City Vision guiding Principles and Policies for Auckland Council’s Governing Body and Local Boards (updated April 2019)

Our Principles

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

  1. Commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  2. Strong local democracy
  3. Commitment by Auckland Council and CCOs to community-based democratic decision-making
  4. Public control and ownership of strategic assets
  5. Fairness in rates and service charges
  6. Transport choice, and public and active transport solutions
  7. A sustainable environment and low carbon future
  8. Economic fairness, and wellbeing for all Aucklanders
  9. Protection of our heritage and character
  10. Resilient, healthy and safe communities
  11. The provision of more housing choice, and affordable, healthy, secure homes
  12. Greater opportunities for access to the arts, events, sport and recreation
  13. Access, participation and inclusion for all

Our principles are underpinned by our commitment to all Aucklanders:

  • We will maximise the democratic role in Auckland Council’s decision-making – at all levels, including the Governing Body, Local Boards and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).
  • We will promote the principle that Local Boards should make local decisions.
  • Elected members will engage with their local communities.
  • Our Councillors will attend and report to their Local Board meetings.
  • We will seek to advance the social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing of Aucklanders, as is required of us by the Auckland Acts.
  • We will do all we can to address climate change, enhance bio-diversity and protect a sustainable natural environment in the Auckland Region.
  • We will be financially prudent and keep rates as low as possible.

Our policies (in full)

  1. Commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • We will consider the impact on Māori in all Council and Local Board decision-making.
  • We will actively seek Memoranda of Understanding and partnerships with local iwi.
  • We will promote bilingual names, signage, information and consultation throughout our area.
  • We will incorporate local Māori tikanga and kawa in our celebrations and events
  • We support the right of Māori to have elected representation at Council level and will promote initiatives that will build Māori participation, engagement and inclusion.
  • We will advocate for the protection of the land adjacent to the Otuatahua Stonefields at Ihumātao for its cultural and historical significance.
  1. Strong local democracy
  • Auckland Council’s Governing Body, Local Boards and all CCOs must be open, democratically accountable and engaged with the diverse communities in their areas.
  • We will initiate a review, now the Council has existed for 10 years, of the special Acts that govern Auckland Council with the aims of allowing Aucklanders to determine their own governance, representation and structure that suits Aucklanders views and needs, as much as do Councils in the rest of the country.
  • 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 will seek to retain the Advisory Panels for Pasifika, Ethnic, Youth, Disability, Seniors, Rural, Rainbow Communities, and Heritage.
  1. Commitment by Auckland Council and CCOs to community-based democratic decision-making
  • 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 and to abide by relevant local body decisions on local projects
  • We will require CCOs to make a commitment to local democratic decision-making
  • We will review Council’s CCO structure with a view to increasing their public accountability, reducing the number and roles of CCOs as far as practicable and bringing delivery of core services back to Council.
  • We will advocate for local pacemaking to be the responsibility of local boards and local communities rather than CCOs
  1. Public control and ownership of strategic assets
  • We will advocate that community assets that provide essential services or generate major income must be retained in Council ownership, be openly accountable and returned to a democratic decision-making model.
  • We will ensure Council has 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.
  • We will consult regularly with the PSA and the other unions representing council staff.
  • Specifically, we intend to keep 100% Council ownership of Ports of Auckland and Council’s current shareholding in Auckland airport. We would retain Westhaven Marina in public ownership. We do not support further extension of the Port beyond the existing consented footprint.
  • Because water is a basic human right we believe it 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 rigorous 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 and its assets 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, we will seek 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 urge the introduction of the Living Wage for all Council staff and also for service providers, CCOs and Council contractors in the next Council term.
  1. Fairness in rates and service charges
  • We will be responsible guardians of Auckland’s public accounts and assets. We believe the rating system must be fair, 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 transport infrastructure, community facilities, 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 for the effective support of public services. Where any increase in rates is agreed necessary to maintain Council services we will make every endeavour to ensure that any rises in general rates are kept as low as practicable, aiming for no higher than the 3.5% that has already been agreed by Council in its Long-Term Plan.
  • We will advocate to Government to allow Council to gain a fair income for the load on infrastructure arising from tourists and from those businesses that receive major benefits from particular infrastructure projects like the CRL.
  1. Transport choice and public and active transport solutions
  • Our vision is for genuine transport choice for people and goods to move around our communities and the Auckland region with ease.
  • We will urgently progress major regional projects like the City Rail Link, light rail, and an airport rail connection.
  • 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 investigate and if and where feasible and cost-effective advocate to implement free public transport.
  • 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 retaining 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, short trips and commuting.
  • We will strongly support the introduction of light rail to west Auckland and on key north/ south roads on the Auckland isthmus, starting with a city centre to Mangere route using Dominion Road designed also to meet the needs of local residents and businesses.
  • We will encourage the provision of a network of electric car charging stations around the city and utilise electric cars as an increasing part of the Council fleet. We support replacement of diesel buses by electric ones.
  • We will seek to implement the Vision Zero strategy, working towards the elimination of traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
  • We support safe and appropriate speeds and traffic calming measures.
  • We will seek systematically to repair and upgrade unsafe footpaths.
  • We support the prioritisation of footpaths for pedestrians and involving communities and Boards in deciding measures to provide appropriate space including cycleways for individualised small wheeled transport such as e-scooters.
  • We will seek progressively to provide grade separation for hazardous railway level crossings.
  1. A Sustainable environment and low carbon future
  • We will promote ecological sustainability, including biodiversity and biosecurity programmes and ecologically appropriate weed control; phasing out of glyphosate and other agrichemical spraying as far as practicable.
  • We must care for our environment by effective action to reduce pollution – water, air and land.
  • We will support projects that protect and clean up our waterways – our harbours, beaches, coastal areas, streams and their catchment areas.
  • We will support the development of well organised 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 and reuse programmes and resource recovery centres across Auckland.
  • We will seek to retain the proposed controls on GMOs in the environment that are in the Unitary Plan.
  • We fully support reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2040 and for creating a low carbon city to make Auckland a New Zealand and world leader in addressing the climate change crisis.
  • Because moving to a low carbon economy may result in considerable disruption to some jobs we support a Just Transition, including labour impact assessment and opportunities for skill development and which ensure workers and their representatives are fully involved in these processes.
  1. Economic fairness and well-being for all Aucklanders
  • 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 unnecessary 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 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 and sense of place of our town centres.
  • We will support the growth of our Creative Arts sector recognising the economic value, jobs and vitality it gives Auckland.
  • We support developing sustainable regional stadium strategy
  1. Protection of our heritage and character
  • 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 seeking the restoration of the law to allow general tree protection, scheduling mature notable trees, planting more trees in suitable sites and restoring native bush.
  • We will endeavour to protect and enhance our precious maunga, their summits and their view-shafts 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 maintain and refurbish scheduled heritage buildings.
  • Because quality urban development is vital we will support the work of the Urban Design Panel and enable Panuku Development and the Council to act as a practical exemplar of quality urban design and residential development.
  1. Resilient, healthy and safe communities
  • Council and Local Boards shall promote the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of their district.
  • We will ensure such community well-being also requires well-maintained local shopping areas, libraries, community centres, parks and green belt areas, sports grounds and recreational, arts, cycling and walking facilities.
  • 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 place making 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, including building their leadership capacity, grants, partnerships and the provision of office and meeting space.
  • We support good urban design and proper care of our town centres, main-streets and suburbs as this plays a large part in making people safe.
  • We will support agencies such as the BIDs, community policing, Māori and Pasifika Wardens, Community Patrols, and Ambassador Schemes that enhance safety and security in our public areas.
  • We will continue to honour and support the work of volunteers for the vital work, service and advice they provide to Aucklanders.
  • We will seek to develop connected, resilient, inclusive communities, reflected in all our policies including emergency management planning.
  • We will encourage communities and community groups 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 pokier machine gambling 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 bylaws and policies to protect public safety and improve health including smoke free areas covering all places children play, all parks, beaches, council open spaces and facilities, outdoor dining areas and community events.
  • We will only support the provision of freedom camping sites where they do not interfere with access to popular recreation activities, create traffic hazards, waste disposal issues or noise problems.
  • We will promote responsible pet ownership and animal welfare.
  1. Housing choice and healthy affordable homes
  • We will significantly increase the current amount of affordable housing in the Auckland Council area, including utilising retaining appropriate Council land for affordable housing purposes.
  • 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 that ensuring the provision of an increased amount of affordable healthy housing is an important need and challenge for the Auckland Council, Government, business, community housing providers and residents.
  • We will advocate that the Auckland Council work with central government, Housing NZ, Māori and community housing providers, such as Abbey field, to actively deliver homes across the housing spectrum including emergency housing, state housing, “housing for older people”, co-housing, intergenerational housing, affordable housing, assisted rental and assisted ownership.
  • 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 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, requiring affordable housing to be incorporated in all significant developments, and partnerships, to ensure an increased amount of healthy affordable housing is available in Auckland.
  • We will develop partnerships with community housing providers to provide appropriate homes for older people and those in need.
  • We will seek significantly to increase the current amount of Council pensioner and affordable housing in the Auckland Council area, particularly in the city centre and isthmus.
  • We support the Council’s regional homeless action plan including the Housing First approach and providing emergency housing and facilities like public toilets, showers, lockers and drinking fountains.
  • We will lobby strongly for Government legislative and funding recognition of homelessness as a New Zealand wide issue.
  1. Opportunities for access to arts, events, sport and recreation
  • We will preserve and expand our local and regional parks and other public open spaces with a range of opportunities and equipment for play, 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.
  • We believe libraries, sports and recreation grounds, swimming pools, community leisure, amateur sporting activities, and arts and cultural facilities and 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 seek to ensure entry fees are not a barrier for lower income families to the zoo, our museums and art galleries and our recreation centres and swimming pools.
  • We will support an investigation into reduced entry costs for Auckland residents
  • 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.
  • We will ensure the provision of exciting, inclusive and diverse free arts and cultural events both regionally and locally
  1. 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 including not permitting “arms bazaars” nor hosting speakers promoting hatred and violence on Council property.
  • Across Auckland we will support the interests, views, events and festivals of Auckland’s Māori, 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 to develop and implement a robust plan to give practical effect to World Health Organisation accreditation as an Age-Friendly City and pursue accreditation from UNICEF as a Child-Friendly City.
  • We will seek to give real effect to the decision to make Auckland a city compliant with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.