Mayor-elect Phil Goff has officially named his Deputy Mayor as well as the new committee structure for the big Committees.
And it is (they are):
Deputy Mayor: Cashmore
Planning: Darby and Denise Lee (formerly Krum)
Finance: Clow and Desley Simpson
Community and Environment: Hulse and Filipaina
On technical terms Hulse and Filipaina have taken a demotion after sacrificing three years of their lives bringing the Unitary Plan into fruition (the final vote for that plan was 17-3). To make matters somewhat worse is that the Chair of Planning voted against the Unitary Plan in February (the out-of-scope debate) while the Deputy Chair has opposed the Unitary Plan all the way through the last term of Council and still does now. What that will mean when the Auckland Plan comes up for review next year I have no idea.
Finance is going to get interesting very quickly with two polar opposites in Chair and Deputy Chair positions. Clow is staunch Labour and Simpson is staunch National with fiscal ideals poles apart from each other.
Back to Hulse and Filipaina with Community and the Environment (formally Regional Strategy and Policy under Len Brown and chaired then by George Wood). While both have taken a demotion of sorts the door definitely opens on new opportunities and challenges ahead. As I see it both can focus with the South and West helping to nurture the two fastest growing sub regions that will have pressured both to their respective communities and their physical environments. The Southern Initiative falls under this umbrella so with Councillor Efeso Collins alongside as Deputy Chair of the Community Development and Safety I hope we can get The Southern Initiative jump started again with meaningful budgets and digital based dialogue.
I have serious concerns about this Governing Body over the next three years given the choice of Committee Chairs and Deputy Chairs. Len alongside Hulse were able to unite the Council well enough to get most votes through on Planning and Finances. I am struggling to see how Goff is going to keep this lot together when he had a 13-8 majority on his side any way without needing to appoint those from the conservative minority.
Cashmore is more than capable in the role of Deputy Mayor and I have deep respect for him both as Councillor and our new Deputy Mayor (who is not chairing any Committees of the Whole unlike Hulse did in her time as Deputy Mayor). That said is work will be cut out trying to unite the Governing Body given the Committee structure and a Council moving from a progressive to a conservative one. Will there be infighting that we saw in the old Auckland City Council days? We will know soon enough
The Committees’ Structure
From the Office of the Mayor Phil Goff (yes I nearly wrote Len Brown):
Mayor elect announces Deputy and new Council committees
Mayor elect Phil Goff today announced that Bill Cashmore will be the new Deputy Mayor of Auckland.
“I’m delighted that Bill Cashmore has accepted the position of Deputy Mayor. He is a respected and experienced councillor and I am looking forward to working with him and all of the councillors to make a real difference to the lives of Aucklanders,” said Phil Goff.
The Mayor elect also revealed a new streamlined Council committee structure designed to create a more effective and efficient decision-making process.
“The new structure will result in five less formal meetings a month, up to 15 fewer reports needing to be prepared and a saving of 25% in staff and councillors’ time. This is in line with my commitment to ratepayers that, as a Council, we will do more with less.
“Major committees have been established based on the issues that matter most to Aucklanders, including ensuring Council and CCOs spend ratepayers money responsibly and provide the service people deserve, addressing housing unaffordability and worsening traffic congestion, and caring for our environment and communities.”
These three committees will be chaired by Penny Hulse, Chris Darby and Ross Clow, supported by deputies Alf Filipaina, Denise Lee and Desley Simpson.
“This a team with diverse backgrounds and experience, complimentary skills and a strong record of serving the people of Auckland. We share a common vision of ensuring that Auckland becomes one of the world’s best performing cities and are committed to working together to achieve that outcome.
“All the appointments made to the various committees and other leadership positions are based on merit and follows discussions I’ve had with councillors over the past few days. The structure and appointments will be reviewed in a year’s time to ensure we are working as efficiently as possible.
“I’m looking forward to working with the team of talented and committed elected representatives as well as the Council organisation to lead Auckland towards a better future,” said Phil Goff.
Roll on 2019