My Councillor report covers the period from 7 May to 10 June. It has been prepared for the June 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
- All Councillors are members of the Planning, CCO Oversight, Finance & Performance and the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committees
- Consultation on council’s preliminary response to the NPS-UD and MDRS closed 9 May. The feedback will help inform council’s proposed changes to the AucklandUnitary Plan that are required by government to be notified in August.
As co-chairs of Hauraki Gulf Forum, myself and Nicola MacDonald visted Wellington 11-12 May with Executive Officer Alex Rogers to meet in person with our Ministers, and separately with a variety of members of Parliament from across the House. I stayed on in Wellington to attend the LGNZ Metro meeting on 13 May. The Forum’s public meeting was held on 23 May in Taupiri.
Engagements and events attended during the month included:
- 10 May the CCO Oversight Committee visit with Auckland Unlimited to the Aotea Centre
- 13 May joined the panel (photo above) following an international launch of a Lancet publication series on Healthy and Sustainable Cities where members of AUT’s Te Hotonga Hapori team participated and contributed data for Auckland in this international collaboration. The panel of IMBS member Tony Kake, AT Board Director Abbie Reynolds, VC Damon Salesa and Urban Designer George Weeks were invited to reflect on the findings.
- 19 May official opening of the new Auckland Central Library living “green” roof installed as part of repair work on the building.
- 24 May attended Auckland’s Future, Now conference hosted by Auckland Unlimited (morning sessions)
- Also on 24 May paid respect to kaumatua Joe Hawke with a delegation from Auckland Council (see below)
- 25 May opening of the stage 2 of Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path – Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai
- 26 May community meeting hosted by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Kiri Allan on Waiheke
28 May Eid celebration dinner at the invite of the NZ Muslim Association
- 30 March attended the City Centre Residents Group meeting at the Ellen Melville Centre to hear a presentation on Koi Tū report, Reimagining Tāmaki Makaurau
- 3 June Objectspace opening for twisting, turning winding: takatāpui + queer objects exhibition
- 4 June opening of the New Lynn to Avondale shared path by the Minister for Transport and Mayor
- Also on 4 June SEVEN METHODS OF KILLING KYLIE JENNER at Basement at the invitation of Silo Theatre
- 5 June attended the anti-war march for Ukraine at the Auckland Museum cenotaph for the speeches including from Mayor Phil Goff, Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan and MP Ricardo Menéndez March honouring all the innocent victims and to express solidarity with Ukrainians.
- Also on 5 June visited Taste of Pasifika at the Cloud with the Mayor and City Centre Residents Group representative Antony Phillips
- 8 June attended the opening for Auckland Museum’s Ancient Greeks exhibition
- 9 June Leaving reception for Her excellency Laura Clarke who is departing Aotearoa after 4.5 years as the British High Commissioner and Governor of the Pitcairn Island at the Auckland Art Gallery
- 10 June attended the Mayor and councillors’ site visit to Watercare’s wastewater pump station at Ōrākei
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 19 May Finance and Performance Committee
- Received the Auckland Council Group and Auckland Council quarterly performance reports for the nine months ended 31 March 2022. Noting that:
o Results for the nine months ended 31 March 2022 confirm many of the pressures anticipated in our Recovery Budget and was further exacerbated as the full impact of the Omicron variant took hold affecting usage of facilities, venues and public transport
o Uncertainty and disruption caused by both the COVID-19 pandemic and unfavourable economic trends has placed pressure on the operations and finances of the group and council for this period
o Despite a challenging environment, capital investment delivery for the council group was 74 per cent or $1.48 billion of the $2 billion budget for the period
o Progress of $83.5 million (92.8 per cent) achieved towards the council’s $90 million operating budget savings target for the 2021/2022 financial year
o Customer satisfaction targets across many of our services were met despite the impacts of COVID-19, although challenges related to the high demand for consents and staff shortages have impacted regulatory performance, for which there are improvement initiatives in place to address this
o Regional parks had over five million visits for the nine months ended 31 March 2022 which is on track for record visitation to regional parks in the financial year.
- Considered a number of items under confidentiality (pursuant to section 48(1)), including:
o Council Group Insurance Renewal 2022
o Transit-Oriented Development in the Eastern Busway Corridor
o Auckland Film Studios
o Alternative Commercial Opportunities
On 26 May the Governing Body
- Approved the 2022/2023 funding agreement between Auckland Council and Independent Māori Statutory Board, which comprises total direct funding of $3,025,326 (operational expenditure).
- Adopted the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport Ture ā-Rohe mo nga Tohu 2022/ Signs Bylaw 2022
On 2 June the Planning Committee
- Requested staff to pause any further work on the preparation and notification of a proposed plan change to rezone 1023 and 1039 Linwood Road, Kingseat from Open Space – Sport and Active Recreation pending the forthcoming central government release of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land, and the resolution of water supply and wastewater infrastructure issues, and advise the land owners of this direction.
- Requested staff to instruct the council’s solicitors to lodge appeals with the Environment Court against each of the three decisions made by the council’s independent hearing commissioners relating to Private Plan Changes 48 to 50. (Drury Private Plan Change Decisions)
On 7 June extraordinary meetings of the Finance and Performance Committee and the Governing Body
The main purpose of the meetings was to pass the Mayor’s Climate Action budget 22/23 and a targeted rate (CATR). Following are my comments after the decision: The Climate Action budget will enable more than $1 billion of investment to reduce emissions and tackle climate change across Auckland. Council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and adopted Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan in 2020 led by Cr Richard Hills laying the foundation for change but not backed up with budget.
I have to admit I was sceptical last year when the Mayor first proposed a CATR that it would be possible to achieve support round the table especially as the economic outlook worsened. What has been decisive is the amazing public feedback. A record number of submissions, with 68% support for Climate Action. There was majority support across age, ethnicity and geography. Council’s engagement team have done great work ensuring we heard from a diverse range of Auckland voices and responded nimbly to the challenges of holding community events during a pandemic.
The Mayor’s budget proposal was discussed over 55 hours of workshops led by Cr Desley Simpson. Desley, supported by her Deputy Shane Henderson, was awesome in bringing everyone, including local boards, along on the process. There was ample opportunity to put up alternatives or suggest cuts.
5 Councillors voted against the budget but for CATR even though they know there is no climate action(or investment in their wards) without the entire budget package.
In the finish the clear majority 14-7 supported the Climate Action budget. I think the Mayor can retire on a high. Many thanks and congratulations also to the amazing team behind the scenes led by Matthew Blaikie for building a climate package with the highest impact across Auckland.
On 9 June the PACE Committee
- Approved the scope to re-imagine Toi Whītiki as an arts and culture sector strategy, developed by council in collaboration with the creative community.
- Approved the 2022/2023 Arts, Culture and Heritage Regional Work Programme.
- Approved the Cultural Initiatives Funding grants for marae development and papakāinga/Māori housing for the 2022/2023 financial year
- Allocated funding from the Regional Sport and Recreation Grants Programme 2022/2023.
- Approved the reclassification of 30 parcels of reserve land, pursuant to section 24(2)(b) of the Reserves Act 1977
- Approved submission of a request to the Minister of Conservation to uplift the reserve status on three sites ( 2R Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga, 72R Karaka Road, Beachlands, 9R Fortyfoot Lane, Sunnyhills0 that are no longer required by Council for reserve purposes:
Other Meetings – Key decisions
On 16 May the Auckland Domain Committee
- Approved in principle the 2022 World Rally Championship Super Special Stage and Opening ceremonial to take place in the Auckland Domain on Thursday 29th September 2022
- Approved in principle the Spring City Music Festival to take place on Saturday 19 November 2022 at Auckland Domain.
- Endorsed the proposed Community Facilities Regional Work Programme for the Auckland Domain 2022 – 2025
- Received the overview of council’s response to the protest at Pukekawa / Auckland Domain.
On 23 May the Hauraki Gulf Forum
- Agreed to strongly urge the Minister of Conservation, Hon. Kiritapu Allan, to place high priority and resourcing on the research and elimination of Koi Carp in all affected catchments, and to have the Department of Conservation liaise with the Ministry of Primary Industries, Ministry for the Environment and Local Government to achieve those outcomes.
- Approved the 2022-2023 forum’s budget proposal
On 30 May the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board
- Received the Koi Tū report, Reimagining Tāmaki Makaurau: harnessing the region’s potential.
- Noted the update on the existing Te whakahou i tō tātou pokapū tāone o Tamaki : Regenerating our city centre programme with a focus on Regeneration Conversations Phase Tahi led by Auckland Council in conjunction with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and Eke Panuku.
It was an honour to attend his tangihanga held at Ōrākei Marae over a week in May. The delegation from Te Kaunihera a Tāmaki Makaurau- Auckland Council was led by His Worship the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and Councillors, and staff.
A time also for all Aucklanders to reflect on the significant legacy of a great man.
E te rangatira, moe mai rā.
Talented local artist Annette Isbey passed away in May. I first met Annette in 2010 when I organised an art tour by bike as part of a sustainability week event. She generously hosted us in her studio to talk about her work.
After I was elected I would often receive a call from Annette about the poor condition of the Western Springs bush track though an area that was very dear to her.
I wrote about Annette and the track a few years ago for Ponsonby News.