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And Then There Were Four

No one ever accused Auckland Council of being lean, but there is a flicker of hope that it's leaning in to slim down costs and duplications with the proposed merger of two of its five council-controlled business units that fall over each other when it comes to events, venues and amenities.

"Creating one entity out of ATEED and Regional Facilities Auckland as recommended by an independent review is an opportunity for a Council reset to build efficiency, productivity, competency and value from delivering core services superbly," says Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett.

"Council should stay out of business but be business-like in the way it operates. Too often its activities, assets and organisations use their considerable power to compete against the private sector for events and patronage be it gyms, concert venues and arenas. You don't have to run it to own it. Let’s see them level the playing field and negotiate sensible partnership and outsourcing agreements.”

Mr Barnett says Council could also turn the mirror on its internal activities and bring together as a shared service the many event specialist teams scattered across different departments “to eliminate not just duplications but multiplications".

"Let us hope that the merger of the two event CCOs is a signal that Council is getting fit for purpose with the right size, structure, shape, strategies and oversight to improve productivity, efficiency and value."

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