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Council puts forward submission at hearings

Auckland City Council Media release

24 June 2008

Council puts forward submission at hearings

Auckland City Council today appeared before the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance to put forward its proposal for a unified Auckland.

The submission proposes a single unitary council for Auckland and resourced neighbourhood boards to deliver effective regional and local democracy.

The Greater Auckland Council would provide regional leadership, speaking with one clear voice for the region, and be accountable at a local level with local neighbourhood leadership, advocacy and decision making.

The council's submission proposes bold changes to Auckland's governance to ensure Auckland becomes a world-class city.

"For too long Auckland's potential, and New Zealand's growth, has been held back by its governance structure," says Mayor of Auckland city, Hon. John Banks.

"This Royal Commission has a unique and exciting opportunity to lead the change."

"Auckland lacks strong regional leadership. Arriving at a regional view relies on the existing councils voluntarily and cooperatively working together. We are unable to decide on and implement important regional projects and infrastructure.

"There is considerable duplication of functions, causing inefficiencies, from having seven local councils and one regional council. It is insane that there are 15 agencies involved in implementing transport infrastructure for the region. No wonder transport is in such a shambles.

"Regional activities and infrastructure suffer from a lack of coordinated funding and when it does happen it is often piece-meal.

"Individual decision-making by constituent councils continues to produce inconsistent and inefficient outcomes for the region.

"Our submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland's local governance proposes a bold new plan for the region. The status quo and tinkering around the edges are not feasible options."

Deputy Mayor David Hay, chairperson of the Regional Governance Committee, says, "We are confident that our submission gives the Auckland region the best foundation for the future."

"There has been a lot written over the past few months about boundaries, protection and the loss of community identity. We are clear in our submission that we must focus on the benefit for the Auckland region and the people of Auckland, not just today, but for the future."

"We are clear in our submission that this is not about drawing a boundary on a map, or taking over councils. This is about what is best for Auckland as a whole, and everyone who lives, works and visits it.

"Our submission is about creating a world class city, giving 1.4 million people a voice."

Speech notes from Mayor of Auckland city, Hon. John Banks, from the public hearing on 24 June 2008 will be available on the council's website, www.aucklandcity.govt.nz


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