Welcome to the home page of the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA).  The agency was established by the Government to amalgamate the councils across the Auckland Region into the Auckland Council by October 2010.

The ATA ceased to exist prior to the establishment of the Auckland Council which occurred on 1 November 2010.

The focus of the agency was on the processes required to establish the Auckland Council. Tasks were divided into work streams to ensure the timeline was met.

The ATA was also required to consider certain spending decisions submitted by existing local councils during the transition period. More information on the role and responsibilities of the ATA is contained in legislation, the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009.

auckland skyline
Photo credit: Tourism Auckland

Auckland in Transition: Report of the Auckland Transition Agency

NOTE: Volumes 2 through 5 of this report collate earlier material prepared by the Auckland Transition Agency in 2009 and 2010, including discussion documents and the Auckland Council's draft annual plan for 2010-2019. Hard copies of this report, including its attachments, are available by request at Auckland public libraries.

Volume 1 - Download whole document:

Auckland in Transition: Report of the Auckland Transition Agency Volume 1 (whole document minus maps) .pdf (2.69mb)

Maps available separately below:

Map:  Auckland Council Overview of Ward Boundaries (page 53) .pdf (2.41mb)
Map: Auckland Council Overview of Local Board and Subdivision Boundaries (page 54) .pdf (2.37mb)

Appendix 2-A: Local board maps (pages 462-484):
Map 1    Rodney .pdf (3.03mb)    
Map 2    Hibiscus-East Coast Bays  .pdf (1.21mb)
Map 3    Upper Harbour .pdf (1.18mb)    
Map 4    Kaipatiki .pdf (0.79mb)    
Map 5    Devonport-Takapuna .pdf (0.65mb)    
Map 6    Henderson .pdf (0.94mb)    
Map 7    Waitakere .pdf (1.39mb)    
Map 8    Great Barrier .pdf (0.93mb)    
Map 9    Waiheke .pdf (1.36mb)    
Map 10    Waitemata .pdf (0.54mb)    
Map 11    Whau .pdf (0.77mb)    
Map 12    Albert-Eden  .pdf (0.67mb)    
Map 13    Puketapapa .pdf (0.51mb)    
Map 14    Orakei  .pdf (0.73mb)    
Map 15    Maungakiekie .pdf (1.16mb)    
Map 16    Te Irirangi .pdf (1.2mb)    
Map 17    Mangare-Otahuhu .pdf (0.82mb)    
Map 18    Otara-Papatoe .pdf (0.9mb)    
Map 19    Manu rewa .pdf (0.66mb)    
Map 20    Papakura .pdf (0.73mb)    
Map 21    Franklin .pdf (2.54mb)    

Volume 1 - Download document in parts:

Letter of Transmittal, Contents, Preface and Executive Summary (pages i-xvii, 1-31) .pdf (0.19mb)

PART 1: Role of the Transition Agency (pages 33-42) .pdf (0.07mb)
1: Introduction to the Transition Agency
2: Project management toward Day One of the Auckland Council
3: Managing agency responsibilities in the transition period

PART 2: The New Local Government Structure for Auckland (pages 43-229)
1: Auckland Council: Overview and Governing Body (pages 43-52) .pdf (0.08mb)
Map:  Auckland Council Overview of Ward Boundaries (page 53) .pdf (2.41mb)
Map: Auckland Council Overview of Local Board and Subdivision Boundaries (page 54) .pdf (2.37mb)
1-5: Auckland Transport (pages 55-161) .pdf (0.43mb)
Included in PDF above:
2: Auckland Council: Local Boards
3: Maori Statutory Board and Advisory Panels
4: Council-Controlled Organisations: Overview
5: Auckland Transport
6: Watercare Services Limited - 11: Auckland Waterfront Development Agency Limited (pages 163-229) .pdf (0.37mb)
Included in PDF above:
6: Watercare Services Limited
7: Auckland Council Investments Limited
8: Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited
9: Regional Facilities Auckland
10: Auckland Council Property Limited
11: Auckland Waterfront Development Agency Limited

PART 3: Change management by the Transition Agency (pages 231-423) .pdf (0.73mb)
12: Legislative Framework
13: Planning and Policy
14: Staff Transition and Organisation Design
15: Customer Services
16: Community Services
17: Regulatory and Legal Services
18: Infrastructure and Environmental Services
19: Finance and Treasury
20: Communications and Public Affairs
21: Business Processes and Systems
22: 2010 Elections
23: Oversight of Decision Making

PART 4: Concluding Stages of the Transition (pages 425-460) .pdf (0.15mb)
24: Auckland Transition Agency – Financial Statements
25: Summing Up

Appendices and Glossaries (page 461) .pdf (0.07mb)

Appendix 2-A: Local board maps (pages 462-484)
Map 1    Rodney .pdf (3.03mbs)    
Map 2    Hibiscus-East Coast Bays  .pdf (1.21mb)
Map 3    Upper Harbour .pdf (1.18mb)    
Map 4    Kaipatiki .pdf (0.79mbs)    
Map 5    Devonport-Takapuna .pdf (0.65mb)    
Map 6    Henderson .pdf (0.94mb)    
Map 7    Waitakere .pdf (1.39mb)    
Map 8    Great Barrier .pdf (0.93mb)    
Map 9    Waiheke .pdf (1.36mb)    
Map 10    Waitemata .pdf (0.54mb)    
Map 11    Whau .pdf (0.77mb)    
Map 12    Albert-Eden  .pdf (0.67mb)    
Map 13    Puketapapa .pdf (0.51mb)    
Map 14    Orakei  .pdf (0.73mb)    
Map 15    Maungakiekie .pdf (1.16mb)    
Map 16    Te Irirangi .pdf (1.2mb)    
Map 17    Mangare-Otahuhu .pdf (0.82mb)    
Map 18     Otara-Papatoe .pdf (0.9mb)    
Map 19    Manu rewa .pdf (0. 66mb)    
Map 20    Papakura .pdf (0.73mb)    
Map 21    Franklin .pdf (2.54mb)    

Appendix 2-B - Appendix 22-A, Glossaries and Abbreviations (pages 483-526) .pdf (2.37mb)
Included in PDF above:
Appendix 2-B: Population characteristics of Auckland local board areas
Appendix 2-C: Local board budgets
Appendix 4-A: CCO workstream run sheet at the close of the transition period
Appendix 6-A: Watercare’s facilities and Auckland Council boundar ies
Appendix 6-B: “Aucklanders to get lower water prices”
Appendix 15-A: Cu stomer service principles
Appendix 22-A: 2010 election results
Glossary of Local Government Terms
Glossary of Maori Terms
Abbreviations and Short Forms

What the Auckland Transition Agency delivered

During its 16 months of operation the ATA delivered:

  • A new governance model in accordance with the Government’s vision: one council and seven council-controlled organisations (CCOs) with chief executives, management teams and staff.  CCO initial boards in place, with the newly-elected council making the remaining director appointments as provided for in legislation.
  • Streamlined Auckland Council and subsidiary organisational structures. As a result of the changes there was a 13% reduction in headcount between the old council structures and new governance arrangements – or 1,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees on 1 November 2010.  This equates to an annualised salary saving of $66.5m. This reduction rises to 1,523 employees (16%) by 1 July 2012, an annual salary saving of $91.0m.
  • The disestablishment of old roles, the recruitment of tier 1, 2 and 3 staff to new roles and the transfer of existing staff to the reduced number of positions at tier 4, 5 and lower has been executed smoothly with good cooperation from both existing organisations and unions. Three new PSA collectives negotiated with the ATA cover 2,500 employees and replace 11 varied agreements.
  • The Auckland Council’s Planning Document was completed by 31 October 2010. This showed a rating projection of 3.9% for 2011/2012.  This is 2.1% lower than the 6.0% weighted average increase projected by the old councils. The lower projection includes the net impacts of transition – a saving of approximately $37m (to include transition costs and savings, an efficiency target, IT expenses and factors such as the establishment of local boards).  The Auckland Council has an AA credit rating and a single council-wide insurance programme will save an estimated $1m.
  • Lower regulatory and other fees and charges were put in place. In general, fees have been standardised to the lowest level across the region for building inspections and other fees. For example, the hourly call-out fee for a building inspection which was as high as $178 under previous councils is reduced to $110. More than 850 forms under the previous structures have been streamlined to around 100 which are available online.
  • Under the new council model better advisory services are also being offered.  The pre-lodgement service for building and resource consents (previously available at Auckland City Council) is being rolled out region-wide. The new structure includes a major projects team to coordinate projects of regional significance.
  • The improvements extend to water. The price of drinking water now delivered by Watercare in metropolitan Auckland will be lower by an average of 20% in from 1 July 2011.
  • Under the old councils there were 60 different categories of dog licence. This has been halved and fees for the have been standardised at the lowest level (excluding Franklin – which was largely rural).  For example: fees in the most common registration category which ranged from $70 to $100 across Auckland will now be $70.
  • The new structure has a strong emphasis on customer service. Training and induction processes during transition concentrated on ensuring staff were well prepared to meet customer needs. There are three category of service centres (full, local and neighbourhood) with locations in every local board area – from Warkworth to Pukekohe; from Huapai to Great Barrier.
  • On behalf of the Auckland Council the ATA entered agreements with the BNZ and KiwiBank/PostShop so Aucklanders can undertake council and CCO transactions at any branch anywhere in New Zealand. Both banks are promoting this service to customers.
  • The ATA oversaw the establishment of call centres with new phone numbers and websites in place for the council and CCOs. Additionally all the old phone numbers and web addresses were retained to redirect customers and ease of interaction.
  • Community services. The ATA worked with existing community groups to minimise the disruption of transition, ensuring continuity of service.  A smooth transition in place in the following areas: libraries & information, parks, sport & recreation, community development, arts & culture, Maori relations, civil defence/emergency management and rural fire services.
  • Aucklanders can now use their library cards at any of the 55 libraries and four mobile libraries in the region. The amalgamation of libraries creates the largest group in Australasia, giving Aucklanders access to around 3.5 million items including books, CDs, DVDs, online information and databases.  Loan periods for some items will increase from one to two weeks, and there will be no charges on overdue items borrowed by children or teens.
  • Local board structures all in place. Initial allocations of budgets (totalling around $488m of existing council expense) and non-regulatory responsibilities all done. Local board offices are set up with local board support staff appointed as part of the new organisational structure.
  • An independent board has been established to advise on significant matters for Maori.  This will have up to nine members to represent mana whenua (tribes directly associated with the area) and matawaka (non-mana whenua) of the Auckland region.  It be independent of the council and will appoint up to two people as members to sit on Auckland Council committees that deal with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources.
  • With the agreement of the Mayor and his council, two further advisory panels will advise the council of the most appropriate ways to engage with Pacific and ethnic people and will identify and communicate to the council the interests and preferences of their people regarding the council’s strategies, policies, plans and bylaws; and any other matters they consider to be of interest to their communities.
  • The ATA was required to run the local body elections.  This was effectively promoted by the ATA and executed by the Electoral Officer. There was a major upswing in voter turnout.
  • Significant IT and logistical change programmes were undertaken to ensure the smoothest possible changeover. Systems changes included: financial consolidation, reporting and planning functions; the core finance/HR/payroll solution; websites; network and telephony integration; email integration; records management; GIS consolidation and IS service delivery. Some 1,000 staff relocations were required over an eight-week period.
  • The ATA created a logo for the new council through a public design competition, with comprehensive upgrading of signage done pre- and post-1 November 2010.
  • The handover of technical work from the ATA to tier 2 and 3 managers at the council was completed prior to 1 November 2010.  This included projects such as policies, delegations, taxation, treasury and technical accounting standards.
  • Under the old council structure there were more than 330 cases of council vs council litigation around Resource Management Act matters.  The ATA has worked with the councils to achieve resolution where possible and fewer than a handful were regarded as intractable by the time of the Auckland Council’s establishment on 1 November 2010.

A discussion document issued by the ATA in relation to draft organisational structure and staff transition processes was released to employees of existing local government organisations. The discussion document and a summary in the 2 November 2009 edition of the Transition Times employee newsletter are available on this site. Part 4 of the discussion document, the Draft Organisational Structure - Auckland Transport Agency, was released by the ATA on 20 November 2009.

The Board of the ATA was announced by the Government in May 2009.

The history of how and why the Auckland Transition Agency was established has its roots in the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance which delivered its report in March 2009. The Government agreed with the Royal Commission’s recommendation that there needs to be bold change to make Auckland the most exciting, vibrant metropolitan centre in Australasia.

Determinations on wards, local boards and boundaries for the Auckland Council were released by the Local Government Commission.

For more on the Auckland Council go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz