Some interesting decisions on where the different parts of the new Auckland Council, including where Auckland Transport will be located, have been released. Here are the details: Perhaps one of the most worrying things about the Auckland Council being largely based in the CBD and Takapuna, while Auckland Transport is in Henderson, is that the ‘divide’ between the two agencies may be reinforced through the physical distance between them. Some councils (Waitakere, and North Shore City was getting there) have gone to great lengths and expense to ‘bring together’ all their staff under one roof. This is so the different parts of them don’t get “siloed” off from each other.

Putting Auckland Transport out in Henderson appears likely to reinforce the dis-integration between the council and the transport agency. And that’s a worry in my opinion.

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  1. I’d prefer it if they spread the jobs around the region rather than concentrated them in one place. It helps keep these other centers viable by supporting the surrounding shops, eating places, and service industries. On a less important but website-relevant note, it also helps reduce peak hour traffic in to the CBD whether by car or public transport.

    I’d do the same thing on a national scale also. I don’t think it is healthy having so much of the public service concentrated in Wellington, and Wellington CBD in particular. Decentralisation would help make some provincial centers more viable and more able to survive periods of low commodity prices. Taxes are paid from all over the country and the benefits of government employment should also be spread fairly evenly.

    (As an example of extreme centralisation, the Airways people who run the ATC system have recently moved from Petone to a site just a couple of hundred meters from Parliament. Why?)

  2. I agree that moving larger government departments out to growth centres could be a good idea. At least if Auckland Transport is out in Henderson (which is on the train line but relatively remote from the motorway) we might see the transport planners using the system first hand? It might be better than ARC house which is in a bit of a PT black hole as far as the CBD goes, but very handy to the motorways.

    …maybe the proposed North Shore to Henderson RTN might rapidly come into being, along with a QTN local bus network?

    Hell, we just need to shift the headquarters of Auckland Transport around every five years or so to whichever local centre is most in need of improved services šŸ™‚

  3. My idea was to put them out in Flat Bush… best way to get action on a southeast Auckland RTN, probably the most desperately needed rapid transit corridor in Auckland.

  4. In my own selfish way I am happy they will be in Henderson as it will hopefully mean there will be a bit of focus on sorting out westieland, it also helps to allay the fears that the whole think is just a land grab by Auckland City and as Obi pointed out it keeps the local economies going.

    What we should focus on is making the workers actually use PT to get there rather than just driving.

  5. As far as I know, when the council building was constructed, Waitakere City built a lot less parking than would have normally been required – for the expressed purpose of encouraging their workers – and visitors to the site – to use public transport.

    I remember at the time a few people were calling them hypocrites for doing this while still requiring private developers to put in so many carparks.

  6. It still has car parking but not huge amounts and much of it doesn’t seem to get used. Most of the cars I see there have council stickers on the side of them

  7. On a recent work visit to the council offices we actually had to park on the road there were so few visitor parking spaces. Though I’m not saying that’s a particularly bad thing šŸ˜‰

  8. I’m alittle bit sad, or upset about this supercity thing.

    I am in Act, and some of us did try to explain to Mr Rodney Hide about “free markets” “capitalism” “choice” and ‘Central Planning’. Some, as I, do not think central control is aligned with the Act principles.

    So I think some things that could help make this plan more useful:

    1. Remove the rural councils from the supercity.
    2. Allow the Transport CCO to become inhouse.
    3. Have each current council the ability to make decisions with their own Chef officer.

  9. The problem with removing the rural councils would have been Auckland losing control of what happens around its edge – and the likelihood that we would have ended up with masses of urban sprawl in those peripheral areas, undermining our growth strategies and making it even harder to provide Auckland with a high quality public transport system.

  10. MattL: “It still has car parking but not huge amounts and much of it doesnā€™t seem to get used.”

    Maybe government buildings should set an example by being carpark free? I noticed from the latest edition of Architecture NZ magazine that the new Supreme Court has basement car parking. I don’t see why judges couldn’t mix with the common folk on the bus.

    Some government functions need government vehicles… It’d be a bit odd if the dog catcher had to take the bus or a bicycle back to the pound with a couple of canines in tow. But most CBD commercial buildings don’t have staff car parking and I don’t see any reason that government building shouldn’t be the same.

  11. I’m asuming the Rodney local board will be supported from Warkworth or Kumeu- though this is not clear. What about Upper Harbour (West harbour/Albany)- none of the four locations listed are anywhere near this board. Unless they make provision for new offices- you can see the four listed locations for their services (CBD, Takapuna, Henderson, Manakau plus presumably Orewa and Pukehoe) are going to be have a significant physical separation from their residents.

  12. Glad to see all this consolidation won’t result in any less building expenditure…

    Rortney’s reign of terror..?

  13. Waitakere City Council I believe, charges staff for using car parks and offers PT discount passes instead. Would be good if others followed this system.

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