The problem in Auckland is its Council

Vic Crone – 

Many people tell me that they are sick of Auckland Council’s ‘can’t do’ attitude.

Whether putting in a sliding door, holding a sausage sizzle, setting up tables outside a cafe, or building a new home – everything gets far more difficult and expensive once Council is involved.

The balance between Council’s job on the one hand to regulate, and on the other to enable, is out of whack.

Overboard!

There is a fine balance between the two and unfortunately we are going overboard with regulation. We have definitely got a problem when Council dictates the colour that people need to paint their walls or what locks they should use.

The Super City was supposed to provide a more efficient and more connected way of managing Auckland. Sadly, these excessive processes and lack of communication are stifling progress, stopping us moving forward as a city.

Take the recently publicised stories of Coco’s Cantina and Dominos for example. They faced a lack of coordination between departments, bad communication, slow response rates and expensive charges. Both businesses have lost huge amounts of time, energy and money being given the run-around by Council. Where these businesses persevered, many give up.

Shake Up!

An incredible shakeup is required to reorient the Council, so that it puts Aucklanders at the heart of decision-making.

That’s why I resigned my job as Managing Director of Xero to campaign to be Auckland’s Mayor. In my experience, it is clear that a lot can be done to cut Council’s bureaucracy and streamline the way it deals with people.

Throughout my career, I have built a strong reputation as a change agent, not just in business but also through my work with central and local governments.

This includes big culture change programmes to make organisations more efficient and responsive to the needs of their users.

I would like to lead a Council that is truly connected to the communities it is meant to serve. For me, that means it not only understands the needs and pressures Aucklanders face every day, but it responds in an agile and timely manner.

Clean Up!

As Mayor, I would like to set a clear direction for CCOs to work together in a seamless way. This will be supported by strong accountability. There is a lot we can do to clean up the consenting process and I will take a magnifying glass to it to find the big holdups and get progress.

I would like to get more services and interactions online faster so it is easier to deal with Council.

Finally, I think it is time we had a proper go at giving staff on the frontline more power to use their common sense and make timely day-to-day decisions.

These are only a few examples of what we can do to help get Auckland Council back on track and working for Aucklanders.

It would not be easy but change certainly starts at the top with strong, experienced and determined leadership. Let’s get this show on the road.

Vic Crone is a candidate for Auckland Mayorality.

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