Monday, April 22, 2024

Auckland long-term plan opens for consultation

Auckland Council’s Long-term Plan 2024-2034 has opened for public consultation, giving Aucklanders the chance to have their say on the options and trade-offs that will influence region-wide activities, services and investment.

Council says the Plan proposal aims to strengthen Auckland’s physical and financial resilience, while tackling big budget challenges.

Chief executive, Phil Wilson says this year’s Long-term Plan takes a new approach compared to previous years, by presenting multiple options for consultation – a central proposal and options to do more, or do less.

“We all want a better Auckland – a thriving, beautiful city that has recovered from the floods and is more resilient in future. Our transport and water services are core priorities we know we need to invest smartly in, for long-lasting solutions,” said Mr Wilson.

“As a region, we have real challenges and opportunities ahead, and this Long-term Plan is geared at delivering on the key issues for Auckland, along with how we grow our economy.”

The Long-term Plan’s central proposal includes a $13.4 billion investment by Auckland Transport to make public transport faster, more reliable and easier to use. It also includes strengthening Auckland’s resilience to flooding with the new Making Space for Water Programme of more than $1 billion of investment (including government co-funding).

Along with the central proposal, the Long-term Plan includes options and trade-offs – two additional scenarios to pay more, get more or to pay less, get less, said Mr Wilson.

“The proposal is a chance for our community to consider where we invest and what we prioritise, and if it captures what they want for Auckland.”The Long-term Plan must also deliver on the region managing a predicted growth in population, with an estimated 200,000 more people expected by 2052,” he said.

The central proposal spans a wide range of hot topics – from transport, drinking water and stormwater, to parks and community, city and local development, environmental management and economic development.

It also suggests establishing an Auckland Future Fund. This fund would create a more diverse set of investments that can be used to manage future challenges like global pandemics, extreme weather and environmental challenges, Council said in a statement.

The fund includes a proposal to transfer all the council’s remaining shares in Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) into the fund, and enable the fund manager to decide to sell any or all shares.

“The future fund and proposals around the North Harbour Stadium and the Port of Auckland are really important discussions to have. We want to hear from our community on this Long-term Plan – your feedback will influence the council’s priorities and how we deliver value for rates.”

Aucklanders are encouraged to read the central proposal and the options in the full consultation document, then give feedback at akhaveyoursay.nz/ourplan.

There is also a range of opportunities to Have Your Say on the Long-term Plan coming up, with webinars and community events being held, along with information at local library, council service centres or local board offices.

Final decisions will be made in June 2024 and the final Long-term Plan will be available on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

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