Councillor Report March 2021

My Councillor report covers the period from 9 February 2021 until 5 March 2021.  It has been prepared for the March business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Board Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events and meetings, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
  • Following the discovery of cases of COVID-19 in the community, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 for a 3-day period from Monday 15 February. The rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2. All of New Zealand dropped to Alert Level 1 on midnight on Wednesday 17 February.
  • Auckland again moved to Alert Level 3, and the rest of New Zealand to Alert Level 2, on Sunday 28  February for a 7-day period. At the time of writing, an announcement about Alert Levels beyond Sunday 7 March is expected on the afternoon of Friday 5th March.
  • During Alert Level 3, all council meetings were held online and all in-person events were cancelled. Unfortunately, this included the Lantern Festival, Auckland Pride Festival events and the beginning of the Auckland Arts Festival
  • The consultation period for the ‘Recovery Budget’ Long-Term Plan (2021-2031) began on 22 February. This included a series of online webinars on specific topics such as rates, and climate change. Some in-person events scheduled while Auckland was at Alert Level 3 were cancelled.
Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only.

Dr Rod Carr, Chair of the Climate Change Commission, Deputy Chair Deputy Chair Lisa Tumahai and CEO Jo Hendy with Mayor Goff and Cr Richard Hills

On 11 February the Environment and Climate Change Committee received an engaging and informative presentation from Climate Change Commission Chair Dr Rod Carr, Deputy Chair Lisa Tumahai and CEO Jo Hendy.

It was a great opportunity to ask questions about the commission’s draft advice to the Government and how Auckland must play a big part in our pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.  I reported on the meeting in my Ponsonby News March update (Attachment 1)

The committee delegated authority to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, and an Independent Māori Statutory Board member to approve Auckland Council’s submission on the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice to Government, endorsed Auckland’s commitment to meeting C40’s revised leadership standards, adopted the revised Resource Recovery Network Strategy 2021, received a quarterly update from Auckland Transport and endorsed the key submission points for the draft Auckland Council submission to central government’s Water Services Bill.

On Thursday 18 February the Governing Body adopted Consultation Document and Supporting Information for the Long-term Plan 2021-2031 and agreed to the communications and engagement approach. Governing Body also agreed to consult on options for introducing a Transport Targeted Rate to provide public transport services in Paremoremo; and agreed to consult on the proposed amendments to the Revenue and Financing Policy. consult on the proposed amendments to the Revenue and Financing Policy.

Following the unanimous Governing Body support for the Waiheke rahui with Chair Cath Handley and Mayor Phil Goff

On Thursday 25 February the Governing Body agreed to tautoko (support) Ngāti Paoa’s rāhui around the motu of Waiheke and confirmed me and the Mayor will write to Minister Parker with Auckland Council submission in support of the application by Ngāti Pāoa for a two year temporary closure on the taking of four species of shellfish pursuant to s186A of Fisheries Act 1996  (Attachment 2 my speech notes to the meeting) and confirmed the amended Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015. Governing Body also approved proposed changes to the Cemeteries and Crematoria Bylaw 2014 and received Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Quarterly Report and draft Annual Plan 2021/2022.

On Thursday 4 March the Planning Committee approved the high-level implementation plan as a basis for Auckland Council’s implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020.   Decision-making on the Auckland Transport Alignment Plan and the draft Regional Land Transport Plan was postponed a week.


Consultation on Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget for 2021-2031, called the “Recovery Budget” opened on 22 February. The budget increases council’s total capital investment in our city from $26 billion to $31 billion over the next 10 years to deliver infrastructure for transport, housing, water and within our communities, helping to stimulate jobs and our economy.

It responds to the impacts of climate change (for the first time there is budget for a package of climate action proposals), protects our environment, and continue to provide essential and key services to Aucklanders. The budget also sets out our commitment to prudent management of our finances and a continued focus on savings to manage the loss of council income from COVID-19, with cumulative losses projected to reach around $1 billion by 2024.

Feedback is open until Monday 22 March on the budget and Local Board priorities

I have attended a number of engagement events including presenting to the St Marys Bay Residents Association committee with local board member Adriana Christie and the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Webinar- Climate change focus with fellow Councillors and subject experts (photo right on zoom before the Webinar Q&A started)

Attachment 3: Our Auckland:  Aucklanders urged to have a say on critical 10-year Recovery Budget

Other key meetings and events

All meetings which took place during either period at Alert Level 3 were held online

  • Visit to Mint Innovation with Cr Cooper

    On 9 February attended the Environment and Climate change Committee agenda run through, weekly Chairs meeting and fortnightly Councillors catch up with the Mayor. I also visited Mint Innovation (E-Waste Recycling Facility) with Cr Linda Cooper

  • On 10 February attended the Finance and Performance Committee workshop on the Recovery Budget
  • On 11 February met Dr Rod Carr, Chair of the Climate Change Commission and Cr Richard Hills before his presentation to the Environment and Climate Change Committee and attended the opening night of Two Women at the ASB Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company
  • On 12 February attended the LGNZ Metro meeting in Wellington (I attended via Zoom). Hon Grant Robertson joined the meeting to discuss his focus as Infrastructure Minister and travelled to Waiheke to attend the Blackpool Residents Association “Dog and Pony” social evening with Chair Cath.
  • Cr Hills, Mayor Goff, Pride Festival chair, Kaan Hiini and director Max Tweedie at the Big Gay Out

    On Sunday 14 February I took part in a walkaround with the Mayor and some of my fellow councillors at Big Gay Out (photo right with Cr Hills, Mayor Goff, Pride Festival chair, Kaan Hiini and director Max Tweedie)

  • On Monday 15 February I discussed safety concerns relating to the Franklin and Victoria Street cycleways; and speed enforcement in the City Centre with Auckland Transport, attended the Climate Political Reference Group meeting and the Auckland Domain Committee workshop
  • On Tuesday 16 February I met with staff to discuss the Regional stakeholder consultation process and I attended the Waitematā Local Board meeting to give my Councillor’s update
  • On Wednesday 17 February I attended the fortnightly catch up with the Chief Sustainability Office and committee workshops
  • On Thursday 18 February I had my monthly catch up with Waiheke Local Board members
  • On Monday 22 February attended the weekly Chairs meeting and fortnightly Councillors catch up with the Mayor
  • On Tuesday 23 February attended the CCO Oversight Committee meeting and the Waitematā Local Board workshop to discuss the financial overview of proposed local board budgets
  • On Wednesday 24 February I attended committee workshops, a meeting with AT and council staff to discuss the approach to the RLTP, the Auckland Art Fair opening at the Cloud and presented to the St Marys Bay Residents Association committee regarding the Recovery Budget
  • On Friday 26 February I spent the day on Aotea Great Barrier Island. I met with Local Board members; took part in an interview about the Recovery Budget on Aotea FM and held Councillor Clinics.
  • On Saturday 27 February I attended the ‘Have Your Say’ LTP consultation event on Aotea Great Barrier Island and took part in the ‘Central’ LTP webinar in the evening. (Right: Photos from an eventful 24 hours on Aotea)
  • On Monday 1 March I attended a Waiheke Area Plan Workshop and attended the first of two webinars on the topic of rates.
  • On Tuesday 2 March I was briefed by Auckland Transport on the Central City Bus route plan and attended the Appointments and Performance Review Committee meeting
  • PM Jacinda’s view of the Local Government/ Central Government Forum via Zoom

    On Wednesday 3 March I attended the LGNZ National Council meeting and the Central Government/Local Government Forum in Wellington via Zoom. The Governing Body also received an update on the LTP communication and engagement approach while at Alert Level 3. I then took an active role in the LTP webinar on the topic of Climate Change in my capacity as Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.

  • On Thursday 4 March attended the Planning Committee ATAP workshop