council seat

Attribution: Electoral office.

Continue Reading

Bartley in clear lead for council seat

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chair Josephine Bartley had a clear lead at the weekend in the election to replace Denise Lee on Auckland Council’s governing body.

In 2 local board by-elections, Dave Pizzini was well ahead in Manurewa and Denise Roche in Waitemata.

The council posted progress results on Saturday, to be followed by preliminary results today and final results on Wednesday after special votes have been counted.

Ms Lee was elected to Parliament last year as National’s candidate in the Maungakiekie electorate.

Ms Bartley is in her third term on the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board, and is currently the chair, but Chris Makoare is due to take over that role in April.

The leading candidate in the Manurewa Local Board by-election, Dave Pizzini, retired as a detective senior sergeant with Counties Manukau police in 2014 and has since been working as a self-employed private investigator.

He’s set to replace Simeon Brown, who was elected as the National MP for Pakuranga last year.

The leading candidate for the Waitemata Local Board, Denis Roche, was the Auckland City councillor for the Hauraki Gulf islands from 2007-10.

She was the Green Party candidate for Auckland Central in the 2008 parliamentary elections and was elected to Parliament in 2011 as a list MP, but wasn’t re-elected last year.

Dr Mark Davey resigned from the board last October, after a year, due to increasing overseas business commitments.

Greg Moyle, defeated at the 2016 board elections, was in second place, and heritage campaigner Allan Matson in third.

Progress results:

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward:

Josephine Bartley (Labour), 7073 votes
Josh Beddell (C&R/Future Auckland), 5580 votes

Manurewa Local Board:

Dave Pizzini (Manurewa Action Team), 4930 votes
Brooke Loader (Labour), 3369 votes
Michael Bailey (independent), 1369 votes
John Hall (independent), 962 votes
Jokaveti Nakabea Bai (independent), 372 votes

Waitemata Local Board:

Denise Roche (City Vision), 2917 votes
Greg Moyle (Balancing the Board), 2706 votes
Allan Matson (independent), 1936 votes
Chang Hung (independent), 1133 votes
Morgan Avery (independent), 1011 votes

Attribution: Electoral office.

Continue Reading

Council by-election dates set

Auckland Council will conduct 2 by-elections after Cllr Denise Lee & local board member Simeon Brown were elected to Parliament last month. Both have now resigned from their council roles.

Ms Lee has resigned as Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward councillor to become MP for Maungakiekie.

Mr Brown has resigned from the Manurewa Local Board to become MP for Pakuranga.

Both represent National. Their resignations are effective from 12 October and the by-elections will be held in early 2018. Nominations will open on Friday 24 November and close at noon on Friday 22 December. Voting packs will be delivered from Friday 26 January and voting will close at noon on Saturday 17 February.

Attribution: Council release.

Continue Reading

Council looks at way forward from 2010 transition setup

Sprinkled through a huge document on governance, to go to Auckland Council’s governing body on Thursday, are a few points which are highly pertinent to the way the council’s various arms will work with one another over the next few years.

The governance framework issue arose largely because the local boards, established under the 2010 reform of local government in the Auckland region, didn’t have a clear role.

They could propose budgets to the governing body, but the governing body determined the eventual sums doled out.

The working relationship between local boards & council-controlled organisations (CCOs) was also unclear. Could boards tell the CCOs what should happen in their domain? Or should Auckland Transport, for example – whose domain includes roads & footpaths throughout the region – treat such places as its domain, so it’s not subservient to any board?

Early last year, the council commissioned an independent consultant, Gareth Stiven, to carry out a review which looked at the policies, processes, protocols & organisational support structures that had been put in place since 2010.

Since 2003, Mr Stiven has been business advisory manager at Auckland City Council for 5 years, the old council’s economic development group manager for the next 2½ years, a director in PricewaterhouseCooper’s finance & economics team for over 5 years, self-employed from the start of 2016 (the period when he conducted Auckland Council’s research) and, since the start of this year, strategy general manager for Housing NZ Corp.

Ward & local rate changes

Outside his scope for the Auckland Council review were fundamental changes to the governance structure or the structure of council-controlled organisations. Nevertheless, some changes are mooted in the eventual report, such as reducing the number of wards & boards (the region has 13 wards, 20 ward councillors, 21 local boards), and the possibility of local (distinct from regional) rates.

Mr Stiven’s work was followed by months of workshopping for local board members & councillors. The boards received the report last month so they could provide comment for the governing body meeting this week.

The political working group for the framework project, set up after Mr Stiven presented his report last December, was unusual in itself – membership of 7 councillors & 7 local board members.

This week’s report contains 36 recommendations for change, under 4 themes:

Organisational structures & culture have not adapted to the complexity of the model: The review found that the organisation had struggled to adapt to the unique & complex governance arrangements in Auckland, and that this had impacted on the quality of advice & support for elected members
Complementary decision-making, but key aspects of overlap: The review touched on a number of decision-making functions where there is overlap between the governing body & local boards, or a lack of clarity about roles
Lack of alignment of accountabilities with responsibilities: The review found that the system of decision-making creates incentives for elected members to act locally despite regional benefits
Local boards are not sufficiently empowered: The review identified that there are some practices that are constraining local boards from carrying out their role, including the inflexibility of funding arrangements and the difficulties in feeding local input into regional decision-making. It also noted some local frustrations in relation to transport decision-making.

3 workstreams

The political working party has traversed a wide range of issues under 3 workstreams: policy, finance & funding and governance.

It’s also established a fourth workstream on organisational support, to respond to the changes coming out of the review, and will look at how the council organisation supports local boards as well as implementation of improvements required with current support provision. This workstream will be reported back internally to the project’s executive steering group in November.

The political working party noted that “there needs to be more recognition, support & empowerment of local boards as governors of a discrete set of local services & activities.

It also noted that the council’s focus “has tended to be on the regional ahead of the local for the first 6 years. While this is understandable for the purposes of developing & harmonising a wide range of policies, plans & bylaws, it is not sustainable in the long term and is not consistent with the policy intent of the governance reforms.

“For example, one of the key issues that the working party has been grappling with is the funding & financial model that is currently in place, and how that constrains local decision-making & local flexibility. In effect, the Auckland Transition Agency put in place a model that locked in legacy funding arrangements & service delivery models that are now 7 years out of date.”

Input from one governance tier to another

The initial 2016 review identified a number of issues about the way regional policy is developed, including low local board awareness of regional work programmes, the time & resource required to seek local board input and variable advice to local boards. The political working party has recommended that a framework for local input into regional policies should be developed, including prioritisation & agreed mechanisms for seeking local board input.

The review concluded that there are limited incentives for local boards to consider local assets in a regional context, and that this can lead to conflict between the governing body & local boards. It recommended a ‘call-in’ right was considered: “The working party doesn’t consider a call-in right is desirable, but instead has recommended that staff provide explicit regional impact advice where local decisions may have regional or sub-regional impacts. “

In response to frustration among some local board members about transport decision-making & their ability to carry out their place-shaping roles, the political working party considered local boards had a critical role in local place-shaping and has recommended that:

  • Auckland Transport should be more responsive to local boards in their place-shaping role
  • there should be increased use of the existing accountability mechanisms available to the council to ensure that Auckland Transport complies with expectations on local board engagement
  • there should be a significant increase to the local transport capital fund (currently set at $10.8 million) and the exact amount & allocation across local boards should be decided in the 2018-28 long-term plan, and
  • the review of accountability mechanisms for council-controlled organisations should consider the use of section 92(2) of the Local Government Auckland Council Act for local board plans, which allows the governing body to direct council-controlled organisations to act consistently with plans & strategies of the council.

The political working party has recommended that a 3-year pilot project with the Waiheke Local Board be established to enable more local leadership and the development of policy for specific local issues. The pilot would be actively monitored and the findings considered for wider application.

The 2016 governance framework review report identified some issues related to funding & financing, in particular:

  • local boards do not have to balance the trade-offs of financial decisions in the same way that the governing body needs to e.g. local boards can advocate for both additional investment in their own area and lower rates
  • inflexibility of the current funding policies to empower local board decision-making. In particular local boards feel they have little or no control over the 90 per cent of their budget that is for ‘Asset Based Services’, and
  • inflexibility of the current procurement processes and definition of when local boards or groups of local boards can undertake procurement of major contracts.

The report to the council this week says the working party members working on the funding & finance workstream went through a number of options to address these issues: “The majority of local boards & the political working party didn’t support or recommend a model of local rates for local activities, applied generally, but 4 local boards asked to participate in a pilot of the local rates model of decision-making.”

  • The report to the governing body was produced by Linda Taylor, programme manager for the governance framework review.

Links to items on Thursday’s governing body agenda:
10, Governance framework review: Recommendations of the political working party
7.1, Local board input: Waiheke Local Board
7.2, Local board input: Rodney Local Board
10, Recommendations of the political working party
Policy issues    
Funding & finance    
Governance & representation    
Delegations test for Reserves Act decisions    
Waiheke Local Board pilot project proposal    
Summary of local board feedback    
Complete feedback & resolutions of local boards    

Attribution: Council governing body agenda.

Continue Reading

Governance framework review a leading topic for local boards

In this round of local board meetings, all boards will consider the governance framework review (links taken from the Orakei Local Board agenda for its meeting on Thursday):

12, Governance framework review recommendations  
Summary table of report recommendations    
Regional decision-making and policy processes    
Allocations and delegations    
Reserve Act land exchanges    
Local boards and Auckland Transport    
Confirmation of draft transport recommendations    
Waiheke Local Board pilot project cover paper    
Waiheke pilot project outline    
Funding and finance workstream paper 1    
Funding and finance cover paper July    
Funding finance description of 2 models    
Number of local boards    
Representation options    
Naming conventions

Who gets the name Wesley?

The Puketapapa Local Board will return this week to the topic of where in Auckland the suburb name Wesley should be used:

12, Notice of motion, official naming of Wesley suburb
Notice of motion, official naming of Wesley suburb    
Wesley boundary map 

Airport access

The Puketapapa board also has airport access – light or heavy rail, and the route – on its agenda this week:

17, Airport access
Benefits of LRT and heavy rail to Aucklanders    
Auckland Transport board resolution    
Progression pathway

Three Kings plan change

And the Puketapapa board has a request for its view on whether a plan change request from Fletcher Residential Ltd to amend the Three Kings precinct, and to rezone some land within the precinct, should be accepted as a private plan change or adopted as a council plan change.

The council’s planning committee will make the council decision on how the plan change request will be treated.

21, Plan change proposal for Three Kings precinct 

Sediment discharge

After a submission from the Friends of Okura Group, the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board has received a report on sediment discharges from the Envirofill cleanfill site at 1627 East Coast Rd at Redvale, and the Weiti village development nearby, which has concluded the developments meet their consent conditions.

12, Envirofill & Weiti developments, sediment discharge inquiry

Attribution: Local board agendas.

Continue Reading

Council to choose Auckland Plan refresh option

Auckland Council’s planning committee will decide tomorrow on which of 5 options to follow to refresh the region’s overarching planning document, the Auckland Plan.

The plan was approved in 2012, in the first term of the super-city council, and was followed by a series of related plans for the central area, the waterfront, local board plans and, the biggest of them all, the unitary plan combining regional policy statements & the district plan.

The council’s strategic advice manager, Denise O’Shaughnessy, said in her report to the committee that, while the Auckland Plan had proven to be an important & useful document, “it has shortcomings which have become evident during implementation. These shortcomings include outdated data, limited integration, a complex structure, too much low-level content, limited prioritisation and a weak monitoring & reporting framework. In addition, the plan is in hard-copy form and therefore cannot be easily updated or accessed.”

Staff have recommended option 4 – “a streamlined spatial approach” – to replace the existing plan “on the basis that it provides appropriate focus on spatial components while ensuring these are strongly connected to the achievement of high-level social, economic, environmental & cultural objectives. The option structures the plan around a small number of interlinked themes that address Auckland’s biggest challenges.”

The other options were a light update, a full update, updating only the development strategy, and a streamlined version that would include detailed non-spatial initiatives & narrative.

The recommended option 4’s update cost is estimated at $2.69-3.53 million, in the mid-range of estimates for the 5 options.

Option 4 would:

  • update & add new general facts & figures
  • use a small number of organising & interlinked themes around Auckland’s key challenges
  • set high level objectives, both spatial & non-spatial, in these theme areas with a brief narrative
  • focus on development strategy to reflect unitary plan decisions; infrastructure strategy; strategic work on urban, rural & future urban development areas; national policy statement on urban development capacity requirements; and create a new growth model
  • exclude any further non-spatial initiatives, narrative or detail and remove more detailed operational directives
  • creates a limited number of high level indicators to track progress and measures to guide the work programme
  • removes all other material in the existing plan, and
  • create a digital plan.

Staff have recommended targeted early public engagement through channels such as online feedback/polling & workshops with community group representatives from May-July. That would be followed next year by a special consultative procedure on the draft refreshed Auckland Plan, at the same time as the council consults on its draft long-term plan.

Committee agenda item: Options for refreshing the Auckland Plan

Attribution: Committee agenda.

Continue Reading

Next Takapuna Beach reserve decision – how to run a camping ground

The Takapuna Beach camping ground is back on the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board’s agenda on Tuesday, not for another round in the battle between camping & a sailing centre, but for a report on evaluating whether it should be run by the council or leased out.

Pro-campers won decisively in December 2015, though the board allowed 600m² to be carved off. Last November, the newly elected local board resolved to re-establish the full footprint of the camping ground site.

Yachting NZ, through the Harbour Access Trust, had campaigned to get a sailing centre built on the reserve. When that failed, the question for the local board was how to run the camping ground.

The council community facilities department has been developing an in-house model and will formally seek a decision from the board in April on whether to continue down that track or to opt for an external lease. Council organisation Panuku Development Auckland had developed 2 external options.

It’s not a straightforward choice. To run it in-house or lease it short-term, the council would have to spend $1-2 million renewing infrastructure & facilities, but that money’s not in the budget.

The council has taken steps, however, to make an in-house operation a practical proposition. It recently established a specialist unit in the new community facilities department to manage the holiday accommodation portfolio that’s under the direct management of council staff. This includes holiday park operations at Orewa, Whangateau & Martin’s Bay, the Waiheke backpackers hostel and numerous baches, lodges & tented campgrounds in the council-owned regional parks.

Earlier story:
14 December 2015: Takapuna Beach campground up for debate again

Attribution: Local board agenda.

Continue Reading

Uptown BID expansion scheme moves to final stages

The Uptown Business Association – straddling the start of New North Rd on the south-western fringe of downtown Auckland – is working on a programme to expand its business improvement district just over the railway line to take in the first blocks of Mt Eden.

Image above: Map shows the existing Uptown business improvement district hached in blue and the proposed extension hached in red.

The expansion area would run a short way down Dominion & Mt Eden Rds, cutting across at Brentwood & Sylvan Avenues. It would extend down Mt Eden Rd to Normanby Rd on the eastern side, taking in the block between Esplanade Rd & Puka St on the western side.

The business improvement district would incorporate the business & apartment precinct developed on the former Robert Holt timber yard & neighbouring streets on the city side of Maungawhau/Mt Eden, and also include Mt Eden Prison on the run across to the Southern Motorway.

The existing business improvement district boundary runs around Boston Rd, bordering the prison, follows the railway line to Park Rd then heads back west along Carlton Gore Rd to Grafton Rd.

The Uptown Business Association requires local board support before balloting businesses in the proposed extension area. This extension sits in the Albert-Eden and Waitemata local board areas. Approval from both boards and from target businesses will increase association membership from 1800 to 2100 members, and its target rate from $180,000 to $250,000 as of 1 July 2017. The Albert-Eden board approved it in December. The ballot requires a 25% return of votes, with 51% of those votes supporting the boundary expansion, to succeed. Voting will take place from 6-31 March.

18, Proposed Uptown Business Association, business improvement district expansion boundary map

Earlier story:
11 April 2016: Uptown project, name change & paid parking zone on local board agenda

Attribution: Council agenda.

Continue Reading