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LTCCPs confirmed by transition agency

General News | 07/03/2009

The long-term community consultation plans (LTCCPs) submitted by Auckland's eight city, district and regional councils have been confirmed by the Auckland Transition Agency.

Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, North Shore City Council, Waitakere City Council, Rodney District Council, Franklin District Council, Papakura District Council and the Auckland Regional Council submitted their plans as required under the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009. All were confirmed by the ATA.

Council staff and chief executives have been thanked for their support and professionalism by ATA Acting Chief Executive Rodger Kerr-Newell.

“We are grateful to the councils and their staff for working constructively with us during this process,” said Mr Kerr-Newell. “These are comprehensive documents and we were all working to a very tight timeframe so we appreciate the time, effort and community consultation that went into this.”

By law, councils are required to submit some individual decisions under their LTCCPs to the ATA for confirmation – examples being contracts extending beyond 30 June 2011 with a value over $20,000. In approving all the LTCCPs the ATA flagged some individual spending projects in each plan which will require careful attention by the councils to assist the ATA’s confirmation process if implementation is intended during the transition period.

“Some decisions in councils’ plans have been highlighted by us as requiring further consideration if they are to be implemented during this transition period,” Mr Kerr-Newell said.

Some of the projects are scheduled for possible implementation later in the councils’ planning processes and will therefore be decisions for the new Auckland Council. The ATA is required to consider whether projects during the transition period could prejudice the reorganisation or have an impact the new council’s assets and liabilities.

During the discussion with the councils a number of wider issues relating to the transition were raised by the ATA. These are:

  • Combined purchasing. The ATA has recommended that councils work together to secure goods and services at lower prices. This includes a combined approach to the purchase of licences for current IT systems.
  • The provision of ongoing council funding to community groups. The ATA has recommended that councils’ funding arrangements with local community groups are agreed for three years (rather than annually) to reduce uncertainty for these groups during the transition period.
  • Recruitment and appointment of council staff during the transition. The ATA has recommended that councils should consider staff secondments and shared roles before replacing non-essential staff.

The ATA has also discussed with council representatives the current volume of cross-council litigation. “It has become clear that there are a number of examples of councils taking legal proceedings against other councils. If this continues at this rate and cases are unresolved by October 2010 the new Auckland Council faces the undesirable prospect of pursuing legal proceedings against itself. We would hope that councils can work collectively to identify and minimise any cross-council litigation that can reasonably be avoided,” said Mr Kerr-Newall.