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Manukau council picks its portfolio leaders

Published 2 November 2007Manukau City Council has chosen a few chairmen of specialist committees and a group of “portfolio leaders” in a new style of council political structure devised by new mayor Len Brown.

Su’a William Sio took over from Anne Candy as deputy mayor and will jointly lead the regional sustainable development portfolio with the mayor.

Under the reorganisation, agreed on Tuesday, the council has done away with monthly committee meetings, replacing them with more frequent meetings of the council as a “committee of the whole” called the policy & activities committee. It will meet in that form 3 Thursdays/month and will be chaired by Cllr Colleen Brown, who’s entering her third term on the council.

Mayor Brown said the aim was to improve council leadership, accountability & responsiveness. And Cllr Brown added: “This new structure is an opportunity for us as councillors to be much more productive in setting the scene & the agenda for council. It will allow councillors to drive through some of their passions for the city and to work much more closely with council officers in the development of policy.”

The committees & their chairmen are:

* Policy & activities committee, Cllr Colleen Brown * Grants & events funding sub-committee, Cllr Gary Troup * Environmental hearings committee, Cllr Anne Candy * Accountability & performance committee, Cllr Jamie-Lee Ross * Audit & risk sub-committee, Cllr Maggie Burrill * Te Tiriti o Waitangi Committee, Cllr Alf Filipaina.

The new portfolio leaders are:

* City form & environment, Cllr Sharon Stewart * Safe city, Cllr Dick Quax * Transport, Cllr David Collings * Community services (including leisure & recreation), Cllr John Walker * Thriving economy, Cllr Arthur Anae * Innovative council (corporate business), Cllr Bob Wichman * Regional sustainable development, Mayor Len Brown & Cllr Su’a William Sio.

There will also be a tenders panel to consider major contracts, chaired by Cllr Sylvia Taylor.

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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Manukau council restructures political roles

Published 31 October 2007Manukau City Council has restructured its political shape, doing away with monthly committee meetings and replacing them with more frequent meetings of the council as a “committee of the whole.”

The council approved the changes yesterday. They’re aimed at improving council leadership, accountability & responsiveness.

New mayor Len Brown said the changes would see the whole council meet as a policy & activities committee once a week for 3 weeks of every month.

Most Manukau committees, apart from hearings, met at 5pm under the regime of Sir Barry Curtis. But Mr Brown has secured a change to 9.30am meetings for the new committee, signalling a move toward council governance as a full-time commitment for elected members. Only the monthly full council meeting will retain its traditional time slot of 5pm.

Mr Brown said: “I believe the new structure will ensure that all issues & decisions are given an across-the-board approach rather than being confined to the perspective of just one committee. For example, the provision of transportation would previously have been considered by a transport committee, but transport can have community, economic & environmental impacts. By these issues being considered by a committee-of-the-whole, we ensure a wider & more inclusive focus that considers & balances all of the city’s needs.

“This committee-as-a-whole structure provides an opportunity for much stronger political leadership on the policy & strategic directions of the council and will also hold the organisation much more accountable. It is also a reflection of a much more inclusive council, with a focus on broader leadership from the mayor & councillors.”

On improved responsiveness, he said: “Monthly committee meetings limited how quickly council was able to respond, especially to rapidly developing issues. By meeting as a policy & activities committee 3 times/month, we can bring any issue forward as it arises instead of having to wait up to a month for a committee to meet.”

5 councillors will be appointed “portfolio leaders” under the new model, for specific areas of council activities, including being the council’s public representative in their areas of responsibility, and working with staff in their areas of policy development.

Portfolio areas, which align with the council’s long-term council community plan & annual plan, are:

City form & environmentSafe cityTransportCommunity services andThriving economy.

The council will still have an environmental hearings committee to deal with hearings related to environmental matters & enforcement issues and it will conduct weekly forums to deal with information-only items, presentations of a non-strategic nature – with the opportunity for public attendance – as well as to provide for informal workshopping.

Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].

Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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