Governing Body Compared to The CCO’s and Local Boards

Two work, one is pretty impotent most days


Seems old Rudman for the Herald is having a ramble on about the Auckland Transport Board set to lose its two Councillor Directors. The resolution never made it out of the respect Council Committee but another larger issue is at play.

Remember when I said this:

The answer is simply “NO”
No to delaying the City Rail Link main start date beyond 2018

Alternative Funding for the CRL Stations is already available from overseas models, our elected representatives to relieve the final bill on rate payers

I am growing rather bored of Councillors re-litigating debates and will soon have no problem with Auckland Transport, and Development Auckland working with the Local Boards bypassing the Governing Body in its entirety and getting s#$* done – properly




Well that view still stands when Rudman rambles this:

Brian Rudman: Council can’t let AT take it for a ride

This week Mayor Len Brown was caught asleep at the wheel. Neither he nor his retainers were aware, until alerted by the media, that a resolution was about to go before councillors to remove the two politicians from the Auckland Transport (AT) board of directors.

Getting two politicians on to the AT board was one of Auckland local politicians’ major victories over central government in 2010 when the Super City was being set up.

The arm’s-length, council-controlled organisation (CCO) model that was imposed is the local body variant of central government’s state-owned enterprises, designed to remove “interfering” politicians from the day-to-day operations of publicly owned businesses, and put them under the governance of independent boards.

After a campaign by Auckland politicians, the Government reluctantly conceded that because AT would account for more than 50 per cent of the new Super City’s expenditure, two councillors could join the governing board of the council’s transport arm.

Despite this hard-fought battle, this week, a proposal to throw away this prize somehow slipped on to the agenda of Auckland Council’s CCO governance and monitoring committee, chaired by Mr Brown’s deputy, Penny Hulse.

The recommendation emerged as part of an ongoing review of the governance of the CCOs. Mr Brown, who strongly opposed the CCO model in the set-up stages of the Super City, was quick to express his displeasure to Herald reporter Bernard Orsman when he learned of the proposal.

He said he wanted elected councillors to remain on the AT board to ensure elected oversight of Auckland’s “most important” issue and said it was important constitutionally for the structure of the Super City to be politically led.

One of the two councillor-directors, Mike Lee, was similarly annoyed, pointing out to “directors and senior management that there were people called ratepayers who pay most of the bills”. The next day, the controversial resolution conveniently fell off the bottom of the agenda and was rescheduled for next month’s meeting.

Ms Hulse refused to discuss the issue publicly, but her attitude seems to be that officers can put up recommendations but it is still the politicians who have the final say whether to agree or not. Which is true enough, but equally, it’s hard to imagine many political leaders giving their bureaucrats the freedom to write recommendations, and put to the vote, proposals they strongly oppose. Particularly a recommendation that removes hard-won political power.

The report recommending the removal of politician-directors from AT argued that “best practice would be not to have elected members on CCO boards due to the inherent conflict of interest”.


Source and full piece:


As some what expected Councillors Mike Lee and Cathy Casey came out in support of what Rudman wrote.

This prompted an immediate response right back:

To provide a countenance on this and on Councillors Mike Lee and Cathy Casey talking about it in Facebook :…

A comparison with Auckland on the difference between the effectiveness of the bureaucracy & local boards compared to Governing Body:

Every 6 months go to the Councillors and either ask for a Plan or give an idea to relieve pressure on Rates. Both gather dust and the Councillors go get themselves in a hole 12 months down the track that could have been avoided

Go to Auckland Transport and a Local Board for two Parklets: Be done end of year processes withstanding
Tell Local Board in feedback they need to do a plan:
They go and start it and even budget for it

GRRRR big disparity here and this is not good for Councillors either who seem impotent compared to the CCOs and Local Boards getting on with it within the budgets and frameworks they have



Speaking at Council
Speaking at Council

Both in the private and public sectors everything is hit and miss. Dealing with Auckland Transport, the Local Boards, and the Governing Body (and its Committees) is no different. However, when you start getting more hits than misses dealing with Auckland Transport, Local Boards, and other aspects of the bureaucracy compared to more misses than hits with the Governing Body you can see where such lines of thoughts like above come from.


It has taken me all of five years to adapt to the Super City structure and it will take me a few more after that. It is to note that when the Auckland Transport Board meets you can (of course at their discretion) give “input” like you can to Local Boards and the Governing Body. The Board members and Executive Managers also will have chit chat before and after a board meeting if time allows. So you DO have direct access to the movers and shakers of Auckland Transport if need be.


However. the situation fast shows a disparity which should not be happening. It also hurts the good Councillors who also want to get stuff done rather than re-litigate where an I and T go in a resolution (yes that happened twice last year).

2016 it might be time for the broom. Out with the old in with the new. If the Local Boards and the CCO’s can move deftly within their frameworks and budgets then nothing stopping the Governing Body as well!


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