Published 27 November 2009
Auckland City Council deputy mayor David Hay has reversed a decision of the council’s regional governance committee not to make a submission to the Auckland Transition Agency on the new Auckland Council’s high-level organisational structure.
Cllr Hay, who’s chairman of the regional governance committee, saw no reason at its 11 November meeting to make a submission, saying it made sense for individual councillors or groups to make their own submissions.
However, he told councillors last night, he’d had an epiphany while walking his dog and, following his reversal, both sides of the council had agreed on a series of submission points.
Among those points, the city council doesn’t agree with the Government’s proposed model for a regional transport agency. It’s advocated that the ownership or control of assets not be constrained in legislation.
The city council has also advocated a more vertically integrated organisational model, rather than the horizontal one the transition agency has proposed. The city council said it used to have a horizontal structure, separating accountability for strategy, planning & policy from delivery, but found accountability had become clearer and delivery improved once it changed to a vertical model.
At the level of the new local boards, the council submission says these boards should be supported by their own senior manager, with associated & integrated policy, planning & governance expertise, rather than relying on the new council for support.
One proposal that didn’t win majority support was for a submission on social issues & housing, added by Labour councillor Richard Northey, who argued that the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance and many political leaders, including Social Development & Employment Minister Paula Bennett, “have acknowledged that the Auckland Council can, and should, have a significant role in identifying, advocating & co-ordinating action on the major social issues facing Auckland”.
Cllr Northey won the surprise support of mayor John Banks with what amounted to a throwaway vote – the outcome on that one part of the submission was an 11-8 vote not to include it. Mr Banks also voted with the minority later to move discussion on replacing Cllr Sam Lotu-Iiga into the confidential section of the agenda, another 11-8 defeat rather than the standard 12-7 count.
Want to comment? Go to the forum.
Attribution: Council meeting & agenda, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.