You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Goff announces deputy, new council layout

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/10/2016

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has confirmed the badly kept secret Bill Cashmore will be his deputy, while also announcing the council's committees will be overhauled to cut down on meetings.

An official announcement on Thursday confirmed speculation National Party member Mr Cashmore would be picked for the No. 2 spot over two-time deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Mr Goff - a former Labour Party leader - told reporters he hoped the appointment of Mr Cashmore - who ran unopposed in his largely rural Franklin seat - would send a message to Auckland's farmers that they were still part of the super city.

"He has a reputation for getting things done. He's a straight shooter," Mr Goff said.

But he also praised Ms Hulse.

"She has carried an enormous workload on council for the last six years. She has met the responsibility, ably, competently and with enormous commitment."

Ms Hulse was a driving force behind the city's Unitary Plan, is credited with steering the council through former mayor Len Brown's sex scandal and received more votes than any other councillor in this years' local body elections.

She will now instead chair one of three major committees also announced as part of a restructure on Thursday.

The council will be trimming its 19 committees down to nine, with three main ones overseeing six sub-committees.

Ms Hulse will head the Environment & Community committee, while Whau councillor Ross Clow will chair Finance & Performance.

North Shore's Chris Darby will chair the powerful Planning committee - which will have responsibility for the Unitary plan, Auckland Transport, urban planning and design, Watercare and infrastructure policy.

"The new structure will result in five less formal meetings a month, up to 15 fewer reports needing to be prepared and a saving of 25 per cent in staff and councillors' time," Mr Goff said.

Ms Hulse told NZ Newswire she wasn't disheartened by the reshuffle and was looking forward to focusing on environmental issues.

"I've known for some time that when a new mayor comes on they like a clean slate and that's absolutely fine," she said.

"I did the Unitary Plan in the last term and now it's sleeves rolled up again and on to the next job ... For truly to be an international city we need to be doing better with the environment than we are now."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon