Future research directions

Super City? State of Aucklandrepresents a snapshot of living in Auckland and gives residents insights into some aspects of the city’s performance. It complements many other measurements and scorecards of liveability in Auckland and of the Auckland Council in its first term. The unique governance reforms that created the largest territorial authority in Australasia will continue to attract critical attention both internationally and domestically from other regions considering the benefits and drawbacks of amalgamation.

Auckland Council has produced a research strategy for 2013-2016 that aligns with Council’s priorities and focuses on people, infrastructure and land use, the environment, housing, the economy, climate change and energy.

The AUT project team will continue with independent monitoring and research on critically important issues for the future of those who live in Auckland.

The following areas require significant future research:

  • Sustainability and “long term futures” research tends to extrapolate from the past. More exploration is needed of people’s expectations and aspirations for the future and to understand changing preferences and trends.
  • Cross-cutting social and economic issues such as inequality in Auckland, the wide disparities in employment outcomes, especially for young people, differences in health outcomes and inequalities in the school system.
  • Housing including intensification and affordability policies. It is currently difficult to ascertain how residents view their housing choices over their lifetimes and wider policy options are needed in relation to housing affordability.
  • The role and function of The Social Policy Forum and its interaction with economic development.
  • The role of local boards given on-going structural and functional tensions between consulting on behalf of the council and representing community aspirations and voices.
  • Increasing Māori, Pacific and other ethnic peoples’ as elected representatives on the Auckland Council and local boards along with further evaluation of the advisory boards.
  • Auckland’s relationship with Wellington and the rest of New Zealand.
  • The distribution of rates in relation to household income.
  • The value for money of rates.
  • Monitoring and analysing Auckland Council services and financial performance and establishing better assessments for local government performance in providing services to Auckland citizens and communities.
  • Monitoring of changes to transport infrastructure and services in Auckland to ensure improved quality of living, working and doing business in the Super City.

Cross cutting and innovative academic and applied research about Auckland’s unique governance structure has domestic and international relevance. It is a vital component, too, in raising the level of informed public debate, an important measure of participatory democracy.