Monday 30 May 2022
Te Rōpū Kaitohutohu Take Kaumātua /
Seniors Advisory Panel
OPEN MINUTE ITEM ATTACHMENTS
5 Update on Tāmaki Makaurau Tauawhi Kaumātua/ Age-friendly Auckland Action Plan
8 Government's new housing rules for Auckland
9 Update on the draft Auckland Parking Strategy
10 Panel members' and liaison councillor's update
30 May 2022
Annual budget discussions:
Council is facing a budget headache as cost pressures increase. Councillors are dealing with the harsh situation of increasing revenue through rates or reducing spending through cuts in our capital works program. There is no easy solution here and I do not believe that there is a majority view of councillors that support either option. It is likely that a mix and match option will emerge but at this stage there is no clarity on what that looks like. The overall task for Councillors is a balancing exercise, between cost cutting and increasing revenue. How much capital expense do we defer? what projects are affected? Versus what rates increase is palatable for Auckland?
Service level provisions:
Council is still dealing with the effects of Covid-19 and attrition of staff, this has affected the regulatory and compliance team significantly. This attrition coupled with budget constraints has meant staff have introduced a “prioritization matrix”. The matrix ensures that high risk requests for service are given priority, Council will respond to matters of immediate safety. However, lower priority requests for regulatory or compliance investigation or enforcement may generate a delayed response from Council. While this is frustrating, I do encourage everyone to report issues, so council can have a record, and keep reporting if the issue is on-going. I do remind everyone, after reporting an issue if the response isn’t satisfactory do get in contact with your ward councillor and they maybe able to provide further support and follow up internally.
Government's new housing rules for Auckland:
I note there is a staff presentation on this item. I just want to add that Councillors are spending a significant amount of time responding to the changes the government has instructed Council to introduce. The point of contention for many councillors is the loss of special character areas and heritage. There is in my opinion, a messy balancing act between complying with central government legislation and protecting our special character and heritage areas. These areas have a non-financial value and add to the diversity of the city. Over the next few weeks councillors are workshopping proposals while considering the recent consultation information.
I want to acknowledge the cost of living is affecting those on a fixed income, if you or someone you know is experience hardship, please reach out to support services. Get in contact with MSD and see if there is additional support available. Grey power and other senior’s advocacy groups can also provide support. Rates rebates application for the rating year 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 must be into council by 30 June 2022, this could see up to $665 off your rates bill.