Auckland Council to review council controlled organisations

Auckland Mayor Len Brown

Three years after their controversial formation, Auckland Council is seizing its first chance to review its council-controlled organisations.

The plan by then local government minister Rodney Hide to use seven council controlled organisations to run core services came under fire as "corportisation" during the supercity merger. Opponents were concerned at the use of unelected officials to run much of the city's services. 

A draft terms of reference has been produced for the review of council-controlled organisations, which includes Auckland Tourism Events Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland Transport (AT), Watercare, Auckland Council Investments Limited (ACIL), Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL), Waterfront Auckland and Regional Facilities Auckland.

According to the terms of reference, the structure of Auckland Transport will not be reviewed as this is governed by legislation.

The council says the review is an opportunity to review the current model and determine whether there is a need to change the scope of activities and functions within any of the organisations.

Auckland Council says it wants to complete the review and be ready to implement any outcomes by June 2015.

The role of council-controlled organisations came under fire last year when NBR ONLINE revealed mayor Len Brown had sent a letter to the heads of each organisation, telling them to not to make proposals on the unitary plan separate from the council.

Mr Brown had earlier pledged to review the CCOs by June 2014, saying he wants to make sure ratepayers get value for money from their CCOs.

Initial feedback on the terms of reference from councillors, local board members, CCOs and the Independent Maori Statutory Board found a need to reduce duplication between Auckland Council and CCO activities.

Auckland Council has not confirmed the cost of the review but says it will be completed primarily with internal resources.

The terms of reference of the review says there may be some small pieces of work that will need to be contracted out but this is intended to be minimal and will be resourced from existing budgets.
While the review process will involve councilors, the Independent Maori Statutory Board and local boards, the terms of reference state public consultation will only take place if required.

According to the terms of reference, public consultation will depend on the extent of change agreed on.

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