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Ak Growing Faster Than Politicians’ Can Manage

29 November 2004

Auckland Growing Faster Than Politicians’ Ability To Effectively Manage

Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO, today proposed the setting up of a “one stop shop” for regional administration on resource consent (RMA) applications, and billing ratepayers on water and transport.

He was responding to reports that Auckland’s growth is “out of control” and that the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) is “struggling” to persuade local councils and developers to abide by the region’s 50-year strategy for managing the growth of Greater Auckland.

“What is lacking is a good understanding of exactly what the vision is for Auckland’s growth strategy. There is also a lack of proper political oversight of the strategy’s implementation,” suggested Mr Barnett.

He noted that on transport, ARC politicians receive a monthly report on the progress being made to implement the region’s major transport projects – “the last three years has seen a lot of focus on solving our transport issues.”

“The region’s politicians need to get the same urgency and focus around what is needed to implement the regional growth strategy.”

“As far as I am aware, there is no framework for implementing the growth strategy, and certainly there is no monthly regional oversight of what local councils and developers are doing to abide by the strategy.”

At the end of the day, Auckland’s problems are of a kind that many cities can envy. “We are growing faster than the ability of politicians to provide efficient and quality solutions. Our problems are about managing our growth success better, not because we don’t have enough growth.”

“The lesson we should draw from our ‘problems’ is that they are of our own making. Clearly the solutions depend on the region organising itself to better manage our unlimited opportunities – and the first step is that politicians have a clear vision of the Auckland we want and then putting in place an implementation process that they monitor month-by-month.”

ENDS

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