The State of Auckland Report

The State of Auckland Report provides an objective and authoritative reflection on trends and changes over time. It presents indicators as well as analysis and commentary to help readers interpret the information. This includes an indication whether the outcome could reasonably be expected to have resulted directly or indirectly from the Super City reforms or from actions (or lack of action) from the Auckland Council.

Our research uses the monitoring framework commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs in 2010, suitably adapted, as the basis for the State of Auckland Report, which we have launched before this year's local body elections.

While there are already a number of scorecard-type publications available e.g. Auckland Council's Monitor Auckland and the Quality of Life Project — this State of Auckland Report complements these by:

  • Focusing on the state of Auckland as well as more specific attention to the effects of the governance reforms
  • Incorporating data not documented in those reports (i.e., from surveys and interviews)
  • Showing, wherever possible, not only the current state of Auckland, but how that has changed over (recent) time
  • Relating, where possible, Auckland patterns to those of comparable regions
  • Considering, to some extent, within-region trends especially be local board areas
  • (In the future) Providing an analysis of the political processes of the 2013 elections and their outcomes
  • Gathering material which might be added to the Public Record of the Super City changes
  • Providing a synoptic and judgemental assessment.

Who the report is for

The State of Auckland report will help citizens to assess the council's/councillors' performance and the effectiveness of the governance reforms over the past three years, which they may use to inform their voting decisions.

The report will also be of interest to Auckland Council and other stakeholders such as those interested in local governance reforms.

It is important to note that after only three years not too much progress is to be expected from these reforms: extensive change is likely to take considerably longer.

The State of Auckland project team

The project team comprises the following members from the AUT University School of Social Sciences and Public Policy:

Project background

Over the last few years large-scale governance reforms have been implemented in Auckland and together with subsequent policy development with the goals including:

  • Improved local and regional democracy and governance
  • A better partnership with Wellington
  • One voice for Auckland, streamlining local government
  • Gaining efficiencies of scale and scope
  • Becoming a more competitive and world class city
  • 'One mayor, one council, one plan' Auckland becoming the 'the world's most liveable city' through the 'Auckland Plan' (the one plan)
  • Co-governance arrangements between the Local Boards and the Auckland Council
  • Seven arms-length Council Controlled Organisations ("CCOs")
  • Other governance arrangements e.g. Independent Maori Statutory Board and other advisory boards.

We have been advised by an expert advisory group:

  • Len Cook
  • Glenda Fryer
  • Mark Gosche
  • Associate Professor Pare Keiha
  • Adjunct Professor Phil McDermott
  • Kate McNaught
  • Professor Simon Milne
  • Dr Mike Reid
  • David Shand


The researchers gratefully acknowledge the Dean of AUT University’s Faculty of Culture and Society, Professor Nigel Hemmington, for funding this research. The researchers are indebted to the Advisory Group for their guidance throughout the project, to Auckland Council for the information it provided and to Mattia Barbera and John Harvey for their contributions. The project used and adapted the monitoring framework developed by Martin, Jenkins and Associates Limited for the Department of Internal Affairs in 2010 as the basis for the report.