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South Auckland Local Boards: LTP Feedback ‘not Significant Reflection Of The Community’

Local boards across Auckland are getting ready to present community feedback for Mayor Wayne Brown’s proposed long-term plan (LTP), with two South Auckland local boards working to balance community interests in their decision.

Auckland Council took public feedback on the LTP proposal in March and will hear from local boards next week.

But board chairs for Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu say the feedback may not accurately represent the views and interests of the community.

Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says the feedback is “not a significant reflection of the community”.

“Across Auckland and generally for local Government, not a lot of people provide feedback. But in South Auckland and parts of West Auckland it's even worse,” Autagavaia says.

“We do have to consider that people have provided some feedback but it's not necessarily a significant amount.”

Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says LTP feedback is “not a significant reflection of the community”. Photo credit: Alka Prasad, Local democracy reporter. 

But Autagavaia says the board has taken prior community feedback and engagement into consideration.

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“Our role is to try and figure out what all of this means for the community," he says.

Māngere-Ōtāhuhu local board chair Tauanu’u Nanai Nick Bakulich agreed community feedback might not represent the full views of locals.

He says feedback usually comes from members of the community who have a more solid grasp of local Government processes.

The response

A majority of Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu respondents chose either ‘Pay less, get less’, a 5.5 per cent rates rise in its first year, or the central proposal, a 7.5 per cent rise in the first year.

However Autagavaia says the feedback might be “contrary” to community needs.

“When you start peeling back the layers and reading through the details [of community feedback], people want more services. The things they ask for are in the ‘Pay more, do more’ [option],” he says.

Bakulich says either option could be a loss for South Auckland.

While paying more in rates might get more community services and resources, he says it could be “detrimental” to the community who are already financially stretched.

The option to ‘pay less, do less’ will bring "cuts to some activities and service levels, or slowing down improvements, compared to the central proposal,” according to the LTP consultation document.

Aucklanders also voted on establishing a diversified investment fund for the city, called the Auckland Future Fund.

It would give the remaining 11 per cent of Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) shares still owned by Auckland Council to a fund manager to sell any or all of the shares.

Most feedback from Ōtara-Papatoetoe was to go ahead with the proposal, but Autagavaia says that while the board supports starting the fund, it is against selling more AIAL shares.

Māngere-Ōtāhuhu local board opposes the creation of the fund and airport share sales, even though formal local feedback was mostly in support of the proposal.

“We 100 per cent oppose the sale of the remaining shares,” Bakulich says.

Most respondents in both local board zones supported leasing the Ports of Auckland operations for 35 years, which the LTP proposal says will add $3-5 billion to the Auckland Future Fund.

However, Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu local boards oppose the lease.

Both Bakulich and Autagavaia have been vocal critics of the ports-lease, saying it could put workers at risk.

Auckland Council will vote on the final proposal later this month. The LTP will be implemented in June.

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