This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Progress on response to Local Government Commission recommendations'.
Item 2 
Joint Governance Working Party  
25 August 2020 
Governance Framework Review work programme - 
Implementation Update
Te take mō te pūrongo 
Purpose of the report
1.  To provide a progress update on the implementation of the Governance Framework Review 
(GFR) work programme. 
Whakarāpopototanga matua 
Executive summary
2.  Following the first meeting of this term’s Joint Governance Working Party (JGWP) in March, 
meetings scheduled to take place in May and June were cancelled. 
3.  COVID-19 and related emergency budget proceedings have had, and will continue to have, a 
significant impact on both the overall GFR programme and its individual projects.  
4.  Of 18 projects that have been undertaken as part of the GFR work programme, outputs have 
been delivered for 12, five remain in progress, and a sixth project is on hold. Progress updates 
for each live project are provided below.  
5.  A key piece of work that remains outstanding is the overall evaluation of the GFR work 
programme. Evaluation of the work programme will play a critical role in informing future work 
in response to the GFR but has also been delayed by COVID-19.  
6.  The GFR implementation programme going forward will need to be aligned with any 
implementation programme that arises from this year’s CCO review.  
Ngā tūtohunga 
That the Joint Governance Working Party: 
a)  note the update on the GFR work programme implementation. 
Implementation Update 
7.  The JGWP established for this term met for the first time on 10 March 2020. An overview of 
the programme was provided alongside a status update for each project.  
8.  At the March 2020 meeting of the JGWP, staff indicated that the following items would be 
brought back to a subsequent meeting:  
  An update on the annual work programme (including known policy, plan and bylaw 
projects) and outcomes from the joint Governing Body/local board chairs meeting 
planned for 16 March. This meeting was subsequently cancelled.  
  An options discussion paper for both the Minimum Service Levels and Equity of 
Service Levels and funding phases.  
  A report on issues around movement of local assets between service and non-service 
(and vice versa) as part of the divestment process. Staff undertook to report back to the 
JGWP on how the political recommendations have been factored into operational 
GFR – Implementation Update 
Page 1 

Item 2 
Joint Governance Working Party  
25 August 2020 
  A discussion paper proposing a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of the 
initiatives that have been implemented as part of the GFR work programme which will 
inform future work in response to the GFR. 
9.  On 20 March, Auckland Council announced it would close pools, recreation centres and major 
venues to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and on 21 March, COVID-19 Alert Level 
2 came into force, followed by Alert Level 4 on 26 March.  
10. While many of Auckland Council’s governance meetings were able to be held over Skype, a 
decision was made to cancel the JGWP meetings scheduled for May and June given the 
extraordinary volume of work created by both the COVID response itself and the emergency 
budget process that followed.  
11. The lockdown and subsequent emergency budget have had a significant impact on matters 
within the scope of the GFR, including:  
  Heightened urgency and the need for prudence led to decisions being taken by staff on 
matters of finance and health and safety, under the Chief Executive’s delegations, that 
would normally be more consultative  
  Constrained budgets and staff resourcing may impact delivery of GFR projects  
  Challenges related to new business processes, for example, more rigorous approval 
process for recruitment, may lead to delays  
  Elected members must be kept abreast of internal restructuring, so that they know who 
to contact  
  Reopening of facilities are subject to constraints of resources – both budget and staff. 
12. Despite the many difficulties brought about by COVID-19, many positives have emerged as 
well, including:  
  Greater opportunities for participation in proceedings via video conference technology, 
including developing opportunities for members of the public to participate  
  Increased access for the public to local board meetings through video recordings  
  Acknowledgement of the critical role of local boards in economic and community 
recovery, and ensuring they are empowered to undertake this role  
  Heightened urgency of decision-making led to decisions being taken at the newly-
formed Emergency Committee.  
13. The above points demonstrate that while the overall goals of the GFR are just as important 
now as they ever were – and perhaps even more so – repriorisation of work programmes to 
address the COVID-19 and emergency budget context means that some work may need to be 
undertaken on a longer time frame or approached in a more innovative way. 
14. In addition to changes brought about by COVID-19 and the emergency budget, the GFR 
implementation programme will need to be aligned with any implementation programme that 
arises from the CCO review.  
15. A key piece of work that remains outstanding is the overall evaluation of the GFR Work 
Programme. Evaluation of the programme will play a critical role in informing future work in 
response to the GFR. 
16. Work has commenced on a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the initiatives that 
have been implemented under the GFR programme of work against its initial high-level goals:  
GFR – Implementation Update 
Page 2 

Item 2 
Joint Governance Working Party  
25 August 2020 
  ensuring clear roles and responsibilities between the two arms of governance 
(understood by elected members, staff and the public) and that decision-making sits at 
the right level   
  continuing to support local boards to effectively fulfill their role as governors of a 
discrete set of local services and activities, especially in their place-shaping role 
  ensuring appropriate accountability and incentives for political decisions 
  ensuring local boards receive quality advice to support their decision-making role 
  supporting improved community engagement and improved services for Aucklanders. 
17. Evaluation will provide feedback on the overall effectiveness of the 18 projects against their 
own objectives, as well as the contribution that each of these projects has made to the goals of 
the overall programme.  
18. Unfortunately, evaluation, like many other council endeavours, has been delayed due to 
COVID-19, for a number of reasons:  
  the deferral of the 2020 elected member survey, which was planned for August 2020 
but has now been delayed to June 2021, subject to resourcing. This would have been a 
significant source of data and feedback regarding the outcomes of the GFR work 
programme up to now.  
  The difficulty of collecting quality data in relation to improvements made in GFR focus 
areas, when the organisation is not operating in a “business as usual” environment. For 
example: measuring whether Auckland Transport have been able to provide a more 
strategic and structured approach to developing projects funded by the Local Board 
Transport Capital Fund (LBTCF) will be difficult with changes to the fund necessitated 
by the Emergency Budget.  
19. Staff will now look to share a more detailed plan for evaluation in early 2021.  
Ongoing projects 
20. Of 18 projects that have been undertaken as part of the GFR work programme, outputs have 
been delivered for 12, five remain in progress, and a sixth project is on hold. Updates for each 
live project are provided below under three workstreams – policy, funding and finance, and 
organisational support. All projects for the fourth workstream (governance and representation) 
have been completed. 
Policy workstream 
21. There are two projects still in progress under this workstream: 
Progress Update 
Improving the 
Progress has been made on increasing staff understanding of 
process of local 
the new process and appropriate engagement with local 
board involvement in 
regional policy 
The inaugural Governing Body / local board chairs work 
Purpose: To ensure 
programme meeting was planned for 16 March and had to be 
effective local board 
cancelled. Work on this will be picked up once there is more 
involvement in regional 
certainty around departmental work.  
policy decisions. 
Impacts on regional policy and strategy will be worked through 
as budget implications become clearer. Regional policy and 
strategy that is progressing will take account of the agreed 
GFR – Implementation Update 
Page 3 

Item 2 
Joint Governance Working Party  
25 August 2020 
Progress Update 
Waiheke Island pilot 
Minimal impact from COVID-19.  
of enhanced local 
Waiheke Local Board’s OLI (the Mātiatia transport hub) now on 
Purpose: To trial/ test 
proposals for devolved 

Three-year pilot formally ends on 30 September. The 
decision-making on 
Programme Manager will continue with key projects that still 
Waiheke and assess 
need leadership after that date.  
whether these ideas 
RIMU to undertake “post pilot” formal evaluation to support pre- 
could be applied across  and mid-pilot evaluations. This will outline findings and options 
other local board areas.  for wider application of learnings. Once this is available, 
Programme Manager will formally report to Waiheke Local 
Board and that report can be included on the next agenda for 
Funding and finance workstream 

22. There is one project still in progress under this workstream: 
Progress Update 
More flexibility of 
Additional options for funding allocation were developed during 
decision-making over  February/March.  
operational funding 
Further delays to final options resulted from disruption under 
and service levels 
Levels 4 and 3, and further impacted as the focus of decision 
Purpose: Increased 
makers shifted to the emergency response and emergency 
flexibility in the use of 
operational funding for 
Revision to engagement plan underway, including alternative 
local activities.  This 
engagement approaches for project content. 
work is being 
completed four 

Updated proposals to be presented at the JGWP meeting of 25 
workstreams: (i) 
Stocktake of existing 
service levels (ii) 
minimum service levels 
(iii) service level equity 
and (iv) organisational 

Organisational support workstream   
23. There are three projects still in progress under this workstream: 
Progress Update 
The final three scheduled workshops (approximately 75 staff) 
were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.   
Purpose: To lift 
The contract role supporting the programme was terminated 
awareness and 
due to budget restrictions. The training will now be developed 
understanding of the 
using Quality Advice Programme resources.  
shared governance 
The immediate priority is to develop and deliver core, online 
framework to support 
modules (foundational for any staff with political engagement) 
improved quality of 

GFR – Implementation Update 
Page 4 

Item 2 
Joint Governance Working Party  
25 August 2020 
by the end of 2020.  No further workshops, in their current form, 
are planned.   
The development and delivery of optional and advanced 
modules (aimed at staff with high political engagement) has 
now been deferred to 2021. These modules may be a mix of 
online and face to face workshop options. 
More consistent local  Since March, the focus has been on supporting the 
board democracy 
implementation of new legislation which enabled the recording 
and virtual attendance of local board business meetings. This 
Purpose: Improve 
was necessary to ensure openness, transparency and public 
consistency in the 
access during COVID19 alert levels three and four.  
democracy processes 
Local Board Services Department (LBSD) staff are now 
followed to support 
undertaking a programme of work aimed at harnessing the 
local boards, to make it 
benefits experienced by staff and elected members from 
easier for staff 
working remotely and meeting virtually through the lockdown 
attending 21 local 
including reduced commuting, financial pressures and work-life 
board workshops or 
balance stresses, along with a smaller carbon footprint. 
business meetings 
Recommendations will be made to local boards on future work 
practices whilst ensuring that the appropriate support, 
technology, and training is available to both staff and elected 
members to ensure the success of these ways of working. 
The Consistency in Action (CIA) project has delivered 
consistent processes and templates to support staff across the 
organisation who engage with local boards via workshops. A 
staff survey was conducted in November 2019. Results 
indicated that the initiatives put in place through the CIA project 
have been successful in creating consistency and improving 
the workshop experience and the overall experience of working 
with LBS staff and local boards. We will carry out staff surveys 
on a periodic basis to continue to identify areas requiring 
The LBSD continuous improvements programme is now shifting 
focus in response to the new organisational strategy and LBS 
Business Plan priorities. All projects will now be approached 
through the lens of consistency, innovation and collaboration, 
whilst balancing efficiency with the value of local flavour.  
As a result, we recommend that the CIA project is wound up in 
favour of consistent processes being progressed through the 
ongoing LBS continuous improvements programme. This would 
mean that this project is no longer monitored and reported on 
as part of the GFR. 
Improve capacity to 
support local board 
On hold 
policy advice needs 
This project is on hold while the ‘local board involvement in 
Purpose: Improve 
regional policy’ work is progressed to allow for learnings and to 
capacity to support 
minimize the risk of duplication. 
local board policy 
advice needs 

GFR – Implementation Update 
Page 5 

Item 2 
Joint Governance Working Party  
25 August 2020 
Governance Division Restructure 
24. Effective 5 September 2020, the following changes will take place within the Governance 
  a new operating model for Local Board Services Department that replaces Relationship 
Manager roles with Local Area Managers  
  the creation of a new Governance Services Department 
  the creation of a new Democracy and Engagement Department.  
  The reporting line for John Nash, Programme Manager Waiheke and Gulf Islands, 
moves from the Governance Director to the Central Teams Manager, Local Board 
25. Changes made within the Governance Division at this time do not preclude further 
restructuring decisions from being made by the council’s Transition Unit later in the year, with 
the goal of creating a leaner, more efficient, and adaptable organisation. 
Ngā koringa ā-muri 
Next steps
26. Staff will now look to share a more detailed plan for programme evaluation in early 2021.  
27. The immediate priority is to ensure that ongoing GFR projects are able to be agile and flexible, 
adopting to the new context, and supported to deliver as much as is achievable within the new 
Ngā kaihaina 

Kat Ashmead, Senior Policy Advisor, Local Board Services  
Louise Mason, General Manager Local Board Services 
GFR – Implementation Update 
Page 6