Building Back Better?
As Auckland slowly reintegrates with world especially this Summer, what regional capacity was lost during the Pandemic will need to be rebuilt over time.
From Efeso Collins:
Charting Auckland’s economic recovery starts with building back our regional capacity, says Collins
Auckland faces enormous economic challenges from Covid-19, as well as current and emerging geopolitical risks, trade and supply chain issues, domestic inflation, and a weakening economic outlook.
In order to bounce back from these many headwinds, Auckland mayoral candidate Efeso Collins says it is imperative council works more effectively as well as looking beyond the city centre to chart our economic recovery.
Collins says a pivotal way to drive economic development is to pull council’s own levers so greater investment and employment opportunities are being created across the city.
“Smart procurement emphasises the need for local suppliers, valuing te ao Māori, sustainability, and value for money,” Collins says.
“With this in mind, I will investigate council’s procurement policies to ensure locals are being actively recruited for employment opportunities, as well as increasing existing social procurement targets up to 15% of council spend.
“Auckland Council should employ more locals and invest more into local communities by giving preference to living wage employers for council contracts, as well as making the necessary steps to become a living wage accredited organisation itself.”
Collins says part of charting our economic recovery as a city will also be about ensuring we are listening to those closest to the challenges our businesses and local communities are facing.
“Local boards are closer to local communities and are well placed to respond to their needs. Therefore local boards need to be empowered to design and deliver a wider array of local services. That’s why I will seek to ensure local decision-making is prioritised and advocate for the local placemaking delivered by CCOs to be informed by and accountable to local boards.
“Finally, I will ensure our local boards and Auckland’s diverse communities are meaningfully consulted with and included in the council’s policy development programme.”
In the last year, Auckland Council spent $1.16 billion on contracts (not taking into account CCO contracting-out), so along with ensuring we are investing more into local communities, it’s essential Auckland Council is a more efficient, effective organisation, Collins says.
“I will direct a review of the money spent by council on consultants and contractors to see if Aucklanders are getting value for money as well as making sure council’s enforcement staff enforce the rules around noise, dogs, public health, bylaws and safety consistently and regularly.”
Why it matters
Too many Aucklanders don’t trust the council’s decision-making, are unaware of what the council does, or are dissatisfied with council’s performance.
- Review the money council spends on consultants and contractors to see if Aucklanders are getting value for money.
- Make sure council is using local contractors and businesses, including small local businesses for its goods and services.
- Make sure council’s enforcement staff enforce the rules around noise, dogs, public health, bylaws and safety consistently and regularly.
- Make sure elected councillors hold organisations like Auckland Transport and Ports of Auckland to account to the people of Auckland by sitting on the board of these organisations.
- Give preference to living wage employers for council contracts.
- Ensure local decision-making is prioritised and advocate for the local placemaking delivered by CCOs to be informed by and be accountable to local boards.
Good to see more accountability being promoted as that is still sorely lacking against the Board and CEO of Auckland Transport with some of their absolutely dismal decision making over the last 3 years (remember the Road Toll in Auckland doubled between 2019 and 2021). While there is always room to improve procurement techniques including making sure any IP generated is paid for properly by the Council and its CCOs.