Reorganising Auckland

On the 9th of August 2016 I submitted an "alternative" Reorganisation Proposal to the Local Government Commission.

That proposal is currently being assessed by the Commission, as required by the Local Government Act 2002.

This proposal builds on the progress Auckland Council has made in developing the Auckland Plan and the Unitary Plan. As we move into implementing those plans it is essential that the council organisation and councillors are closer and more connected to the people they serve, and that people have a greater say in building sustainable and vibrant communities.

The key elements of the proposal are:
  • A Smaller Governing Body: exercising fewer responsibilities at a higher level. It would have a stronger focus on governing the council organisation and CCOs. And it will ensure cooperation among the Local Boards, and among CCOs, with the power to compel cooperation among them if necessary.

  • Fewer local boards: with greater responsibilities in their areas of jurisdiction, giving much greater effect to the subsidiarity clauses in the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2010.

  • Clearer Delegations: a delegation structure that provides far greater clarity to citizens about which tier of local government in Auckland is responsible for which council activities.  If it's parks; it's the Local Board, if it's Transport; it's the Governing Body.

  • Two Types of Local Board: there would be larger boards, with more elected members and support staff, for urban and peri-urban areas undergoing growth and development. And smaller boards, with fewer elected members, and a smaller staff, in rural areas, the Hauraki Gulf islands and potentially the CBD.

  • Alignment Among Government Activities: the proposed new local board boundaries are based on police station areas, which in turn align to District Health Board Areas. The idea is create a better alignment between local and central government around community safety, civil defence, and public health activities. 
  • Organised for Growth: the proposed Local Board areas also into account the planned areas for growth and development identified in the Auckland Plan and the Unitary Plan.
Parts of this proposal do not fit within the requirements of the Local Government Act for a reorganisation proposal. These relate to changes in representation (a move to Single Transferable Vote elections) and the internal structure of the Auckland Council organisation, which the Local Government Commission does not decide. However I've included them to explain how I envisage a broader package of reforms would fit together.

Three Northern Local Boards

I proposed three smaller local boards, aligned to the three police station areas of Wellsford (Whakapirau Local Board), Warkworth (Matakana Local Board) and Helensville (Kaukapakapa Local Board), plus part of the Mangawhai police station area that overlaps the Northland/Auckland regional boundaries.

This would create three natural communities of interest with a predominantly rural character, centred around the three largest townships in what used to be the northern part of Rodney District. Similar proposals have been submitted to the commission, in response to the North Rodney reorganisation proposal.

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Two Gulf Islands Local Boards

These currently existing local boards remain, with increased delegations.


Whangaparaoa Local Board

I proposed a "larger" local board comprising the three police station areas of Orewa, Whangaparaoa and Browns Bay.

This area mostly coincides with the current Hibiscus and Bays local board area. Importantly, it adds a larger inland area to encompass one of Auckland’s potential areas for greenfields development (a Future Urban zone in the Unitary Plan).


Pupuke Local Board

Another larger local board, comprising much of the old North Shore City area. It is named after Lake Pupuke, the volcanic lake near Takapuna.

This is a relatively mature urban area, containing a mix of residential,  commercial and industrial zones. Arguably, the upper part of the East Coast Bays could be included in this board area. However, the area around Long Bay and the Okura Estuary form part of the "green belt" between Albany and Silverdale, which (I think) should come under the management of one authority.

Waitakere Local Board

I propose a "larger" local board comprising the police station areas of Kumeu/Huapai, Massey, Henderson and New Lynn.

This peri-urban local board recreates and expands the area that was previously Waitakere City. The area includes the Future Urban zones of Kumeu, Coatesville and Whenuapai.

It also encompasses one of Auckland’s potential future development corridors, along the main trunk railway line toward Helensville.


Owairaka Local Board

I proposed a larger local board comprised of the Ponsonby, Balmoral and Avondale police station areas. The suggested name is Owairaka - the name of the volcanic cone (Mt Albert), which lies at its centre.

An important part of the overall proposal is that it avoids recreating a large local authority on the central isthmus, like the old Auckland City Council.  It would be unhelpful to recreate the old dysfunction or large local authorities challenging the power of the regional authority.  Part of the "deal" of Local Boards getting more power under this proposal is that they play nicely together and work together with the Governing Body.


Pourewa Local Board (or Tamaki and Orakei Boards) 

I propose an urban local board comprised of the Auckland Central, Newmarket and Glen Innes police station areas. It is named Pourewa, after the stream that runs from Glen Innes into the Orakei Basin.

However there may be community demand for a separate, smaller, local board for the Auckland CBD area (which I would call Tamaki) separate from the Newmarket and Glen Innes police station areas (which I call Orakei). To accommodate that possibility I have changed northwestern boundary of the Newmarket police station area to include Parnell, following the edge of the Auckland domain and then the railway line around to Mechanics Bay, so that Parnell in an Orakei local board area.

Pourewa 2.jpg

Mutukaroa Local Board

I propose a local board comprised of the Onehunga, Mt Wellington and Otahuhu police station areas. Mutukaroa is the Maori name of the regional park at the centre of the area (Hamlins Hill).

This is a "large" local board because the area includes three critical points where Auckland’s central isthmus joins the rest of the city: Mangere Bridge, the Otahuhu isthmus and two bridges at Panmure. It also has a complex mix of commercial, industrial and residential activities.


Ohuiarangi Local Board

I've proposed a peri-urban local board comprised of the Howick, Otara and Beachlands police station areas, although I suggested changing the western boundary so that it follows the Southern Motorway without the deviation at Bairds Road, as mapped by the police.

I have called the area Ohuiarangi, the Maori name for pigeon mountain. Another option might be Mangemangeroa - the name of a stream, south of Howick, that flows into Tamaki Strait.


Manukau Local Board

I propose an urban local board comprised of the Mangere, Airport, Manurewa and Papatoetoe police station areas (including the small part, north of Papatoetoe, bounded by the Southern Motorway and Tamaki Estuary).

This is roughly the western half of the previous Manukau City Council district. It is a "larger" local board, as it encompasses the Airport, a complex mix of residential and industrial zoning, and includes the "Southern Initiative" area.


Three Southern Local Boards

I propose three local boards at the city’s southern margin. This map shows these aligned, more or less, to each of the Papakura, Pukekohe and Waiuku police station areas.

However  police station areas are less useful for local government boundaries in this part of Auckland, which includes a major growth area and two rural areas. My proposal is to align the local boards to those planning areas:
  • Pukekura: ("Red Hill" in Maori) is a large local board that joins Papakura and Pukekohe police station areas to bring the southern transport corridor and future urban development zones under unified management.
  • Hunua: a smaller rural local board for the Clevedon Valley and Auckland’s part of the Hunua Ranges, demarcated to include Ardmore Airport in the Pukekura area by following Ardmore-Alfriston Road, Mullins Roads, Ardmore Quarry Road and Hunua Road, as shown.
  • Waiuku: a smaller local baord created by redrawing the western boundary of the Waiuku police station area along Kingseat Road and Clark’s Creek, to include Waiau Pa and Clarks Beach in the area, and extend Auckland’s southern boundary by expanding the Waiuku police station area to the Waikato river, including the area shown as Otaua on this map.
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