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Banks pledges four-point main agenda


Mayor pledges four-point main agenda for coming year

Auckland Mayor John Banks today issued a four-point main agenda for the city in the coming year. On the anniversary of his first 12 months in the mayoralty Mr Banks said while year one has been action-packed he is looking forward not back.

“The momentum to move Auckland forward is growing and we are going to harness Aucklanders’ energy and desire for progress.”

Mr Banks said one of the highlights of his first year has been his ongoing work with a team of talented councillors who he says have done much in their own right. A lot of hard work has gone into completing the pensioner housing deal with the Government and launching the Eastern Corridor project. There have been many achievements for the Auckland City Council across a range of portfolios and summary reports from each of the main committees have been published.

Mr Banks said in year two the focus would be on fixing Auckland’s economic infrastructure on all fronts: Year two’s focus will include four main areas: Fixing Auckland’s transport, stormwater and footpath infrastructure. Promoting international convention and exhibition facilities. Encouraging major commercial developments. Taking the lead on waterfront and Britomart precinct development.

“Improving our economic infrastructure is imperative if we are to make Auckland a great place to live, work and invest. Auckland should be the country’s event destination capital, not just a gateway.

“Over the summer months Aucklanders will notice the pace of road works around the city increasing, with major work to the Richardson Road section of SH20 and the Upper Harbour corridor of SH16 as well as ongoing work around Grafton Gully and Spaghetti Junction.

“I was elected a year ago by the people of Auckland to provide leadership, complete the transport network, get tough on law and order, and ensure ratepayers get value for money. Much has already been achieved, and we’re not about to relax.

“Without a doubt Auckland needs to lift its game and help drive New Zealand back into the top half of the OECD. I am very ambitious for this city and my leadership is driven by a bigger vision. Auckland is finally moving forward, but it is only the beginning,” Mr Banks said.

Auckland will reap from the tough decisions made

Auckland Deputy Mayor David Hay today said the high aspirations Aucklanders have for their City made the tough decisions Council took in its first few months of Office a must.

Mr Hay’s comments come as the 2001 – 2003 Auckland City Council marks its first year.

“Looking back critics may say it has been a rocky road but in reality it has been an incredibly positive year for council and the city. In all my years in local government this has been the most progressive 12 months.

“At the top of my list of wins for the ratepayer would have to be the Council’s holding of rates at 1.6% - less than inflation and the lowest increase in New Zealand.

“Aucklanders want direction, leadership, and for their city to move to forward. Already we’ve delivered on all three, and we will continue to deliver our vision for Auckland to become a truly successful multicultural and competitive city with heart and soul.

“Many new faces were elected to council, and I have been greatly impressed by the calibre of the new councillors and their commitment to progress. All of the committee chairs have proven to be very competent.” (Summary reports from each of the main committees have been published this week).

“Council has put its focus squarely on doing core business better and for less. Reducing council committees and sub-committees from 40 to 21 was a smart and prudent move. We are committed to ensuring ratepayers get value for money.”

Mr Hay said the council’s leadership to invest in areas of high priority for ratepayers may have led to some short-term negative headlines but believes the long-term gains will be invaluable.

Proceeds from transferring ownership of pensioner housing to the Government will help pay off debt and revenue from selling council’s shareholding in Auckland International will go towards funding high-priority community assets and passenger transport.

“We are proud of the actions we’ve taken to move this city forward. We are determined this city reaches its full potential and residents expect nothing less,” Mr Hay said.

Year One Progress

City Development Committee

Our goal is to achieve integrated planning for the city: maintaining a range of lifestyle choices for all city residents facilitating growth for economic development protecting the environment

Notable achievements include:

District Plans Achieved much progress around improvements to the district plan: review of subdivision earthworks and vegetation controls in the Gulf mixed use opportunities in business zones better design controls in business zones reinforcing key business zones for economic activities by deleting residential uses innovative housing controls reviewed to provide for integrated development and retirement houses

Confirmed the strategy for reviewing the Isthmus Plan, and Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan.

Motorway designations Advanced motorway designations including the Southern Motorway and Otahuhu interchange proposal and SH20’s extension to Richardson Road.

Process improvements Much progress in the appeal process area, with many conclusive settlements. The Regulatory and Fixtures Committee made decisions on hundreds of resource consent applications as well as bylaw dispensation requests. In each case 90% of applications were dealt with by the Committee immediately and fully. Arranged for regular training and updating workshops for resource consent hearing commissioners.

Newmarket Worked closely with the community and stakeholders over Newmarket’s future.

Reports and plans Published the State of the Environment Report and completed the Biodiversity Action Plan. Panmure Liveable Community Plan completed and adopted.

Intensive development Finalised and adopted the design guide for intensive residential development. Strategy initiated for redevelopment of Lunn Ave Quarry.

Regulatory Review Initiated and largely adopted the report of the independent Regulatory Review Panel, which recommends significant changes to the way resource applications are processed and reduces time costs.

Moving Auckland Forward

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