Tuesday, 8th November, 2016

In a recent discussion with Auckland’s new Mayor Phil Goff, Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of Auckland Chamber of Commerce, presented the following key issues for discussion –

  1. Auckland business community needs a Council that is easy to do business with

    This requires -
  • Leadership that lifts the pace at which we take decisions to address Auckland’s big issues and takes responsibility for delivering projects on time within budget

    The critical changes that are needed for this are -
  • Determine a way to work collaboratively together – Council engage with business organisations (e.g.Chamber) before big issue decisions are taken, not after the fact; business can be Council’s champion (…a no surprises policy)
  • Council should be seen as performing in a business-like way in managing Council’s finances – i.e. debt, rate & other revenue options and the $42b asset base - for a greater return & leverage for Aucklanders
  • Council needs to be more creative and innovative in looking at other options for financing its own destiny, than simply going to Wellington…..
  • Eliminate wastage – Focus council services & CCOs squarely on delivery of core services AND the faster delivery of the agreed agenda of big city-wide projects
    • For this, Council’s staff numbers, costs and salaries (including CCOs) need to be streamlined and realigned to do away with activities surplus to essential requirements.
  • Achieve a culture change across the whole organisation to one of  “we are here to help” and get things done that communities want/need
    • Will require Administration/CCOs listening and being more responsive to local boards and how Council interfaces with its customers (the public) e.g. on consenting
  1. Some opportunities for early wins that create a change of culture and direction for Auckland under the Phil Goff mayoralty
  • Port Future Review – Engage with the Chamber to design a win-win strategy (split business/land) (carpark) (rail)
  • North Shore – Engage with the Chamber to get an early Penlink win
  • Accelerate East-West Link
  • Cameron and Ernst & Young reports on alternative funding – Engage with Chamber on a strategy to get a conversation underway on getting more funding tools into the tool box
  • ATEED, BIDs undertake a wide range of (mainly rate payer supported) services that ‘compete’ with & ‘duplicate’ those of private sector business organisations
  • Auckland’s so-called vision brand and the story we tell about ourselves – to the rest of NZ, Wellington, internationally. Auckland is a city of business, enterprise and creative energy. There is a compelling story to tell that captures these characteristics (ATEED – has been building a story for three years)