Brown’s Local Vision


Mayoral candidate Len Brown wants the new local boards to be responsible for local decisions on local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones and bus stops, speed limits for local roads, and public transport.

The Manukau mayor says local communities need to be confident they will retain their identity in the supercity.

“I will also have the Council meeting rotate monthly around each of the current council areas. It is important that the Auckland Council stays in touch with local communities around the region.”

Len Brown says local boards should be involved in planning and policy related to their communities. They should develop long term community plans and annual plans, as well as contributing to regional policy-making and giving effect to regional plans.
They should then develop local policy within the regional framework in areas like, for example, dog control, gambling and gaming machines, licensing of cafes, bars and liquor outlets, brothels, and the development of town centres.

Local boards should be responsible for local decisions on local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones and bus stops, speed limits for local roads, public transport, crime prevention (where CCTV cameras should be sited, for example), community engagement, beautification schemes, building consents, local economic development, animal control, environmental protection, local parks, recreation and sports facilities, libraries and pools, community houses and advisory services, town centre promotion, galleries and museums, beaches, camping grounds, liquor licensing, and more.
“I also want local boards to be involved in resource management hearings for their areas.  I will ensure Local boards have adequate support to get on with their business. I don’t want them to waste time arguing with the Council over budgets and plans.

” I will be sending a very clear message to the CEO and management of the Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the other CCOs, and councillors that local boards are the heart of democracy in Auckland and should not be fighting for scraps from the Council’s table.”




  1. karl says:

    Now, that’s a pretty long list, Len!

    No offense to the INTELLIGENCE of the future local board members and their staff, but doing building consents and transport planning and local policy takes EXPERTISE and RESOURCES.

    The local boards don’t have them, and even if you end up giving them that kind of staffing (to ALL the 20-odd boards???), we might end up with a situation where something like the Dominion Road bus corridor needs the input from three or four local boards all having different ideas.

    I know the issues he’s trying to straddle, but making big, complicated promises he may not be able to keep…

  2. Jon says:

    I guess, the opposite side to this is having everything done in the Auckland City HQ with no community imput. Therefore I tend to agree more with Brown for community involvement.

  3. Nick R says:

    WTF, local boards doing public transport?! That’s a huge step back from where we are today. PT needs to planned and coordinated at a regional level, not by a multitude of petty fiefdoms.

  4. karl says:

    “I guess, the opposite side to this is having everything done in the Auckland City HQ with no community imput. Therefore I tend to agree more with Brown for community involvement.”

    The thing is - he is (apparently) not phrasing this as INPUT. He is saying the should be making (the) decisions. As I and Nick R said, that has potential for either

    A) being a horrible mess, or

    B) being overblown (i.e. all they do get is a seat at the table, but not the final call).

    I would be “happy” with B, which is in fact how it should be. Of course they should have input - but Len is making it sound like A, giving the idea that the local boards under him would call the shots on at least some crucial matters that should be regional. So he’s either not actually going to do what he is implying to the local residents, or we will get a mess and an eventual backtrack.

  5. Jon says:

    The thing is transport should be run by one group for Auckland. Overall, the approach of local wards having a say on where a bus stop should be placed, what footpaths are upgraded, where a park is built etc should be at a local level, don’t you agree?

  6. karl says:

    “Having a say” yes. Taking the lead from, even. However, on transport, having the final call? No.

  7. Joshua says:

    That defies the whole point of the supercity, it’s there to make things easier, simple and more effective. Not harder, more complicated and inefficient.

    And how are you supposed to get any good progress on any Public Transport Project with so many involved.

    And how would organizing Public Transport work with each local board controlling their little section. If Browns ideals were to go ahead we would be continuing building more roads and less focus on PT. Not a great decision.

  8. Mark Donnelly says:

    Local Boards are the key to how this will all work. And in fact the legislation allows any Local Board to refer any decisions taken by the Council, which a board thinks is in fact a local decision. There is no cost to the board in doing this. However how this works in practice with the Transport CCO is an unknown.

    I think Len Brown rightly raises a lot of things that can be done locally (not sure about building consents though) - but the key issue is funding. The Council still sets the budget and rates. The Local Board can add additional “targeted rates” - what is really needed to make a policy work, is how the money will follow the decision making.

    How will funding be allocated to the Boards - there’s no point in being able to make a decision if you can’t fund it. Some areas will still be “rationed” across the whole region eg how many new swimming pools or libraries will be funded, and what is the priority order. How that process works is crucial - how do the Local Board areas make their case for a new facility.

    In the transport area, I’ve always seen several different levels of projects - and these should be built into the statement of intent, which should describe the policy framework, and priorities and funding. It should also set out the process for Local Board input. Larger regional projects would be different from small local projects. The Council could for example allocate a budget for “local” street improvements, and the Local Board makes it’s own decision, and effectively buys these from the Transport CCO.

    In the area of transport, it will come down to the Local Board being able to work effectively with the CCO. We need the quality of people on the Local Boards, who for example understand the ability of transport orientated developments to rejuvenate an area (I’ve been working on Mt Albert for the last 3 years, firstly getting precinct plans/land use concepts considered - before moving to transport/station upgrades).

    My expectation (and indeed experience) is that the transport policy people, welcome this sort of local input - it is the reason why we do PT! ie what’s at either end of the trip. The more people see Manakau, New Lynn, Newmarket, we turn a major corner in what rail can deliver to people’s centres - and that will be what Local boards will want.

  9. Joshua says:

    Mark - I agree that local input is important or essential to create an effective transport network, however I totally disagree that the local boards should be “responsible for local decisions on local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones and bus stops, speed limits for local roads, and public transport.”

    The fact is this should be controlled as one, so we can keep a consistent quality, fully integrated network that works as one.
    As with any project public input is required, and the local board should be able to put forward ideas and argue their position, however the responsibility and final decision should be made by Auckland Transport, they need to be held accountable for all transport in Auckland, they need to be responsible.

  10. Mark Donnelly says:

    Joshua - I agree there should be consistency. And maybe the Transport CCO sets those standards - but people want real local input and decisions. Residential streets may have issues such as traffic calming etc. Is the Transport CCO going to decide across the whole region the priorities? or maybe set a $2m budget per Local Board for street calming, and let them decide the priority?

    We also have to think of the Transport agency efficiency - they don’t really want to have to go down to that level of detail.The Board will start to get hundreds of people going to meetings to argue their case.

    The balance between democracy and an homogenised corporate model will need to be worked through. A footpath/streetscape is completely different in Mt Albert, Waiheke or Rodney - the locals need to set their own standards.

    As another example, in Mt Eden we’ve been supporting a local group wanting to plant fruit trees in the berms (they are also working with schools as well). They have a lot of support, and we’ve been happy to support them - but is that really a region wide issue? And now the Transport agency has Berm control……

    These aren’t insurmountable issues, but there does need to be some logic to where we draw the line

  11. Anthony says:

    Excellent Mr Brown.

  12. Matt L says:

    Personally I don’t see the need for local boards full stop, I don’t think they actually do anything other than get paid to waste time at meetings. I generally keep up with things going on and I have also lived in a a few areas in Auckland and not once ever heard from any local board about any issue. Asking them to be involved in the decision making is just asking for trouble, especially on transport matters where they are unlikely to have any actual experience.

  13. Andrew Miller says:

    So the point of having a “Super City” is? And how local are the Community Boards considering the rather large geographic areas they cover?

  14. Jeremy says:

    Dealing with a city as large as Auckland service level can’t really be reduced and the promise of efficiency is yet to be seen.

    Planning an integrated transport system will still take alot of planning even under a supercity and in a 3 year term it is unlikely local boards will be implementing any mayor public transport projects. At the end of a 3 year term I doubt work would start on a CBD loop, but maybe I’m under-estimating the effectiveness of the supercity structure.

  15. Oi vey - out of the frying pan and into the fire. The whole idea of the super city is to cut down on the number of cooks who all spoil the broth - the solution is simple, don’t vote for the idiot. Vote for the other idiot who doesn’t want to increase the red tape.

  16. karl says:

    Oh, you mean Simon Prast? Or are you talking about some other idiot?

    The ones I love most are those who promises not to give more work to consultants, but then cut the Council’s in-house staff and expertise (looking at you here, John!). The future Council will be GUTTED by the current process where staff are left in doubt about their future employment for months and months and months - many of the good ones leave. I have seen it happen in the Council departments I work with.

  17. We are in a bit of a mess here, who do we vote for ? there is not one candidate that really stands out but when push comes to shove I guess that I will have to vote for none other than somebody whom I can’t stomach - John Banks - better the devil that you know.

    On second thought, I might just sit this one out and wash my hands :)


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>