Thursday, April 18, 2024

Howick’s councillors given leading roles

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart will lead the council’s civil defence and emergency management committee. Times file photo

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown has tasked the Howick ward’s two councillors with leading several Auckland Council committees.

Maurice Williamson will lead a committee that has the goal of cutting waste from the city’s budget while Sharon Stewart will lead one focusing on civil defence and emergency management.

Brown has announced his governing body committee structure for the council to save money, keep rates low, protect the essential services residents value and “improve the region’s natural and built environment”.

“As I said when I was elected, my goal was for every councillor to have meaningful roles, with genuine decision-making powers, in areas that would interest and challenge them,” he says.

“The committee structure is the result of dozens of hours of one-on-one meetings and discussions, with councillors indicating how they best wished to serve the people of Auckland.

“I am indebted to deputy mayor Desley Simpson, transport and infrastructure chairperson John Watson and planning, environment and parks chairperson Richard Hills for the extraordinary effort they put into bringing it all together.

“My objective that everyone has a meaningful role has already been achieved for 19 of the 20 councillors.

“Discussions are still underway to find a meaningful role for one councillor who did not accept my initial suggestion.”

Williamson will lead the council’s new expenditure control and procurement committee.

It’s been given until March 31 next year to identify savings for inclusion in the 2023/24 council budget to help bridge the $270 million budget hole.

Brown says some people call the committee a “razor gang” but he picked its members carefully to ensure it would also protect essential services.

Simpson welcomes the committee’s formation and says it will pick up her work as chairperson of the previous value for money committee.

“The low-hanging fruit has already been picked, and now it is time for a new set of eyes and a united governing body to conduct a new line-by-line analysis of expenditure across every part of the Auckland Council group to keep rates as low as possible and protect essential services,” she says.

Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart will lead the council’s civil defence and emergency management committee with councillor Kerrin Leoni.

At the peak of the council’s committee structure, the governing body will retain responsibility for the annual plan, budget, long-term plan and monitoring the financial performance of the Auckland Council group, including council-controlled organisations (CCOs) and the port.

More from Times Online


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -