I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Puketāpapa Local Board will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 15 April 2021

10.00am

Local Board Office
560 Mt Albert Road
Three Kings

 

Puketāpapa Local Board

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Julie Fairey

 

Deputy Chairperson

Jon Turner

 

Members

Harry Doig

 

 

Ella Kumar, JP

 

 

Fiona Lai

 

 

Bobby Shen

 

 

(Quorum 3 members)

 

 

 

Selina Powell

Democracy Advisor

 

12 April 2021

 

Contact Telephone: 021 531 686

Email: selina.powell@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


Puketāpapa Local Board

15 April 2021

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE

 

18        Review of the Code of Conduct - draft revised code                                                 5

 


Puketāpapa Local Board

15 April 2021

 

 

Review of the Code of Conduct - draft revised code

File No.: CP2021/04034

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To seek formal feedback on the draft Auckland Council Code of Conduct.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       Every council is required to adopt a Code of Conduct which must set out:

(a)   understandings and expectations adopted by the local authority about the manner in which members may conduct themselves while acting in their capacity as members, including—

(i)    behaviour toward one another, staff, and the public; and

(ii)   disclosure of information, including (but not limited to) the provision of any document, to elected members that—

(A)  is received by, or is in the possession of, an elected member in his or her capacity as an elected member; and

(B)  relates to the ability of the local authority to give effect to any provision of this Act; and

(b)   a general explanation of—

(i)    the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987; and

3.       All elected members must comply with the Code of Conduct adopted by the Governing Body.

4.       Auckland Council’s current code of conduct was last reviewed in 2013. In 2020, staff sought agreement from local boards and the Governing Body on the scope and process for reviewing the current code.

5.       An initial draft of the code of conduct was presented to local board workshops in March/April 2021 to provide feedback for staff to consider when developing the second draft.

6.       The second draft of the code of conduct is attached for formal feedback which will be reported to the Governing Body when it meets to adopt the revised code on 27 May 2021.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Puketāpapa Local Board:

a)      consider and provide its feedback to staff on the draft revised Auckland Council Code of Conduct to append to the report to the Governing Body on 27 May 2021.

b)      support the proposed revised draft Auckland Council Code of Conduct to be adopted by the Governing Body.

 

Horopaki

Context

7.       In October and November 2020, presentations on the review of the draft Auckland Council Code of Conduct (draft code) process and scope were made to local board workshops and local board feedback was reported to the Governing Body on 26 November 2020.

8.       The Governing Body resolved to:

a)      note the feedback from local boards provided in Attachment B.

b)      agree that the scope of the review of the Auckland Council Code of Conduct will include consideration of:

i)       retaining and updating principles

ii)      retaining a process for complaints

iii)     appointing conduct commissioners

iv)     making reports of investigations by conduct commissioners public unless there are significant reasons to withhold them

v)      defining materiality

vi)     providing for sanctions which will be decided by conduct commissioners

vii)    providing policies on:

A)     conflicts of interest (including declarations on an interest register)

B)     confidential information access and disclosure

C)     election year

D)     communications

E)      media

F)      social media

G)     governance roles and responsibilities

H)     working with staff

I)       elected members expenses.

c)      agree that the process for finalising the review includes a:

i)       draft Code being presented to a Governing Body workshop followed by local board workshops (February 2021)

ii)      second draft incorporating feedback from workshops being presented to the Governing Body / Local Board Chairs meeting for joint discussion (March 2021)

iii)     a final draft reported to local boards for formal feedback (April 2021)

iv)     a final draft reported to Governing Body for adoption (May 2021).

9.       During March 2021, the draft code, in line with the agreed scope, was presented to local board workshops so that feedback could be considered when preparing a second draft for formal presentation to local board business meetings.

10.     The second draft code is appended as Attachment A for consideration at this meeting.

11.     Due to the way that dates for the joint meetings of the Governing Body and local board chairpersons fall, the presentation to that meeting was moved to the Local Board Chairs Forum on 12 April 2021.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

12.     Local board members generally supported the first draft code. The feedback given at workshops is summarised in the following paragraphs. The feedback was informally provided by individual members and not by resolution of the full boards.

Conduct Commissioner

13.     Comments at the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Waitematā Local Board workshops noted the need for diversity of commissioners. A comment at the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board felt the panel of three was preferable to a single commissioner.

Comments

14.     Most local boards did not object to replacing the panel with a single Conduct Commissioner and so the provision in the draft code for a single Conduct Commissioner has not been changed.

Decisions of the Investigator and Conduct Commissioner

15.     A couple of comments queried these decisions not being open to challenge. 

Comments

16.     The draft code has been amended to clarify that although the code itself does not provide an appeal process, this does not prevent the intervention of the Ombudsman or the courts.

Conflict of Interest Policy

17.     The draft code reduced the threshold for declaring gifts from $300 to $50 based on a survey of other councils. There was feedback from some local boards that a threshold of $100 would be more realistic.

Comments

18.     The Conflict of Interest Policy has been amended to set the threshold for declaring gifts at $100. The purpose of declaring gifts as part of the register is transparency around any sense of obligation that a member might have towards those who provide gifts. Often, the greater the gift the greater the sense of obligation. A threshold set at too low a level would require declarations of items which could result in non-compliance with making declarations due the administrative requirements and which would likely not create any sense of obligation to the giver. Staff consider a threshold of $100 as being reasonable for elected members. By comparison, the threshold for staff is $0 (all gifts need to be declared) but this is in the context of being work-related. The meaning of ‘work-related’ for elected members is less defined than it is for staff and could mean a greater range of gifts that need to be declared.

Confidential information

19.     One workshop noted that restrictions on disclosure should apply to discussions in workshops. 

Comments

20.     Attachment B to the draft code has been amended to recognise confidentiality implications around workshops (which would not apply if a workshop was open to the public). 

Other feedback

21.     The draft code has been amended to clarify various additional matters that were raised.   These include:

i)          References in the draft code to decisions of the Investigator or Conduct Commissioner being final mean that the code does not provide an appeal process, but this does not prevent recourse to the Ombudsman or to the courts.

ii)         Clarification that a complaint would normally be provided to the respondent in full but there may be occasions where, for reasons such as privacy, identities might not be provided.

iii)         Under principles applying to consideration of complaints, the word ‘reasonableness’ has been added to the bullet:

the concepts of natural justice, fairness and reasonableness will apply in the determination of any complaints made under this code.

Additional changes that have been made by staff

22.     There have been additional changes made by staff to improve the presentation and as a result of internal legal review:

i)        The relationship of the attachments to the draft code has been clarified in section 2 of the code. This section notes that some attachments are considered to be adopted with the code and have provisions that can lead to a breach of the draft code.

ii)       In the complaints section 4.2, the list of situations pertinent to lodging a complaint has been removed such that a complaint must simply relate to a member acting in their capacity as a member.

Additional changes that might yet be made

23.     The second draft that is attached to this report has also been sent to the Ombudsman and Professor Ron Paterson for comment. The Ombudsman has previously expressed interest in the protocol relating to confidential information and Professor Paterson is the current Principal Convenor of the Conduct Review Panel. There may be changes arising from their feedback.

24.     There may be changes arising from further internal legal review.

25.     There may be changes arising from feedback from local boards.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

26.     The code of conduct is purely procedural. It does not use any resources that could have an impact on climate.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

27.     The code of conduct applies to elected members acting in their capacity as elected members.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

28.     The draft code is ultimately adopted at a meeting of the Governing Body, but all elected members are required to comply with it. It is important, therefore, that local boards have adequate input into the review of the draft code. Local boards will resolve their comments which will be conveyed to the Governing Body when it considers adopting the revised draft code.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

29.     The Māori community is affected by the relationship it has with its local council. The conduct of members has relevance to this. The revised draft code centres around two key principles, an ethical principle and a relationship principle. These principles contribute to the relationship the council develops with its Māori community.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

30.     A key financial aspect of the revised draft code relates to replacing the current conduct review panel of three members with a single Conduct Commissioner (who is drawn from a list of commissioners approved by the Governing Body). 

31.     Under the current code, if a complaint cannot be resolved in its initial stages, it is escalated to the Principal Convenor of the panel and could result in the panel conducting a hearing for a cost of possibly around $10,000.

32.     A single Conduct Commissioner would reduce that cost.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

33.     The key risk of not adopting the revised draft code lies primarily in the Conflict of Interest Policy.  The current policy does not reflect the current law.

34.     A mitigation is that at its meeting on 27 May 2021, the Governing Body will be asked to adopt the attachments to the code of conduct part by part so that the likelihood of one singular matter holding up adoption of the whole code of conduct is lessened. Additionally, if there are issues with a particular attachment, they can be further researched and reported back as a separate part.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

35.     The feedback from local boards will be incorporated into the report to the Governing Body which will recommend adoption of a revised Code of Conduct.

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Draft Code of Conduct - for local boards

11

b

Draft Code of Conduct - attachments for local boards

31

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Authors

Warwick McNaughton - Principal Advisor

Authorisers

Rose Leonard - Manager Governance Services

Louise Mason - GM Local Board Services

 


Puketāpapa Local Board

15 April 2021

 

 

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator


Puketāpapa Local Board

15 April 2021

 

 

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator