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It's time to Focus on the Future


MEDIA RELEASE

21 April 2004

It's time to Focus on the Future

If you’ve got some good ideas about what you want for the future of Auckland, it’s time to have your say on Auckland City Council’s draft long-term plans.

The long-term plans, called Focus on the Future 2004-2014, contain council’s policies and strategies for the next 10 years and how much these are expected to cost.

The draft plans will be published this week and they will be open for public consultation from 22 April to 21 May this year.

“This is the most important document the council will produce this year,” said Councillor Douglas Armstrong, chairperson of the council’s Finance and Corporate Business Committee.

“It contains proposals affecting every Aucklander so it’s important the public seize the opportunity to have their say about our proposed plans for the city.”

Open for public feedback are proposed plans on how to spend $522 million of projected capital funding for Auckland city’s transport over the next 10 years.

The plans also include proposals on how to spend $224 million over the next 10 years to improve the city’s stormwater systems to reduce flooding and improve the quality of stormwater discharge.

A proposed overall rates increase of 2.1 per cent is also included for public feedback. For most residential ratepayers, this will mean an increase of just over one dollar a week. The increase has been kept in line with inflation for the third year running.

“We’ve always planned ahead with a vision for the city,” said Mr Armstrong, “but this year we will produce our first long-term council community plan.”

Under the Local Government Act 2002, local councils are required to produce a long-term council community plan (LTCCP) every three years. Annual plans will continue to be published in the intervening years.

An LTCCP outlines the council’s strategic direction for 10 years, and how it will contribute to achieving community outcomes.

Community outcomes can be described as the things that the community thinks are important for its well-being.

The Act requires councils to provide opportunities for the community to discuss their desired outcomes.

After consulting with community groups and organisations in 1998 and 1999, council adopted the current community outcomes.

Auckland City has also begun public consultation in line with the new Act to identify the community’s new desired outcome themes that will be finalised mid-2005 after further public consultation.

The policies, strategies and budgets in Focus on the Future 2004-2014, are also included in draft form and will not be finalised until public feedback on them has been taken into consideration.

The best way for the public to make a submission on the long-term plans is to use the online submission form at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz. The draft long-term plans can also be viewed at this site which can be accessed free of charge from Auckland City libraries.

A hard copy submission form and a summary of the draft plans will be inserted in the 25 April edition of City Scene, being delivered to all Auckland city homes.

During the consultation period, 14 community meetings will be held for members of the public to hear more about how the long-term plans will affect them and their community, and to ask any questions. Details of these meetings can be found in City Scene or on Auckland City’s web site.

The public submission period will close at 5pm on 21 May 2004.

People who wish to make a verbal submission to council about the plans will be heard at hearings from 8 to 10 June. All submissions will be given equal weighting.

The submissions will be analysed by council at a meeting of the council’s combined committees on 23 to 24 June. Here, the final decisions about the plans and community outcomes will be made.

The final long-term plans will be published on 23 July and will form the strategy for the future of the city.

Ends

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