As a member of the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee I spent several hundred hours listening and considering submissions on the reform of Auckland’s local government system. The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance asked us to deliver a city that is able to compete successfully with Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane for people and investment, but also a city that has world-class standards and quality of life.
Our Government listened to the Royal Commission when it said that “Maintaining the status quo, or tinkering around the edges, is not the answer. Bold change is required.” Problems the Commission identified included “Messy and inefficient urban growth, infrastructure constraints, social disparity, and poor urban design …” Our city has a third of New Zealand’s population, and with 2 million people on track to be living in Auckland by 2050, I believe it was not an option for Parliament to simply maintain the status quo.
We delivered a system where Auckland has one Council with one mayor and 21 local boards. The new Auckland spatial plan provides us the opportunity to agree infrastructure priorities and make Auckland a competitive international city. The progression of Wynyard quarter by Waterfront Auckland and reduction in water prices demonstrates positive signs of the success of the new council, the CCOs and the new local boards.