Preliminary analysis, which will need to be quantified in detail by the Establishment Board, suggests that adopting the Commission’s proposals for structural change will result in estimated efficiency savings in the indicative range of 2.5% to 3.5% of the total expenditure of the Auckland councils planned for 2008/09 (of around $3.2 billion). This represents estimated efficiency gains of between $76 million to $113 million per year.
In addition to the elected governing body of the Auckland Council, local democracy will be maintained through six elected local councils operating within the unitary Auckland Council. Local councils will oversee the delivery of services by Auckland Council staff and will undertake local engagement in four urban and two rural districts. The boundaries of the new local councils will be centred (with some important boundary adjustments) on the existing council territories of Rodney District, North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, and Manukau Cities, and Franklin District, thus enabling new local councils to utilise existing infrastructure and service centres.
The management of Auckland’s city centre and waterfront area is not just a local issue but one of regional and national importance. The centre is the hub of New Zealand’s leading firms, the focus of Auckland’s education and science sectors, and of its professional, financial, business, entertainment, and creative activities. Many of the region’s key institutions, such as libraries, universities, galleries, courts, theatres, hospitals, and large businesses are concentrated in this area. Increasingly, it is also being recognised as a desirable place in which to live. It is Auckland’s “shop window” to the world, and a focus for visitors to the region.