My Councillor report covers the period from 10 September to 8 October 2021. It has been prepared for the October business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.
The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.
- Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
- Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
- Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
- Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
- Member, Auckland Domain Committee
- Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
- Member, Joint Governance Working Party
- Member, Climate Political Reference Group
- Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
At the time of writing this report, Auckland remains at Alert Level 3 but with an easing of restrictions (step 1). This is the first phase of a three-part plan by the Government to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the region. In line with restrictions, all meetings and workshops are taking place online.
- As a result of advocacy on behalf of local businesses a range of support for businesses from council during alert levels 3 and 2 has been progressed. I requested council collate all the business support information in one place on the Auckland Council website.
- On 2 October an anti-lockdown protest was staged at the Auckland Domain. As the landowner of the Auckland Domain, the council (via the Domain Committee) strongly objected to the event going ahead and did not give consent.
- On 23 September, Auckland Council’s Governing Body finalised our feedback to government on the Three Waters Reform (decision in full here and Our Auckland story here)
- On 7 and 8 October I attended the LGNZ strategy day and National Council meeting on behalf of Auckland Council. While the event was hosted live in Wellington, I along with other members in Level 3 areas attended virtually.
Governing Body meetings – Key decisions
The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.
On 16 September the Finance and Performance Committee
- Agreed to consult on the draft Draft Development Contributions Policy 2021 which has been updated for the capital expenditure in the 10-year budget and includes the following key proposed changes:
- addition of capital expenditure planned for 2032 onwards in Drury
- requiring payment of development contributions for all development at grant of building consent except non-commercial development on Māori land
- identifying that facilitation of the development of Māori land is made through grants under the Māori Cultural Initiatives Fund
- exempting not-for-profit development on Māori land from contributions for reserve acquisitions.
- Consultation on the draft policy was open until 17 October
On 21 September the Council Controlled Organisations Oversight Committee
- Received fourth quarter reports of the substantive Council-Controlled Organisations.
- Received an update on the implementation programme for the Council-controlled Organisations Review.
On 23 September the Governing Body
- Received the Waitākere Ranges Local Board input regarding flooding, land slips and clean up in the Waitākere Ranges after the August 2021 storm.
- Received report on the North west Auckland floods and thanked those who were instrumental in coordinating welfare and relief efforts.
- Received briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Auckland Emergency Management status update.
- On the matter of Three Waters Reform: Feedback on government’s reform proposal [in full in my report – refer to item 13 of the minutes]
- Approved the draft Significance and Engagement Policy for consultation
- Adopted the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw Statement of Proposal 2022 and appointed the hearing panel. Following advocacy from local boards agreed that should additional prohibited or restricted sites come from consultation – which are supported by evidence, these will be discussed and can be assessed and consulted on following the adoption of the bylaw. Consultation on the proposed Freedom Camping in Vehicles bylaw is now open until 5 December
On 27 September the Governing Body
- Adopted the audited Auckland Council Annual Report 2020/2021
- Adopt the Auckland Council Summary Annual Report 2020/2021
On 28 September the Appointments and Performance Review Committee
- Considered the following as a confidential item
- approval of a director to the board of Auckland Transport
- approval of board appointments to the Auckland War Memorial Museum
- appointment of four board members to City Rail Link Limited
On 30 September the Planning Committee
- Received public input from Otara Bike Burb
- Approved a number of Private Plan change requests
- Approved amendments to Auckland Unitary Plan Historic Heritage Schedule
- Delegated the drafting of council’s submission to the proposed amendments (wetland provisions) to the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020
Other meetings 10 September to 8 October 2021
- On 10 September I co-chaired the Local Government New Zealand’s Auckland Zone meeting with Chair Northey.
- On 13 September I participated as a panelist interviewing candidates for Auckland Transport Director, the successful candidate will chair Auckland Transport’s Audit and Risk committee.
- On 14 September I attended the inaugural Transport Emissions Reduction Plan reference group meeting
- On 17 September I attended a meeting with Minister Poto Williams and all councillors. The Minister gave updates on Police, housing/building and construction, and youth development.
- Also on 17 September I attended the live streamed event co-hosted by the National Council of Women- Auckland Branch and Auckland Council celebrating Women’s Suffrage.
- On 20 September I attended an update on Wai Horotiu Queen Street project design
- On 22 September I delivered my monthly report to the September Waiheke Local Board business meeting.
- On 24 September I attended a session for the Mayor, all councillors & local board chairs with Superintendent Jill Rogers, District Commander Counties Manukau; Superintendent Karyn Malthus, District Commander Auckland City; Superintendent Naila Hassan, District Commander Waitematā, and Inspector Jared Pirret, District Prevention Manager
- On 27 September I attended the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting
- On 28 September I delivered my monthly report to the September Aotea Great Barrier Local Board business meeting.
- On 29 September I was a panel member for the Fabian Society’s discussion on local government
- On 30 September I attended the Karanagahape Business Association AGM as a guest
- On 1 October I attended a wellbeing seminar for elected members delivered by Lance Burdett.
- Throughout lockdown I have attended the regular covid briefings held for elected representatives.
Hauraki Gulf Forum
Fisheries NZ received over 2000 submissions with the majority in support of a closure of the east Coromandel scallop fishery. The closure takes effect from this Saturday.
Huge acknowledgements to Ngāti Hei and Matua Joe Davis for their incredible leadership. The Hauraki Gulf Forum backed the closure and we continue to call for the end to all bottom-impact fishing right across the Marine Park.
In the year up to July 56 people were killed on Auckland’s roads up from 29 the year before. This is despite speed limit reductions across the city and Auckland Transport adopting Vision Zero. The Herald reported on the some of the causes of this tragic increase in deaths and serious injuries.
I also discussed this issue on RNZ’s The Panel on 14 September and on my fortnightly slot on 95 bfm’s “City Counselling.”
Moe mai rā e te Rangitira Wirihana Takanini (Bob) Hawke.
It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Matua Bob on 15 September. As Renata Blair said in acknowledgement at the Finance and Performance Committee meeting he was a gentleman with a kind heart and loving words.
Matua Bob made a huge contribution to Auckland’s civic life. I will remember him for the many openings and blessings he led over the years and especially for his leadership at Citizenship ceremonies in the Town Hall. He would open by acknowledging his tipuna, Chief Āpihai Te Kawau who made land available to Hobson in 1840 to establish Auckland. He welcomed all new citizens with a hongi and a friendly Kia ora! To close the ceremony he liked to sing the third verse of the National Anthem and remind everyone that it was written originally as a prayer. It was always a memorable occasion.
Thoughts, aroha and deepest condolences to Matua Bob’s wife Arohanui, whānau and iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei at this really sad and difficult time. He will be greatly missed.