Part 1: The purpose of the planning document

Matters arising from Auckland Council's planning document.

In this Part, we explain the purpose of the planning document, including:

  • the basis it provides for accountability and future reporting;
  • its status as an annual plan and long-term plan; and
  • the starting point and input it provides for future planning, decision-making, and management by Auckland Council.

A basis for accountability of Auckland Council

The planning document provides a basis for accountability for Auckland Council in the period after the transition from eight former councils to one unitary council. Auckland Council will report against the budgets, measures, and targets included in the planning document in its annual report.

Auckland Council's annual plan and long-term plan

Every local authority in New Zealand must have an annual plan and a long-term plan at all times.1 Auckland Council's planning document serves as its annual plan until 30 June 2011, and its long-term plan until 30 June 2012.

The usual provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 for a long-term plan and annual plan do not apply to Auckland Council's planning document. The special provisions for the planning document in the Auckland reform legislation replace those usual provisions.2

The planning document covers the eight-month period from 1 November 2010 to 30 June 2011, and the following eight years. This is the remaining period covered by the former councils' 10-year long-term plans, on which the planning document is based.

The former councils prepared annual plans for the four-month period from 1 July 2010 to 31 October 2010, but set rates levels for the whole of 2010/11. This provided rates revenue for Auckland Council for its first eight-month period. Auckland Council must prepare and adopt its first annual plan, and set rates, for 2011/12. It must also prepare and adopt its first long-term plan for 2012-22 during 2011/12.

The planning document also provides a starting point for, and input into, planning and decision-making by Auckland Council and management by its staff.

A detailed model underpins the planning document. It provides budgets that will help guide the internal management of Auckland Council and its various organisational divisions.

1: Sections 95 (relating to the Annual Plan) and 93 (relating to the Long-term Council Community Plan (LTCCP)) of the Local Government Act 2002 apply. At the time of writing this report, new legislation (the Local Government Amendment Act 2010) had just been enacted that effectively renames the LTCCP as the long-term plan.

2: Section 19A of the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009.

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