Auckland Council Bill reported back

The report by the Select Committee is here.

Key points:

  • All 20 Councillors to be elected from wards
  • Issue of Maori Seats one for the and voters to decide in future
  • FPP confirmed as electoral system for 2010 elections
  • campaign spending cap to be in third bill
  • Mayor can set committee structure, committee chairs and deputy mayor
  • Mayor’s office budget to be 0.2% of total Council, up to $3 million a year to allow for independent advisors
  • rural northern area of Rodney District to become part of Kaipara District
  • southern boundary unchanged
  • two rural single-member wards, and the other 18 councillors to come from wards with LGC to determine how many are multi-member and single-member.
  • Number of local boards remains at 20 – 30. LGC to determine boundaries, and electoral subdivisions of a board if any.
  • Each board to have 4 to 9 members
  • local board boundaries to coincide with ward boundaries where possible
  • 10% tolerance for boundaries in terms of voters/representative
  • Great Barrier Island And Waiheke Island guaranteed local boards
  • decision on nature and level of services provided should be made by local boards except where decision on an Auckland wide basis will be better.
  • boards expected to be responsible for libraries, swimming pools, parks, rec centres, community halls, funding of local groups and local bylaws etc
  • can not be on both Council and a local board

I am pleased the Committee/Government has given local boards much greater powers, and the principle of subsidiarity. Also pleased at large seats have been deleted.

Labour has a minority report. They want:

  • Maori Seats
  • More Councillors – 25 instead of 20
  • Fewer local boards (making local boards less local)
  • Maximum two members per ward
  • Mayor only to nominate Deputy Mayor and Committee Chairs, not appoint them
  • STV for all elections
  • Pacific and Asian advisory boards to be enshrined in legislation
  • Wants to keep all of Rodney in the new Council and extend southern boundary to Waikato River

I have previously blogged on Maori Seats. Not too worried about 25 vs 20 for size of Council. I am puzzled that after arguing for more local involvement they want fewer local boards, meaning residents will have less of a local connection to them.

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