Policies and Principles

City Vision Guiding Principles and Policies for Auckland Council Governing Body and Local Boards

Our Philosophy

We want a dynamic, democratic, diverse, inclusive and caring region. To achieve that aim we require the candidates and organisations we endorse to work for:

  • Strong Local Democracy
  • Public Control and Ownership of Strategic Assets
  • Fairness in Rates and Service Charges
  • Transport Choice and Public Transport Solutions
  • A Sustainable Environment
  • Economic Fairness and Wellbeing
  • Protection of Heritage and Character
  • Resilient, Healthy and Safe Communities
  • The provision of more housing choice and affordable, healthy, secure homes
  • Greater opportunities for Arts, Events, and Recreation
  • Access, participation and inclusion for all, including all age groups

Our commitment to all Aucklanders

  • We will maximise the democratic process in the Auckland Council’s decision-making, including the Governing Body, Local Boards and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).
  • We require open, minuted meetings.
  • Local Boards should make local decisions.
  • Elected members will engage with their local community.
  • Our Councillors will attend and report to their Local Board meetings.
  • We will require maximum accountability and transparency of CCOs.
  • We will require that the CCOs work closely with Local Boards when any project or decision affects the local community.
  • We will be financially prudent and keep rates as low as possible.

Strong Democracy

  • Auckland Council’s Governing Body, Local Boards and all CCOs must be open, accountable and engaged with the diverse communities in their areas.
  • We will initiate a review of CCOs and their purpose.
  • Our elected representatives will keep their promises, act in accordance with the values and policies they were elected on, actively engage with their constituent communities and be accountable to them.
  • We will work to ensure maximum input and delegated decision making by Local Boards in promoting the interests of the neighbourhoods and communities they represent.
  • We support the right of Maori to have elected representation at Council level and will promote initiatives that will build Maori participation and engagement.
  • We will seek to retain the Advisory Panels for Pasifika, Ethnic, Youth, Disability, Seniors, Rainbow Communities, Rural, Business and Heritage.

Public Control and Ownership of Strategic Assets

  • Community assets that provide essential services or generate major income must be retained in Council ownership and be openly accountable.
  • Council must have an ethical approach towards its own staff that is consistent with core International Labour Organisation Standards, including freedom of association, the right to organise and the right to effective collective bargaining.  We will insist that these rights are upheld across the Council, including CCOs.
  • Specifically we intend to keep 100% Council ownership of Ports of Auckland and Council’s current shareholding in Auckland airport. We do not support further extension of the port beyond the existing consented footprint.
  • Water is a basic human right and must be provided as an entirely publicly owned, controlled and delivered service. It must be a sustainable and quality service at a not-for- profit, minimum price that is consistent with achieving conservation and maintaining appropriate environmental standards. We do not support water restriction as a means of debt enforcement.
  • We will foster responsible and sustainable social, financial and environmental approaches to the management of the region by our Council, Local Boards and the CCOs.
  • Wherever appropriate, we support a policy of council work being done by council staff, rather than contracting out to private companies, or through CCOs.
  • Where it is necessary to use outside contractors and consultants, it is important that the Council retains in-house expertise so that staff are able to carry out effective monitoring and control.
  • We will seek a procurement policy that favours local jobs, includes good employer requirements including a commitment to paying a living wage, and applies appropriate quality and social and environmental non-price criteria.
  • We will review Council’s CCO structure with a view to increasing their public accountability, reducing their number and roles and bringing delivery of core services back to Council.
  • We will urge the introduction of a Living Wage for all Council staff and for service providers, CCOs and Council contractors in the longer term.

Fairness in Rates and Service Charges

  • We will be responsible guardians of Auckland’s public accounts and assets. The rating system must be fair and set at a rate proportionate to the value of properties and take account of people’s wealth and ability to pay. We will continue targeted business rates for the City Centre and Business Improvement Districts and a region wide modest business rate differential, set in proportion to the value of the business, to help fund critical infrastructure, like roading, stormwater structures and pipes, and to moderate the rates impact on low/middle income residents.
  • We will oppose any increase in the proportion of Council income coming from uniform charges, and seek to reduce and eliminate such charges, so that important Council services are affordable and available to all Aucklanders.
  • In recognition of the greater needs of lower socio-economic communities and the plans and projects identified by the Local Boards, we will maintain a fair and equitable funding formula reflecting population and socio-economic deprivation to allocate funds to Local Boards for carrying out their functions.
  • We will implement prudent financial management, not increasing borrowing and fees for services more than is reasonable, and make every endeavour to ensure that any rises in general rates are kept as low as possible

Transport Solutions

  • Our vision is for genuine transport choice to move people and goods around our communities and the Auckland region with ease.
  •  We will urgently progress major regional projects like the City Rail Link and the airport rail link.
  • We will prioritise public transport and the provision of better bus, ferry, light rail and train services together with integrated ticketing and timetabling, more HOP card outlets, interchange hubs, cycleways and safer walking routes including over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
  • We will give priority to efficient transport solutions for the movement of freight in and around the region.
  • We will advocate for greater government funding of major regional projects, and for this funding to shift in favour of major regional public transport projects identified by the region. We support re-establishment of a regional fuel tax to broaden Auckland transport funding options.
  • We will advocate that any major new roads, rail, and light rail be paid out of government taxes and a regional fuel tax, as these are fairer than road pricing.
  • We will actively support and fund measures to increase the number of people walking and cycling for recreation, local trips and commuting.
  • We will strongly support the reintroduction of light rail on key north/ south roads on the Auckland isthmus.
  • We will enable the provision of a network of electric car charging stations around the city and utilise electric cars as part of the Council fleet.
  • We will seek to implement the Vision Zero strategy, working towards a safe network of streets in which zero pedestrians or cyclists are killed or seriously injured.
  • We will seek systematically to repair and upgrade unsafe footpaths.
  • We will seek progressively to eliminate hazardous railway level crossings.

A Sustainable Environment

  • We will conserve and enhance our heritage by taking on the guardianship of the landscape features that make Auckland unique: our harbours, the Hauraki Gulf and the waterways that feed them; our beaches, parks, volcanoes and the wonderful ranges that ‘bookend’ our region.
  • We will ensure the protection of our ecological heritage including scheduling mature notable trees, planting more trees in suitable sites and restoring native bush.
  • We will endeavour to protect and enhance our precious volcanoes and their viewshafts and support the application for World Heritage status in conjunction with Iwi.
  • We will increase the heritage fund we established to assist community groups and others to refurbish scheduled heritage buildings.
  • Because quality urban development is vital we will support the work of the Urban Design Panel and enable Panuku Development to act as a practical exemplar of quality urban design and residential development.
  • We will promote ecological sustainability, including biodiversity and biosecurity programmes and ecologically appropriate weed control.
  • We must care for our environment by reducing pollution – water, air and land.
  • We will protect and clean up our waterways – our harbours, beaches, streams and coastal areas.
  • We will support the development of community gardens in our parks and communities and berm planting where appropriate.
  • We will promote provision of solar energy in Council facilities, businesses and homes to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • We will support the development of waste minimisation programmes and resource recovery centres across Auckland
  • We will seek to retain the proposed controls on GMOs in the environment that are in the draft Unitary Plan.
  • We fully support reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2040 and for creating a low carbon city.

Economic Well-being

  • We will work to build thriving communities with a sense of place and self-reliance, high employment and reduced inequality.
  • We will support regional and local business enterprise and innovation, environmental sustainability, affordable housing and employment initiatives.
  •  Auckland should develop in a holistic way with the rest of the country. We will work to reduce red tape and compliance costs.
  • We will ensure that the supply of land designated for business meets Auckland’s needs.
  • We will encourage the provision of employment opportunities close to where people live to reduce the need for long commutes and to strengthen local communities.
  • We commit to working collaboratively with the business sector to identify and facilitate opportunities for Auckland.
  • We will be actively involved through our Youth Connections programme in skills development and job creation for Auckland’s young people and for the development of innovative high-wage Auckland businesses.
  • We will support our Business Improvement Districts in enhancing economic prosperity and the vitality of our town centres.
  • We will support the growth of our Creative Arts sector recognising the economic value and vitality it gives Auckland.
  • Any proposal for a new Auckland stadium in Central Auckland would only be considered if it met urban design criteria, did not detract from major natural features, and had a strong business case to be financially sustainable without an excessive drain on ratepayers.

Community Development and Safety

  • Council and Local Boards shall promote the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of their district.
  • Well-being also requires well-maintained local shopping areas, libraries, community centres, parks, sports grounds and recreational cycling and walking facilities.
  • We will ensure the provision of  exciting free arts and cultural events both regionally and locally
  • We seek to ensure entry fees are not a barrier to the zoo, our museums and art galleries and our  recreation centres and swimming pools.
  • We support a diverse city that welcomes new migrants and refugees, enables inclusion and encourages participation of people from a wide range of social and ethnic backgrounds.
  • We support Council’s community empowerment approach, are committed to community-led development and placemaking and will engage with grassroots community groups who perform important functions in their local areas, and enhance ways to actively support and more adequately and appropriately fund them, principally through local boards and sub-regional committees of boards, including building their leadership capacity, grants, partnerships and the provision of office and meeting space.
  • Urban design and good care of our town centres, main-streets and suburbs play a large part in making people safe.
  • We will support agencies such as the BIDs, Maori and Pasifika Wardens and Ambassador Schemes that enhance safety and security in our public areas.
  • Communities and community groups will be encouraged to develop resource recovery centres, waste management education, and other ways to reduce waste to landfill and increase reuse and recycling, including of food waste.
  • We will support communities that want a reduction in the proliferation of liquor and pokie outlets in their communities, and maintain the sinking lid on pokies and the current liquor bans in parks and open spaces.
  • We will seek to further extend and effectively enforce smoke free areas to all places children play, and to all parks, beaches, council open spaces and facilities and community events.
  • We will promote responsible dog ownership and animal welfare

Housing Choice and Healthy Affordable Homes

  • We will complete the Unitary Plan process and endeavour to provide for a more compact city with density done well, including more housing choice and affordable housing whose new buildings achieve quality, urban design and sustainability and whose character and heritage buildings and structures are adequately protected.
  • We recognise the environmental and social costs of development and will limit urban sprawl to reduce the major economic, environmental and social costs that sprawl brings.
  • We will seek progressively to develop a full set of Area Plans for each local board’s area in order to provide community appropriate enhancement to local character, to be progressed in parallel with the implementation of density done well in the Unitary Plan.
  • We will seek ideas for effective ways to discourage land banking and to restrain urban land prices.
  • We will significantly increase the current amount of Council pensioner and affordable housing in the Auckland Council area, including utilising appropriate Council land. We recognise that ensuring the provision of an increased amount of affordable healthy housing is an important need and challenge for the Auckland Council, business, community housing providers and residents. We will advocate that the Auckland Council work with central government, Housing NZ and community housing providers to achieve this.
  • We will pursue simplified planning rules, regulatory change such as working with landlords on security of tenure for tenants and implementing a Warrant of Fitness for Rental Housing, inclusionary zoning so affordable housing makes up at least 15% of all significant developments, and partnerships, to ensure an increased amount of healthy affordable housing is available in Auckland.
  • We will develop a partnership with Abbeyfield and other community housing providers to provide appropriate homes for senior citizens and also to improve and increase the number of Auckland Council’s pensioner housing units.
  • We support the Council’s regional homeless action plan and will lobby strongly for Government legislative and funding recognition of homelessness as a New Zealand- wide issue.

Opportunities for Leisure, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Events 

  • We will preserve and expand our local and regional parks and other public open spaces, particularly where more housing is built, and maintain free access.
  • We will continue to provide and sponsor a diverse range of organised free community events on our public open spaces and protect them from commercial use
  • Libraries, sports and recreation grounds, swimming pools, community leisure, amateur sporting activities, and arts and cultural events are an integral part of a vibrant region, creating many opportunities for fun and enjoyment, and will continue to be supported.
  • We will work, at Local Board and Governing Body level, with our community organisations to promote good facilities and services that are accessible and affordable to all.
  • We will support the accessibility and development of regional amenities and facilities, professional and amateur arts and cultural organisations and maintain an Auckland Arts Festival. Access, Participation and Inclusion for All
  • We will ensure that all new and, progressively, all existing Council facilities and activities meet Universal Design criteria and are fully accessible and will promote free entry to swimming pools for disabled people and their carers.
  • We will enhance Auckland as a Peace City.
  • Across Auckland we will support the interests, views, events and festivals of Auckland’s Maori Pasifika, and Ethnic peoples, people with disabilities, Gay Lesbian, Bisexual, Takataapui, Transgender, Fa’afafine and Intersex and other communities.
  • We will seek to make Auckland a genuinely Age Friendly and Child Friendly city – accessible, participatory, appropriate and inclusive for people of all ages. We will seek World Health Organisation accreditation as an Age Friendly City and from UNICEF as a Child-Friendly City.

Approved May 2016

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