One-council plan ‘flawed’
A controversial one-council plan for the region will be debated by Auckland city councillors at a closed-door meeting tomorrow.
It comes after City Vision members failed to send the draft plan back to the drawing board at a regional governance committee meeting last week.
“I think the report is so deeply flawed it’s not just a case of tweaking it,” said councillor Graeme Easte. “I would bin it. “But given that’s not going to happen, I would give it a major rehaul.”
Opposition councillors who were present couldn’t vote at the meeting, leaving three Citizens & Ratepayers members and mayor John Banks to decide the next steps.
The plan was referred to tomorrow’s closed meeting, and spending of up to $40,000 on focus group research approved.
That’s on top of a consultant’s fee which chief executive David Rankin says is likely to be close to the approved budget of $360,000.
The officers’ draft submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance advocates scraping community boards and cutting the region’s 264 elected representatives to just 26.
Members would sit on a Greater Auckland Council, led by a lord mayor and four area mayors.
At last Thursday’s meeting Western Bays Community Board chairman Bruce Kilmister argued for more grass roots representation.
He presented an alternative proposal from the city’s 10 community board chairmen and women to retain local boards.
“We’re really keen to put the local back into local government,” Mr Kilmister said.
“The community board is the first point of call for people in the community.”
Mr Kilmister also said boards were unhappy with the title lord mayor.
He said they would prefer a single mayor and four deputies.
Mr Banks said council offi were being steered towards including more local representation.
He said the submission should also include “high quality thinking” about the relationship between local and central government.
The regional governance committee has asked for more work by officers.
The committee referred the plan to a closed-door workshop of all councillors tomorrow.
The plan will be considered again by theP committee on Monday before being signed off by the full council on April 17.
Submissions to the Royal Commission are due by 4pm on April 22.
Flawed plan: Councillor Graeme Easte says Auckland City Council’s plan needs a rethink.