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Report: Recommendations Part 1

(Executive Summary) < Previous l Next >

The Commission’s recommendations are set out below in a consolidated list, noting the chapters in which they appear in Volume 1 of the Commission’s report. These recommendations should be viewed as an integrated package, to be adopted with urgency, so that the changes can be implemented in readiness for the October 2010 local body elections.

Chapter 6: Our Vision for Auckland

Auckland needs an overarching vision for the region uniting Aucklanders to achieve prosperity for all, quality of place and lifestyle, and enhanced well-being for the region’s diverse and growing population.

6A The Auckland Council should include a vision for the region in its spatial plan.

6B The Mayor of Auckland’s annual "State of the Region" address should describe progress towards the attainment of the vision.

Chapter 7: Economic Development

Auckland needs governance structures for economic development capable of working effectively with central government to address major regional issues as well as meeting the localised needs of Auckland’s communities and businesses.

7A A partnership should be developed between central government and Auckland’s local government to address the region’s long-term economic development and to formulate immediate responses to the current economic conditions.

7B The Auckland Council should adopt a comprehensive regional economic development plan and an associated funding plan.

7C The Auckland Council should establish

a) a regional economic development agency within the Auckland Council with functions and activities outlined in Chapter 7

b) local economic development agencies reporting to the regional economic development agency (existing economic development agencies may be retained where appropriate)

c) a high-level, regional cross-sectoral advisory board comprising representatives of central government, local councils, business, education, and not-for-profit organisations.

7D The regional economic development agency should take an innovative approach to developing long-term funding relationships, drawing funding from the regional budget, central government economic development programmes, and the private sector on specific projects.


7E The Cabinet Committee and Minister for Auckland should begin work immediately with the Establishment Board to lay the ground for the Auckland Council’s work in priority areas, including the Rugby World Cup 2011 and broadband.

7F As a basis for future decision making by the Auckland Council, the Establishment Board should review whether existing local economic development programmes are delivering value for money.

Chapter 8: Environment, Urban Design, and Heritage

Auckland needs governance arrangements for the region’s built and natural environments to ensure Auckland’s quality of place is maintained and enhanced.

8A The Auckland Council should establish an Urban Design Panel to review all major developments throughout the Auckland region, with sign-off power for major projects.

8B The Auckland Council should establish a Heritage Advisory Panel to assist it with the identification of heritage buildings and places, and the formulation of rules to ensure their preservation.

8C The Auckland Council and the Northland Regional Council should develop a co-management regime in respect of the Kaipara Harbour, involving relevant territorial authorities and mana whenua representatives from local iwi. The final structure and responsibilities should be determined by the Auckland Council and the Northland Regional Council.

8D The Auckland Council should

a) undertake environmental monitoring (potentially in collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment)

b) benchmark progress and collaborate with central government on environmental programmes, including the limiting of air pollution from motor vehicle emissions

c) appoint a park ranger with responsibility for volcanic cones

d) prepare an internal code of conduct including procedures to manage councillors’ involvement in individual regulatory decisions.

Chapter 9: Promoting Social Well-Being

Central and local government’s annual social well-being spend is in the vicinity of $12 billion in the Auckland region. It is critical that these resources are applied effectively, to achieve the best outcomes. Accordingly, Auckland needs a governance structure for social well-being that enables local and central government to share decision making and accountability for improving the effectiveness of resources spent, and addressing the critical social issues in Auckland.

9A A Social Issues Board should be established as the main governance body for social issues, with central and local government membership as described in Chapter 9.

9B The powers of the Social Issues Board should be set out in Terms of Reference approved by the Cabinet Committee for Auckland and the Auckland Council.

9C The Social Issues Board should develop a Social Well-Being Strategy and Implementation/Funding Plan.

9D A Social Issues Advisory Group of officials should be established to support the Social Issues Board. It should be co-funded by central and local government with responsibilities as described in Chapter 9.

9E The Auckland Council role should centre on providing leadership and facilitating improved social well-being outcomes. Direct delivery of social well-being services by the Auckland Council should not duplicate central government responsibilities and should be part of the Social Well-Being Strategy and Implementation/Funding Plan.

9F The Government should give consideration to aligning geographic boundaries of local government and central government agencies responsible for the delivery of social well-being services.


9G The Establishment Board should ensure the necessary structures and processes are in place to ensure that the Social Issues Board, the Social Issues Advisory Group, and the Auckland Council are able to commence work on their immediate priorities.

Chapter 10: Culture, Recreation, and Diversity

Auckland needs governance structures that promote the benefits of diversity and support culture and recreation.

10A The Mayor of Auckland should take a leadership and advocacy role in promoting and welcoming diversity, and encouraging acceptance of migrants and minority groups in Auckland.

10B The Auckland Council should establish two advisory panels, one relating to the arts and the other to recreation. With the assistance of the advisory panels, it should develop strategies for regional arts and recreation activities and their associated funding.

10C Local councils should be responsible for implementing culture and recreation policies in their communities, partnering with local groups where appropriate, and representing the views of local communities at regional level.

10D The Auckland Council should consider establishing a council-controlled organisation ("CCO") to hold and to operate the regional arts, entertainment, convention, and major event facilities.

Chapter 13: Alternative Models for Reform

13A The Government should give consideration to the introduction of a four-year electoral term for local authorities in New Zealand.

Chapter 14: The Auckland Council: Key Features

14A A unitary authority, to be called the "Auckland Council", should be formed to assume all local government responsibilities in the Auckland region.

14B When the Auckland Council is established, the following existing local authorities should be abolished:

14C The Auckland Council should operate and have representation at two levels: the elected Auckland Council, and six local councils.

14D All local councils should be given Māori names. These should be determined by the Local Government Commission after consultation with mana whenua, with the new Māori names used by the Commission being the suggested starting point for consideration. The interim names of the six local councils should be

14E The Auckland Council should comprise a single organisation, with a single staffing and management structure. The Auckland Council should employ one chief executive officer, who will employ all other council staff (but not staff of council-controlled organisations) at both Auckland and local levels, including local council managers for each local council.

14F Staff from the eight abolished councils should be transferred to the Auckland Council, at least initially.

14G Local councils should share the governance of their areas with the Auckland Council but will be subsidiary to it.

14H The Mayor of Auckland should preside over the Auckland Council. The Mayor should be elected at large by the electors of Auckland.

14I The Auckland Town Hall should be the symbolic centre for the Auckland Council.

14J When the Auckland Council is established, all existing community boards within the territories of the abolished local authorities, except for the Waiheke and Great Barrier Island Community Boards, should be abolished. A new City Centre and Waterfront Community Board should be established.

14K The assets and liabilities of abolished territorial authorities and of the Auckland Regional Council should be transferred to Auckland Council. However, a fair apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the Franklin District Council and Auckland Regional Council should be made between the Auckland Council, the Waikato District Council, and the Waikato Regional Council, to reflect the boundary changes proposed by the Commission; such apportionment to be made in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, Schedule 3, clause 69.

14L All existing interests in council organisations, council-controlled organisations, and exempt organisations held by current councils should be transferred to the Auckland Council on the establishment date.


14M The Establishment Board should develop the proposed structure of the elected Auckland Council and local councils (including the committee structure and advisory panels and groups).

14N The Establishment Board should develop the proposed organisational structure of the Auckland Council. This will include defining the key roles and positions for council administration, staffing levels, staff locations, and the systems necessary for the Auckland Council to operate on the establishment date.

14O The Establishment Board should review the functions and activities currently carried out by the Auckland Regional Council and seven territorial authorities, identifying those that will continue to be carried out by local councils, and those relevant functions and activities to be undertaken directly by the Auckland Council.

14P The Establishment Board should determine the location of council offices (particularly Auckland Council, and Tāmaki-makau-rau and Rodney Local Councils) and service centres.

Chapter 15: The Elected Auckland Council

Composition, role, and functions

15A The Auckland Council should comprise 23 councillors elected or appointed as follows:

15B The role and functions of the Auckland Council should be as prescribed for unitary authorities under the Local Government Act 2002 and other legislation, and as may be additionally prescribed in any future legislation referring specifically to the Auckland Council or any of the abolished local authorities.

15C The Auckland Council should be responsible for all asset management, debt management, and revenue raising. It will also develop one set of financial plans and policies for Auckland. There will be one rating system for Auckland and ratepayers will receive one rates bill.

15D The Auckland Council should operate a hierarchical and integrated planning framework as outlined in Chapter 15. There will be a new regional spatial plan and one district plan for Auckland.

15E The Auckland Council should be responsible for the production of the long-term council community plan and annual plans as required by the Local Government Act 2002, for its own operations and the operations of local councils. There will be one long-term plan and annual plan for Auckland.

Advisory panels

15F The Auckland Council should establish advisory panels and groups as necessary to ensure appropriate expertise is available to it.

15G The Auckland Council will appoint an Appointments Advisory Panel which will assist the Auckland Council to recruit directors or representatives to serve on boards of council-controlled organisations, external entities (for example the Auckland Museum Trust Board), advisory panels, and forums.

Relationship with local councils

15H The relationship between Auckland Council and each local council should be governed by a three-yearly governance agreement negotiated in the year following each local body election.

15I The Auckland Council’s annual report under the Local Government Act 2002 should include separate sections on the operations of the elected Auckland Council and each local council.

Chief executive

15J The State Services Commissioner should be asked to assist in developing the job description and design of the performance management framework, and in conducting the initial screening and short-listing for the chief executive.

Relationship with central government

15K The Government should enter into a partnership agreement with the Auckland Council and appoint a senior Government minister as Minister for Auckland; in addition it should appoint a Cabinet Committee for Auckland comprising Ministers with portfolios of significance to Auckland. The Cabinet Committee should be supported by an officials committee.

15L The functions of the Cabinet Committee for Auckland should include

a) consulting with the Auckland Council through the Minister for Auckland

b) setting priorities for Government spending in Auckland and deciding on the allocation of discretionary funding

c) overseeing events of international significance affecting Auckland.

Relationship with other regions

15M The Auckland Council should meet regularly with representatives of the neighbouring regions of Northland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty to consider issues of mutual interest.

15N The Minister for Auckland should consider convening an annual forum comprising the Auckland Council and relevant interest groups (including regional and territorial councils and business groups) from the Northland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty regions to discuss matters of mutual and topical interest.


15O The Establishment Board should review all current council advisory panels and groups and report to the Auckland Council on which current advisory groups should be continued by the Auckland Council.

15P The Establishment Board should appoint an interim Appointments Advisory Panel. It will assist the Establishment Board to

a) undertake the review of existing advisory panels described above

b) prepare draft terms of reference for new and continuing advisory panels

c) identify potential candidates for such panels

d) recruit interim directors for council-controlled organisations, as necessary.

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