Orakei Local Board – proposed budget priorities and funding cuts for 2023-24

Auckland Council Orakei Local Board

Auckland Council is proposing –

  • The reduction of local board-funded activities across all boards to save $16 million.

  • The reduction of regional contestable grants to save $3 million.

  • No longer directly providing early childhood education services to save $1 million.

  • Note that a 1 per cent change in general rates is equivalent to around $20 million of revenue for the council.

The Orakei Local Board (OLB) says its priorities are:

  1. Continue to improve water quality, including in Newmarket/Middleton stream, Hobson Bay, and Orakei Basin
  2. Continue to develop , maintain and enhance our parks and sports fields
  3. Deliver the Meadowbank community centre
  4. Continue advocating for solutions to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour to support our local businesses and community and continue supporting community patrols
  5. Investigate the potential for targeted rates and other sources of funding
  6. Continue to work with Ngati Whatua Orakei to progress local initiatives and community development
  7. Continue work to enhance Pourewa Valley and efforts to purchase Kohimarama Forest
  8. Continue to advocate for local transport improvements

Its proposed cuts in spending total $650,000:

Activity Detail / Service level and community implications Potential reductions

Community grants

  • Applicants will be unable to secure the same amount of funding as before
  • Community groups will need to reduce their activities
  • Alternative sources of funding will need to be sought by community groups
  • $279,000 (100% cut)


Local events

  • Events with traffic management plans such as Anzac parades and street-based festivals may be moved off road or to alternative locations
  • Where the Ōrākei Local Board has been the sole funder, event organisers would need to look for alternative funding sources
  • Some events may not go ahead at all
  • Events that will be affected: Anzac parade, Carols on the Green, Movies in Parks, local civic events, the Ōrākei Environmental Forum, business and volunteer awards
  • $137,555 (94% cut)


Community delivery/programmes

  • There will be fewer people involved in and benefitting from community programmes
  • Potential for external funding to be lost
  • Pressure on other sources of funding will have a flow-on effect for funding of other community organisations
  • Some community organisations would likely have to cease operations
  • Activities affected: diverse participation, neighbourhood development and business activations
  • $66,000 (43% cut)


Environmental volunteers

  • Fewer people and groups involved in protecting biodiversity across the local board area
  • $6,000 (10% cut)


Arts and culture

  • Local arts programmes will have to be combined, such as Māori arts and culture with the arts broker programme
  • Other programmes supported by the arts broker would have to be reduced
  • $5,000 (100% cut)


Active communities

  • Number of parks activations will be reduced combined with delivery of lower cost activations. There may be opportunities to deliver some nature-based programmes run by the Community Programme Ranger team
  • $10,000 (33% cut)


Environmental education

  • Fewer children / schools supported
  • Fewer teachers supported and upskilled to deliver environmental education • Reduced community environmental action
  • Fewer environmental community events / workshops
  • $37,000 (90% cut)


Restoration and pest control

  • Reduced pest control locations / area
  • Increased numbers of pests (most notably in and around significant ecological areas and parks)
  • Reduced support to local groups and community involved in local pest control and ecological restoration
  • Decline in biodiversity
  • No new restoration / planting sites
  • Restored sites may not be adequately maintained
  • Loss of local employment (or reduced hours for our community coordinators)
  • $91,000 (49% cut)


Water quality

  • Reduced water quality due to less riparian planting and fencing
  • No new restoration sites around waterways
  • Loss of local employment (or reduced hours for our community coordinators)
  • Reduced community environmental action, awareness and advocacy
  • Decline in biodiversity.
  • Reduced support to local groups / loss of local employment.
  • $18,000 (27% cut)


Reduction in library hours

  • Reducing St Heliers and Remuera libraries opening hours down to six days a week from seven
  • 0% cut out of $67,420 potential

Key notes:

  • It is hoped that any cuts in community events and programmes, including environmental education, would only be for one year.
  • There is wide support for not cutting Libraries’ opening hours and collections – libraries are community centres i.e. at the heart of their communities for everyone. There has been wide support for Libraries to continue being fully funded.
  • Don’t cut the CABs – Citizens’ advice bureaux (CABs) are a bedrock part of community resilience and provide a service to those in the community who most need help.
  • Don’t cut the funding for the Auckland Art Gallery – it’s part of our cultural heritage
  • Sell the Auckland International Airport shares held by Auckland Council, worth $2 billion.
  • Restore the Heritage Advisory Panel at Auckland Council
  • Delay the development of the new Meadowbank Community Centre for 1-2 years
  • OLB may propose a targeted rate just for the OLB area eg $100 p.a. to build up funds for major projects such as the 10 yearly dredging of the Orakei Basin.

It is critical that you have your say on the proposed budget here by the 28th March 2023.

You can find more information here https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/hub-page/annual-budget-2023-2024

Also, you can write to or email the Mayor Wayne Brown and Deputy Mayor and Councillor Desley Simpson with a short one or two sentences saying what you support or oppose and requesting that the council preserves, supports and grows the local boards. mayor.wayne.brown@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and desley.simpson@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz