From Auckland Council on the Environment and Community Committee chaired by Councillor Penny Hulse:
First meeting of Environment and Community Committee
Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee held its first meeting of the new term today with business dominated by discussions on economic development, community empowerment and environmental sustainability.
The following is a digest of decisions made. The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and the minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.
Items 1-8 were administrative items with the exception of public input which is summarised below.
Item 5 was public input from Jennah Wootten, Chief Executive of the World Masters Games 2017.
Item 18 was taken after public input.
Item 18: Environment & Community Committee 2016-2019
Committee Chair Penny Hulse, Deputy Chair Alf Filipaina and Mayor Phil Goff made introductory remarks regarding the work of the committee.
Councillor Hulse said that a key focus for the committee from early in the term will be addressing the joint issues of social equity, economic development and environmental sustainability.
“Auckland is facing the same challenges as cities around the world when it comes to these issues which are absolutely intertwined.
“Yesterday, I returned from Mexico City representing our Mayor as the guest of the sixth biennial C40 World Mayors’ Summit where the question of how cities can best deal with the global challenge of climate change was front and centre.
“I will report in more detail on lessons for Auckland from the Summit, but I can tell you city leaders there from across the globe were united in their determination that communities must not left behind and the environment must be protected as we strive for economic development,” said Penny Hulse.
Councillor Filipaina said he was looking forward to the deputy chair role and emphasised the need to ensure no Aucklander is left behind as the city moves forward.
“When our communities do well, Auckland does well,” said Alf Filipaina.
“To do well, we need to focus on issues such as homelessness, housing affordability and protecting our most vulnerable.
“Programmes such as The Southern Initiative provide with an opportunity to really make a difference in parts of Auckland with significant social and economic challenges, and we will be looking at whether its work can be mirrored in other area such as the west.”
Mayor Phil Goff endorsed the comments of Penny Hulse and Alf Filipaina and said the committee will be key to making Auckland better now, and for future generations.
“We want Auckland to be a city where people want to live and are proud to call home.
“We have to protect our natural environment and initiatives such as the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan, the Million Trees planting programme and decreasing plastic bag use will be vital as our city intensifies.
“We must also work towards making Auckland an inclusive city. I know we are all deeply disturbed by the issue of homelessness and the number of rough sleepers on our streets. How well we deal with this issue will be a measure of how successful we are as a council during the current term,” the Mayor said.
The committee’s work programme will be developed over the next few months.
Item 9: Introduction and Presentation: Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
A copy of the ATEED presentation is attached.
Item 10: Introduction and Presentation: Regional Facilities Auckland
A copy of the RFA presentation is attached.
Item 11: Establishment of a Waste Political Advisory Group
The committee agreed to establish a waste political advisory working group to provide advice to officers on implementation of Auckland Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.
The group will comprise Cr Penny Hulse as chair, Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, and Crs Alf Filipaina, Richard Hills, Daniel Newman and Wayne Walker. It will provide oversight of the implementation of the plan during the 2016-2019 electoral term.
The Independent Māori Statutory Board has been invited to nominate a member the group.
Item 12: Extension of Regional Pest Management Strategy
The committee agreed to extend the expiry date of the Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan by 12 months to 17 December 2017.
The plan is currently being reviewed as required by the Biosecurity Act. A new Regional Pest Management Plan will be publicly notified in 2017.
Item 13: Appointment of Governing Body Representative to Ark in the Park
The committee agreed to appoint Crs Ross Clow and Wayne Walker to the Ark in the Park Governance Group.
Ark in the Park is a conservation project in the northern part of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park managed in partnership with Forest and Bird.
By controlling non-native pests and predators, and reintroducing certain native species, it aims to restore the ecology of the area to its natural state.
Item 14: 2016/2017 Arts and Culture Regional Work Programme – Public Art Capital Expenditure Amendments
The committee agreed to amend the public art component of the 2016/2017 Arts and Culture Regional Work Programme and received an overview of the Arts and Culture Unit. The work programme can be found here.
Item 15: Allocation of 2016 Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Fund
The committee approved funding recommendations for the 2016/2017 Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Grants programme funding round.
The programme is a contestable community grants programme designed to support the protection, restoration and enhancement of Auckland’s regionally significant natural heritage areas, as well as projects that encourage and support Aucklanders to adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles with an annual budget of $488,710.
Funding recommendations for the 2016/17 round can be found here.
Item 16: Greenfleet conservation programmes on Regional Parks
The committee agreed that a working party be appointed to consider aspects of the partnership with Greenfleet to accelerate the ecological restoration programme on regional parks.
The agreement enables carbon sequestration through vegetation established through the programme to be noted on the relevant property title by way of an encumbrance.
The working party will report back to the next meeting of the Governing Body and includes Cr Hulse, Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, Crs Chris Fletcher, Alf Filipaina and Mike Lee and IMSB member Glenn Wilcox.
Seems the Council are going to try and replicate The Southern Initiative and create a Western Initiative for West Auckland. Will see how that pans out over the next three years.