Encouraging progress for Waiheke, Rodney
The Local Government Commission welcome an Auckland Council response to its recommendations report and is pleased to note the significant progress being made to address concerns from Waiheke and Rodney.
The Commission’s recommendations report to Auckland Council and the Minister of Local Government, Enhancing local government for Aucklanders, arose out of issues identified during the recently completed Auckland local government reorganisation process.
“The response is very promising,’’ said Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner. “It shows that Auckland Council not only takes seriously the recommendations made to it by the Commission, but that it has made encouraging progress of its own accord in addressing the very real concerns we heard from residents in Waiheke and Rodney.’’
Auckland Council undertakings include:
- A potential extension of aspects of the Waiheke pilot project, empowering the local board, to Rodney
- Delegations to the Waiheke Local Board for decision-making over public land at Mātiatia
- A planned move of the Rodney Local Board office to the Rodney area, including the potential for a second meeting space in Kumeu
- A major increase in road sealing budget for Rodney
- A review of service level variability across the Auckland Region to determine how to address funding distribution issues across local board areas
- Triennial reviews of local board allocations and delegations to coincide with the long-term plan process as an ongoing commitment to localism and devolution
- Targeted communication improvements in areas of Auckland with strong local identities or unique challenges – such as Waiheke and Rodney – to build the public’s trust and confidence
“The main issues we heard about in both Waiheke and Rodney revolved around people feeling disconnected from the Council and unable to communicate with it meaningfully when matters important to their particular communities arose.
“There were also concerns about whether their peripheral and rural communities were getting a fair deal compared to, for example, more central Auckland communities.
“All parties involved in the recent reorganisation application process should feel pleased with the positive progress being made.
“Organisations such as the Northern Action Group and Our Waiheke have worked hard to bring various matters to attention, and the Council is to be congratulated for beginning to address them,’’ Sir Wira said.
“We are optimistic that with effective communication and good will on all sides, further progress will be made.’’
In November 2017, the Commission found that the applications from North Rodney and Waiheke to secede from Auckland did not meet the criteria under the Local Government Act.
However, it decided to make recommendations to Auckland Council under Section 31 (1) of the Local Government Act 2002. They are non-binding but the Commission required a written response from Auckland Council.
Auckland Council’s response to the Commission can be found on our website page. The Commission’s recommendations report to Auckland Council can be found here also.
Erica Mangin | Local Government Commission | Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
DDI +64 4 495 5310 | email@example.com