Now the dust has settled after Auckland’s local body elections re-elected mayor Phil Goff will kick start the new term on Friday by naming his deputy mayor and the chair-people of council committees for the next three years.
Goff says he plans to make changes to the make-up of the council’s committees, but he’s remaining tight-lipped on exactly what they are.
Under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 that created the SuperCity the mayor establishes the committees and appoints the chairs, as well as the deputy mayor.
Overhaul of committees
During the last term the council had a total of 10 committees. They included the Finance and Performance; Regulatory; Audit and Risk; Planning; Appointments, Performance Review and Value for Money; Community Development and Safety; Environment and Community; Strategic Procurement; Auckland Domain and Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group committees.
But how many and which committees the council has over the next three years now looks set for a revamp which will be announced by Goff on Friday at the Governing Body’s first meeting of the term.
“I’m looking at making some changes to the structure of the committees, but I can’t comment on those at this stage,” Goff says.
He says the recent election has altered the make-up of the council and that will have an impact on his decisions.
“I made changes when I was first elected in 2016 and I’m now looking at some further changes that will modify the way the council deals with some issues.”
While the majority of the representatives on the Auckland Council were re-elected in the recent local body elections at least two of the committees will be looking for new chair-people.
“Two of the previous chairs are no longer with the council,” Goff says.
Finance and Performance Committee chair Ross Clow lost his seat in the Whau Ward, while former Environment and Community Committee chair Penny Hulse decided to not stand in the 2019 election.
They were both experienced councillors who had spent years in local government.
The Finance and Performance Committee is one of the council’s most important committees and makes a number of key decisions on expenditure, debt and finance before they are forwarded to the Governing Body for final approval.
While the Environment and Community Committee has been at the forefront of the council’s work on climate change and will continue to have an important role to play in the future.
Chris Darby was the chair of the council’s Planning Committee in the last term and says he’s keen to continue in the position he has held for the last three years.
“It’s a new council and there’s going to be changes because Ross Clow and Penny Hulse have left and there are new people coming in,” Darby says.
He says he’ll be keen to hear Goff's thoughts on Friday.
“I’ve expressed my interest in continuing with my role with the Planning Committee, but that will be up to the Mayor to decide.”
Only four new councillors were elected in the recent elections. They are Shane Henderson who stood in Waitakere (Labour), Angela Dalton in Manurewa-Papakura (Manurewa-Papakura Action Team), Pippa Coom who stood in the Waitemata and Gulf Ward (City Vision) and Tracy Mulholland in Whau (Citizens and Ratepayers). They will all be making their maiden speeches at Friday’s first council meeting.