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Recommendations Part 3

(Recommendations Part 2) < Previous

Chapter 23: Representation and Participation by Minority and Other Groups

23A Local councils should

a) apply their local knowledge and expertise to determine the best way of engaging with ethnic and other groups in their communities, and

b) work closely with other community leaders, and foster their development.

23B The Auckland Council should appoint

a) a Pacific Advisory Panel and

b) an Ethnic Advisory Panel.

Chapter 24: Planning for Auckland

Auckland needs robust, considered and consistent planning to support the region’s ongoing growth and development.

24A The Auckland Council should, immediately following its establishment,

a) prepare a regional spatial plan and infrastructure investment plan to provide a vision for the Auckland region and to guide growth management, regional and district planning, and public works investment in the region

b) begin developing one district plan for the Auckland region (with existing plans to remain in force until replaced).

24B Simplicity of language and controls should be a central objective in the preparation of plans.

24C After the commencement date of the Auckland Council, there should be a moratorium on private plan changes, until the new district plan for the whole of Auckland becomes operative.

24D The Resource Management Act 1991 should be amended to remove the right of appeal to the Environment Court from regional policy statement decisions made by the Auckland Council.

24E The Auckland Regional Policy Statement should be subject to a submission process similar to that which applies to national policy statements and those submissions should be heard by independent commissioners.

24F Auckland Council should consider creating an Urban Development Agency, to operate at the direction of the Auckland Council, with compulsory acquisition powers.

Transition

24G The Establishment Board should undertake preparatory work on the development of the Auckland regional spatial plan and consider the new planning and regulatory requirements when designing Auckland Council’s organisation and unified service arrangements.

Chapter 25: Transport

25A A new Regional Transport Authority ("RTA") for Auckland should be established as a council-controlled organisation with responsibility for the planning, development, and management of arterial roads and all public transport infrastructure service planning and procurement. The RTA should replace the Auckland Regional Transport Authority ("ARTA").

25B The RTA should prepare, for approval by the Auckland Council, a regional transport plan which will give effect to the regional spatial plan.

25C The RTA should assume the statutory responsibility for all regional arterial road controlling functions and other regionally significant transport-related functions within the Auckland Council area. All these functions from the abolished local authorities and all ARTA’s functions (including assets and staff) should be transferred to the RTA on the establishment date.

25D Local roads should be controlled by local councils with the RTA exercising a funding approval role and ensuring consistency with the regional spatial plan.

25E The New Zealand Transport Agency and the RTA should establish a joint management structure to oversee the operational management of the State highway and arterial road system in the Auckland region. The RTA and ONTRACK should establish a joint management structure to oversee the operational management of rail in the Auckland region.

25F The Minister of Transport and other relevant Ministers should meet with the Auckland Council’s infrastructure committee and the Mayor of Auckland on at least a quarterly basis to discuss transport issues.

Transition

25G The Government should promote legislation to implement the proposals in Chapter 25, by amending as necessary the Land Transport Management Act 2003 and the Local Government (Auckland) Amendment Act 2004, and other relevant Acts.

25H The Establishment Board will oversee the establishment of the RTA and appoint interim directors, who will consult with the Auckland Council on a draft statement of intent at an early stage. The interim board of the RTA should appoint an interim chief executive who will work with the Establishment Board on the design of the RTA organisational structure.

Chapter 26: The Three Waters

26A The Auckland Council should have overall responsibility for setting policy in relation to the three waters.

26B Subject to Recommendations 26C and 26D, Watercare Services Limited should assume statutory responsibility for all water and wastewater services within the Auckland Council area. The water and wastewater operations (including assets and relevant staff) of all abolished local authorities should be transferred to Watercare Services Limited on the establishment date. This includes the water and wastewater operations of Rodney District Council, North Shore City Council, Waitakere City Council, Papakura District Council, Franklin District Council, Metrowater, and Manukau Water Limited.

26C In urban areas, all drinking water and wastewater services should be supplied by one council-controlled organisation (Watercare Services Limited) owned by the Auckland Council. (This is subject to existing contractual arrangements in Papakura.)

26D The Auckland Council should determine whether and/or the extent to which Watercare Services Limited will supply retail water and wastewater services in rural areas such as Franklin and Rodney.

26E No compensation should be payable for the transfer of water-related assets from the existing territorial authorities to the Auckland Council.

26F All assets relating to Auckland’s water services should remain in public ownership.

26G The Auckland Council should determine the extent to which responsibilities for the delivery of stormwater services are shared between local councils and Watercare Services Limited.

26H The current obligation on Watercare Services Limited to maintain prices for water and wastewater services at minimum levels (subject to obligations to be an effective business and maintain its assets in the long term) should continue. So too should the prohibition on paying a dividend.

26I Watercare Services Limited should be required by legislation to promote demand management.

26J Both water and wastewater charges should be calculated on a volumetric (or notionally volumetric) basis.

26K Uniform charges for water and wastewater should apply across the region.

26L The "public good" protections in Watercare Services Limited’s current governance model should continue. These protections relate, amongst other things, to efficient management of the business, pricing, and maintaining asset integrity.

26M Watercare Services Limited should be required to prepare a stormwater action plan.

Transition

26N The Establishment Board will have an oversight role in relation to the integration of local water network operations into Watercare Services Limited. This integration will be undertaken by Watercare Services Limited. Watercare Services Limited should consult with the Establishment Board on the development of a draft statement of intent and agree on appropriate efficiency targets for the integration.

Chapter 27: Information and Communications Technology ("ICT")

27A The Auckland Council should work with central government to prepare a regional broadband infrastructure investment and management plan for the Auckland region, consistent with New Zealand’s Government broadband policy.

27B Broadband infrastructure planning should be undertaken by the Auckland Council, whose role will include

a) acting as the leader, advocate and promoter of broadband investment for the Auckland region with central government and the telecommunications industry.

b) acting as the bulk funding applicant for central government broadband investment funding on behalf of the region and its communities if required.

c) taking responsibility to act as regional public broadband investor and manager if required.

27C The Auckland Council’s ICT infrastructure and functions should be managed centrally with a single information technology infrastructure and communications platform and common standards.

27D The Auckland Council should prepare an e-government strategy as an intrinsic part of its proposed unified service delivery and information systems plan.

27E The Auckland Council should consider setting targets for online service delivery consistent with leading international public service practice.

Transition

27F The Establishment Board should prepare an interim information systems and e-government strategy for Auckland Council, including those elements set out in detail in Chapter 32.

Chapter 28: Electricity

28A The Auckland Council should work closely with consumers, the industry, and central government agencies to develop a climate change and energy strategy for the region, including monitoring and reviewing electricity security of supply performance, and industry planning and regulation impacting the Auckland region.

Chapter 29: Civil Defence, Rural Fires, and Resilience

29A The Auckland Council should govern civil defence emergency management ("CDEM") on a regional basis, through a committee chaired by the Mayor of Auckland. The committee might include some local council chairs.

29B The Co-ordinating Executive Group should be retained and chaired by the Auckland Council chief executive. Representation of police, fire, ambulance, and other emergency and social services on the Co-ordinating Executive Group should continue.

29C The civil defence controller should head the regional CDEM administration. This should be a full-time position reporting to the chief executive of the Auckland Council, with all CDEM staff reporting to the controller.

29D The Auckland Council should develop a single CDEM plan, training programme for staff, volunteer recruitment programme, and standard operating procedures for the region.

29E Local councils should be involved in CDEM planning and implementation to the extent delegated to them by Auckland Council.

29F The Auckland Council will have all the powers of territorial authorities conferred by statute for rural fire protection, including those under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.

Transition

29G At the establishment date of the Auckland Council, the interim chief executive should be in a position to chair the Co-ordinating Executive Group supported by an interim civil defence controller.

Chapter 30: Solid waste

30A The Auckland Council should develop a Regional Waste Management Strategy, including strategies for management of organic waste and integration of waste management with other environmental programmes.

Chapter 31: Statutory reform

31A The Government should promote legislation to give effect to the changes recommended in this report, by adopting the draft Auckland Act contained in Chapter 31.

Chapter 32: Achieving a High-Performance Auckland Council

The Auckland Council needs to deliver services in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

32A The Auckland Council should build efficiency savings targets into the Auckland Council budget over the course of the transition.

32B The Auckland Council should take advantage of modern information and communications technologies in implementing its unified service delivery framework.

32C The Auckland Council unified service delivery framework will include

a) a single information technology governance framework.

b) a consolidated ICT infrastructure platform (including a single contact and data centre facility).

c) the unification of the "back office" administrative services including functions such as finance and administration, human resources, and asset management.

d) a strategic procurement function undertaking management of major suppliers.

32D The Auckland Council should implement leading public sector performance management practices to ensure it operates and reports to the highest standards of accountability and transparency.

32E Auckland Council customer service standards should be entrenched in a customer service charter.

32F To promote the widespread adoption of the unified service delivery framework the Auckland Council should

a) give Auckland Council CCOs providing council services the opportunity to share the unified service facilities if they wish.

b) require Auckland Council CCOs providing council services to adopt the council’s ICT infrastructure standards.

32G A statutory position of an independent Auckland Services Performance Auditor (to be appointed by the elected Auckland Council on the joint recommendation of the Chair of the Commerce Commission and the Auditor-General) should be created to provide assurance to the council and the public that the Auckland Council is providing high-quality services in a cost-effective way. The role of the Performance Auditor will include

a) reviewing the adequacy and relevance of CCO performance targets.

b) protecting the consumer’s interests and advocating for them in respect of the reliability and affordability of council services. This will include reviewing services in terms of established customer service standards.

c) in the case of Watercare Services Limited, undertaking three-yearly efficiency and effectiveness reviews, incorporating international comparative industry benchmarking and an evaluation of service levels, efficiency, affordability of water, and demand management performance.

Transition

32H To give effect to Recommendation 32A, the Establishment Board should review the estimated efficiencies and integration costs identified in the Taylor Duignan Barry report attached as Appendix B of Volume 1 of this report, and build relevant savings targets and implementation costs into the Establishment Board’s implementation plan and draft budget of the Auckland Council.

32I The Establishment Board should develop the framework described in Recommendation 32C and in addition should quantify the cost, benefits, and priorities for unified services.

32J In carrying out all the above work, the Establishment Board should draw on the expertise and resources of the Transition Management Group.

Chapter 33: Managing the Transition

33A Existing Auckland councils should be retained until the October 2010 local government elections, at which time they will be abolished and the Auckland Council established.

33B An independent Establishment Board should be formed to manage the establishment of Auckland Council. The Board will be comprised of an independent chair and a sufficient number of members to undertake the task.

33C The chair of the Establishment Board should have significant change-management experience at chief executive level, with board members having a mix of relevant skills.

33D The Establishment Board should report to a Cabinet Committee for Auckland through the Minister for Auckland.

33E The Secretary of Local Government should monitor progress by the Establishment Board, and report to the Cabinet Committee for Auckland through the Minister for Local Government.

33F The Establishment Board should be required to implement the essential elements of the structural reforms necessary to establish the Auckland Council by 10 October 2010.

33G A Transition Management Group should be formed to support the work of the Establishment Board consisting of the chief executives of existing councils, ARTA, and Watercare Services Limited, with an independent chair.

33H Existing councils should continue to make the necessary decisions to enable council business and the delivery of services to proceed as normal up until the 2010 local government elections.

33I The Government should consider formalising requirements for existing councils to fully cooperate in the transition process, and specifying constraints which will apply to council decision making, including in relation to decisions with major financial implications.

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