16.2.2 Current applications for reorganization in Auckland
The Local Government Commission has received two applications for reorganisation in the Auckland Council district since the Auckland Council was established in 2010.
- Application from the Northern Action Group for a unitary authority for North Rodney – On 1 November 2013, the commission received an application for a North Rodney Unitary Council from the Northern Action Group. The commission agreed to assess the application in August 2015. On 14 April 2016, the commission determined that the affected area is the Auckland Council area and that there is demonstrable community support in the area for reorganisation. The commission therefore called for alternative applications for local government reorganisation in the Auckland Council area to be submitted by 24 June 2016. The Northern Action Group submitted a supplementary proposal in June 2016.
Application from Our Waiheke for a unitary authority for Waiheke Island – The commission received an application for a unitary authority for Waiheke Island from Our Waiheke in December 2015. In March 2016, the commission agreed to assess the application, and then subsequently agreed, on 29 May 2016, to consider the application as an alternative application in the Auckland Council reorganisation process initiated by the North Rodney reorganisation application.
- The Commission ran a community engagement programme from September to December 2016 to provide the Auckland community, particularly people from Rodney and Waiheke Island, with an opportunity to provide feedback on local government arrangements and performance in Auckland. The Commission then released a report authored by Morrison Low to assist the Commission in identifying the “reasonably practicable options’’ for local government in Auckland as part of the current reorganisation process.
- On 10 November 2017, the Commission determined its preferred option for local government in the Auckland Council affected area was the existing local government arrangements in Auckland – the status quo. Northern Action Group Incorporated (NAG) and Our Waiheke, whose proposals for a North Rodney Unitary Authority and a Waiheke Unitary Authority respectively were not considered to meet the statutory requirements for reasonably practicable options for local government in Auckland, appealed the Commission’s decision to the High Court.
- In June 2018, the Commission received Auckland Council’s initial response to its report Enhancing local government for Aucklanders: Recommendations to Auckland Council. In November 2018, the Commission received a further update from Auckland Council on its responses to its report and recommendations
- On 30 April 2020, the High Court released its judgement on the Northern Action Group’s appeal against the Commission’s decision not to establish a North Rodney unitary authority. The High Court found in favour of the Commission on each point of appeal raised.