Posted on August 21, 2015
Council reviewed its progress on achieving Maori Responsiveness this week. It looked over 34 pages of reports and reviewed the $6m of spending that had taken place in the last year. One of the reports was the annual audit of the Maori Responsiveness work programme that, the Mayor and councillors have agreed with the Independent Maori Statutory Board, will take place involving consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
This all follows the audit report last year that the IMSB commissioned PWC to do which found significant gaps in councils’ progress in this area, and not enough attention to key priorities.
No such reports have been undertaken over the last four and half years to assess how responsive the organisation has been towards Local Boards. There is no annual audit in place to indicate how well the council organisation is achieving Local Board priorities.
Local Boards do have a separate department within council (Local Board Services) to provide the core relationship management, advisory and administrative support. We also have shared support or liaison roles in areas such as parks, communications and in Auckland Transport and some other Council Controlled Organisations. But there is no independent attempt to measure effectivess of what we do or how well we are achieving the outcomes we commit to in our three yearly Local Board Plans.
The status of the IMSB and Local Boards are different within the Auckland Council organisation – and both of our roles are regularly debated- but this looks like double standards. The Mayor has been happy to support the additional reporting and resourcing to improve Maori Responsivenesss, but not to do this for Local Boards.
The key issue for a New Leader for Auckand is to establish Local Boards at the heart of council planning and delivery as envisaged by the ‘Super City’ reforms. However an audit report to show what’s missing would be a good start.