Diversity is our Strength.
Together we are Auckland.
Table of contents
Relationship between this framework and Auckland Council’s commitments to Māori
Focus on inclusion
Building on good practice
Approach and four focus areas
Our people and culture
Ensuring our practices, polices, plans and services meet the needs of Aucklanders
Strategic leadership to foster an inclusive Auckland
Diverse and inclusive governance
Monitoring and reporting framework
Intercultural Cities network
Drivers of diversity for this framework
Why Inclusive Auckland?
Auckland is a super-diverse city and is home to people from more than 200 different
ethnicities. The scale of the city’s ethnic diversity is significant, nationally and
It is important to note that diversity is not limited to ethnicity; age, gender, sexuality,
disability, nationality, religion and culture are all factors that contribute to Auckland’s
Auckland’s diversity also includes persistent and growing inequality, often more
substantially impacting Māori and Pasifika communities.
Auckland Council has a key role to play in creating a strong, inclusive and equitable
Auckland with opportunity for all. Understanding and responding to the needs of our
citizens, customers and community is at the heart of what we do.
It is critical that we reflect the city and people we serve at all levels in the organisation.
One of our goals is to work towards closely reflecting the make-up of Auckland’s working
population in our senior leadership team.
Diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand. The Inclusive Auckland Framework values
diversity as our strength and recognises that, together, we are Auckland.
Being inclusive means intentionally addressing issues of access, equity and participation.
Achieving this requires a willingness to embrace change, at an individual and system level.
In developing this framework we have considered the many ways in which Auckland
Council can demonstrate our commitment to improving diversity and inclusion outcomes
The change actions are grouped into four key areas: our people and culture; our systems
and processes; strategic leadership for an inclusive Auckland; and diverse and inclusive
Building on the good work underway and delivering change across these four areas will
help us achieve our goal of becoming a leader in diversity and inclusion, and realise the
priorities set out in the Auckland Plan, Long-term Plan and local board plans.
I invite you to join me in creating a truly inclusive Auckland.
The Inclusive Auckland framework:
Values diversity as our strength
Fosters and supports inclusion
At Auckland Council
Diversity means the broad range of human difference. Each person has layers of diversity,
making his, her or their perspective and lived experience different to others.
These layers of diversity may include ethnicity, social disparity, culture, age, gender
identity, sexuality, disability, nationality, religion and lived experience.
Appendix B summarises the drivers of diversity that underpin this framework.
Being inclusive means recognising and valuing our differences and viewing them as
Being inclusive requires a willingness to be open, learn about and value difference. Being
inclusive means intentionally addressing issues of access, equity and participation.
Inclusion means living and working together with acceptance, trust and mutual respect,
and creating a shared future based on respect for diversity.
We value inclusion by identifying, addressing and removing barriers in our processes,
policies and culture and through creating meaningful opportunities for engagement and
participation for Aucklanders.
Diversity and inclusion matter. We all have a part to play in creating a strong, inclusive and
equitable Auckland with opportunity for all.
Relationship between the Inclusive Auckland Framework
and Auckland Council’s commitment to Māori
Consideration of diversity and inclusion in Aotearoa/New Zealand starts with
acknowledging Te Tiriti o Waitangi as one of our founding constitutional documents.
Auckland Council is strongly committed to recognising Te Tiriti and to fulfilling our statutory
obligations and partnership commitments with Māori in key statutory documents. We
recognise the special place of Māori as tangata whenua in Aotearoa and the relationship
between Māori and the Crown as Treaty partners.
The council’s Māori Responsiveness framework and Te Toa Takitini work programme
drive the delivery of our commitments to Māori and work to increase our cultural
competency to effectively engage and partner with Māori. The council is also a partner in
several co-governance arrangements with iwi and has an important relationship with the
Independent Māori Statutory Board.
From our starting point of recognising and honouring our bi-cultural foundation, the
Inclusive Auckland framework values diversity as Auckland’s strength. Change actions will
build on current work to foster and improve inclusion, in the council and in Auckland.
The Inclusive Auckland framework does not duplicate or include actions under our Māori
Responsiveness plans, Te Toa Takitini or co-governance arrangements but will work to
complement and support these work programmes.
Auckland is home to a richly diverse mix of people and communities, bringing different
experiences, knowledge, creativity, talent and innovative solutions to challenging problems
and global connections that strengthen our place in the world.
The world is facing testing issues around diversity and inclusion, including polarising
debates about international migration and refugee resettlement. New Zealand, and
Auckland, has persistent and growing inequality, with widening gaps in all outcome
indicators between rich and poor, often impacting Māori and Pasifika communities the
Auckland is projected to experience the majority of New Zealand’s population growth to
2043 (94 percent of working-age growth). The region is home to people from more than
200 different ethnicities and is now considered to be ‘super-diverse’. In just over 20 years,
Asian, Pacific and Māori peoples will together make up the largest share of Auckland’s
population. The scale of Auckland’s ethnic diversity is significant when considered in the
national and international context.
Whilst Auckland has a very different ethnic composition to the rest of New Zealand and its
‘super diversity’ is projected to increase, diversity is not limited to ethnicity. Age, gender,
sexuality, disability, nationality, religion and culture are all factors that contribute to
Auckland’s rich diversity.
The diversity advantage
Diversity is recognised as an essential and desirable feature of global cities. Research tells
us that diverse and cohesive cities attract talent, tourists and entrepreneurs from around
the world, adding vitality to the fabric of the city and to the economy.
Many cities are actively thinking and planning how to successfully embrace populations
from increasingly different backgrounds to realise the opportunities and advantages that
The challenge Auckland faces is to maximise the benefits by creating an environment
which welcomes, celebrates and embraces diverse people, communities and businesses.
The Superdiversity Stocktake2 report notes that most of the benefits from superdiversity,
such as greater innovation, productivity and investment, will increase New Zealand’s
financial position. However, most of its challenges involve social impacts. High and rapidly
increasing ethnic and cultural diversity can challenge shared values and institutions of a
city or community, which can strain a city’s social cohesion. Cities have a crucial role to
play in managing this. The critical component is how we respond to diversity: how we
think, plan and act to make the most of the benefits it brings.
Organisationally, particularly at senior leadership and governance levels, diversity
enhances creativity, innovation, and financial performance. Employees who have diverse
life experiences bring different perspectives, thought processes and creativity to team-
based problem solving, helping teams make better and more innovative business
decisions. This diversity of thought and experience, when it is enabled by organisational
processes, structures and cultures, is the link between demographic diversity and better
Auckland Council is the largest local government entity in Australasia - one third of New
Zealanders live within our boundaries. The council is the largest public sector organisation
in Auckland, with decision-making responsibility for assets valued at $43 billion.
We are also a very significant Auckland employer. Our 170 elected members and more
than 100 appointed members make decisions which impact locally, regionally and
nationally. We have many opportunities to help create an inclusive Auckland.
Focus on inclusion
In preparing this framework we have reviewed approaches to diversity and inclusion taken
by cities and councils internationally, as well as work underway in several NZ government
agencies and private sector companies. A bibliography of sources reviewed is provided in
Appendix C. The following section summarises the framework’s approach.
From diversity to inclusion
Cities around the world have adopted strategies recognising the diversity in their
communities and peoples. Although their titles are different (e.g. access and equity
strategy, equality strategy, diversity strategy, multi-cultural strategy) they commonly
include concepts of equity, access, participation and valuing diversity. These principles
also underpin this framework’s approach.
Often the practical application of these strategies has focused on recognising and
responding to diversity by, for example, celebrating community diversity through festivals
and special events, and making efforts to communicate in languages spoken by different
Internationally there is a growing understanding that responding to the challenges and
opportunities of increasing diversity requires a much stronger and more intentional focus
on fostering inclusion.
The concept of inclusion moves well beyond tolerance, to trust and mutual respect,
sharing and collaboration. People can live side-by-side or in the same street or
neighbourhood but still lead parallel lives with little or no contact with others from different
cultural, social, linguistic or ethnic groups.
An inclusive society is characterised by a sense of belonging and wellbeing, trust,
participation and engagement in that society by people of diverse backgrounds and
perspectives. A diverse community with a high level of trust and social cohesion makes a
city a more attractive and enjoyable place for people to live, work and do business.
The Council of Europe has developed an approach to fostering inclusion known as
interculturalism. This multi-faceted approach addresses the recognised limitations of
previous strategies and incorporates several important components:
a human rights and anti-discrimination approach
developing a ‘we’ culture based on shared values
developing culturally competent civic institutions
real power sharing between communities and civic institutions
fostering intercultural relationships
creating shared public spaces.
The Council of Europe recognises that cities are at the frontline of diversity and inclusion,
and that cultural changes are often driven by urban populations. Research into the
interculturalism approach has identified that it has a positive impact on economic
development and social cohesion, without needing a lot of additional investment or public
As an approach, interculturalism includes the important symbolic aspects of valuing
diversity and the policy-making and institutional aspects of fostering inclusion. Many of the
change actions in this framework align with this approach.
Organisationally, inclusion focuses on creating a culture that empowers people to be
respectful and appreciative of difference, encourages collaboration, innovation and
creativity, and enables meaningful contribution to the organisation’s success.
It also enables us to better connect with and represent our customers, citizens and
communities, in Auckland, New Zealand and globally. By doing so, we move past
concepts of anti-discrimination to a culture that thrives on the richness of our diverse
experiences, perspectives and ideas.
Auckland Council has an important role to play in fostering inclusion, in our workplace and
through our political and organisational leadership, strategies, policies, activities, services,
and strategic influence. As part of the Auckland Plan refresh process, the council’s elected
members will receive policy advice on building inclusive, thriving and resilient
communities. A strong focus on inclusion is consistent with work underway at the New
Zealand Treasury, Department of Internal Affairs, and the Office of Ethnic Communities to
better understand what drives and supports social cohesion and inclusion.
The size and influence of Auckland Council makes us well-placed to play a leadership role
in creating a more inclusive society for all Aucklanders. This framework recognises
diversity as our strength - for Auckland and for Auckland council - and focuses on actions
to support, grow and demonstrate our commitment to inclusion.
Developing this framework
Building on good practice
Since 2011, the Auckland Plan’s overall goal - to be the world’s most liveable city – has
been underpinned by the key strategic direction “to create a strong, inclusive and equitable
society that ensures opportunity for all Aucklanders”.
Our Long-term Plan, local board plans, and other strategic documents, have commitments
that reflect and respond to Aucklanders' diverse needs. In 2016, an initial stocktake
identified more than 130 diversity and inclusion activities underway, delivering on these
We have many pockets of good practice in valuing and respecting diversity and supporting
inclusion in different parts of the council. Our challenge is to build on this base to grow into
a culturally capable organisation able to lead on diversity and inclusion outcomes for
This framework honours our current work, identifies new actions to drive change, and
provides a structure to link and build on these, measure progress and celebrate
It is not possible to identify all areas of our current good practice in this document. The
next section highlights some key areas and recommends actions to drive organisation-
wide change and progress towards our leadership goal.
This framework and change actions will help Auckland Council become a recognised
leader on diversity and inclusion. The framework builds on our current work and
recommends additional actions, grouped into four focus areas:
Creating a diverse talented
Our processes, policies,
workforce and a strong
plans and services meet
the diverse needs of
Supporting diverse and
Our strategic leadership
inclusive governance –
fosters social inclusion in
elected and appointed
These change actions, in conjunction with the developing good practice in different
departments, are designed to help the council:
become a culturally intelligent and capable organisation, understanding and
responding well to the needs of our diverse citizens, customers and community and
providing excellent advice to our decision-makers
make smart, sustainable decisions with Aucklanders, supported by the diversity of
thought, lived experience and skills that our diverse and talented staff bring
take leadership to help ensure a strong, inclusive and equitable Auckland with
opportunity for all
grow ethnically and gender diverse organisational leadership and workforce that
closely reflects Auckland’s working population
become known as a great place to work because of our inclusive, safe and
support and grow diversity among our elected and appointed decision-makers
improve our staff engagement, trust and confidence, and elected member
The next section discusses the four focus areas in more detail.
1. Our people and our culture
Our people and culture
Creating a diverse talented workforce and strong inclusive organisation
The Auckland Council group is a significant employer, in Auckland and in the New Zealand
public sector, with 10,000 staff working across the region. Our workforce is a major factor
in our ability to improve the trust and confidence Aucklanders have in us. It is critical to
reflect the city and people we serve at all levels in the organisation. One of our key goals is
to work towards closely reflecting the make-up of Aucklands working population in our
senior leadership team.
We are creating a more effective, responsive and innovative organisation by creating a
diverse workforce and putting in place policies and practices that allow us to harness the
benefits of this diversity. The research in this area is compelling, showing that diverse
organisations can derive a number of potential benefits or diversity dividends,
greater customer satisfaction, successful decision-making, innovative problem-solving, an
enhanced ability to reach strategic goals, improved organisational outcomes,
engagement and a stronger bottom line.3,4
In fact, gender-diverse organisations are 15% more likely to outperform their peers, and
ethnically diverse ones 35% more likely.5 We also know that when at least one member of
a team has traits in common with the end user, the entire team better understands that
person. A team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% likelier than another
team to understand that client.6 This is critical information for Auckland Council as we
serve one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the OECD.
link to page 15
We must take a strategic approach to creating a diverse and inclusive organisation to
capitalise on this advantage and meet our strategic goals. The combination of high
diversity and high inclusion is the optimal state for organisational performance.7
An inclusive organisation is one in which employees can contribute to the success of the
company as their authentic selves, while the organisation respects and leverages their
talents and gives them a sense of connectedness.
Below are some of the key principles integral to achieving an inclusive culture.
Organisations which employ these six principles are most effective in building a culture of
inclusion in which all employees are responsible and leaders are accountable for
embedding diversity and inclusion.
Inclusion goes beyond equality of treatment, although this remains an essential
foundation, and encompasses feelings of individual value and belonging. To create this
requires an active process of change and integration.7
Behaviour of leaders carries significant weight in influencing perceptions about whether an
organisation is authentically committed to diversity and whether staffs feel included.9
Six principles for an inclusive organisational culture
(Bersin by Deloitte, 2017)
1. Treat diversity and inclusion as critical vs compliance -
approach diversity and inclusion as priorities are much more likely have better
2. Move beyond diversity to inclusion -
Organisations that focus on inclusion and
the multiple dimensions of diversity have superior performance.
3. Prioritise inclusive leadership -
Leaders play a critical role in creation of an
4. Embed diversity and inclusion into all talent practices -
This is critical to
creating diversity representation, as well as inclusion.
5. Provide diversity and inclusion resources that empower people -
include all resources that enable people to bring their whole selves to work, e.g.
6. Drive accountability -
Senior leaders must be accountable, supported by clear
metrics and tracking.
Workforce diversity and inclusion
Recruit for diversity
Develop inclusive leaders
Embed diversity and inclusion principles
Inclusive talent management
Build diverse leadership pipeline
Integrate flexible working
Reduce systemic bias
Demonstrate thought leadership
Champion diversity and inclusion
How well does our
Overall representation of diversity across
workforce reflect the
community it serves?
Representation of gender and ethnic
How well does our
diversity in senior leadership (ELT/SLT)
leadership reflect the
diversity of Auckland?
Increased proportion of the community from
diverse groups applying for roles with Council
Do we enable diverse
groups to progress within
Career progression of diverse groups
Pay distribution by gender/ethnicity
Sense of belonging
Perception of being fairly treated as an
Do diverse groups within
our workforce feel a sense
How comfortable to be authentic or whole
self at work
Do people within our
Perception of equity of career progression
comfortable to bring their
‘whole selves’ to work?
Perception that the council has a strong
commitment to diversity and inclusion
Have systemic barriers to
inclusion and progression
Perception that diverse perspectives, skills
and experiences are valued and rewarded
How well work life balance is being met
Ability to use flexible working options.
Auckland Council creates a diverse workforce through its inclusive attraction,
recruitment and talent management approaches and by reducing systemic barriers
To enhance diversity within our workforce we will make targeted changes to the way we
attract, source, recruit and manage talent. We also need to understand how we enable the
progression of people within our workforce to support a diverse talent pipeline.
This requires us to use a diversity and inclusion lens to review our current policies,
processes and procedures and begin to embed more inclusive and innovative approaches
to recruitment, selection and talent management. We must also address bias, unconscious
and conscious, to reduce systemic barriers.
1. To create inclusive attraction, recruitment and talent management processes that
enhances the diversity of our workforce.
2. Build the diversity talent pipeline through targeted initiatives and inclusive talent
3. Reduce systemic barriers to inclusion, such as conscious and unconscious bias.
1. Review current attraction, recruitment and talent sourcing policy and processes
with a diversity and inclusion lens and make changes to achieve best practice in
recruitment and talent management for diversity:
a) require diverse interview panels
b) use inclusive interview techniques
c) require diverse long lists (gender and ethnicity).
2. Set diversity goals for senior appointments and for graduate and internship
3. Provide training in unconscious bias to the recruitment team and hiring managers
4. Identify and use diverse talent sources and implement diversity requirements for
exec search firms.
5. Analyse data to understand metrics about entry, selection and career progression
in relation to gender and ethnicity.
Develop, pilot and implement cultural competency training for leaders and general
Auckland Council has an inclusive workplace where all people can feel valued and
respected, work flexibly and be part of an organisation that acts as a champion of
diversity and inclusion.
Auckland Council is committed to creating an inclusive workplace where all people can
succeed and flourish. An inclusive culture is one in which all people feel valued and
respected and have access to the same opportunities. One of the main challenges to
achieving inclusion is embedding diversity and inclusion principles as policies and practice
as well as core values integral to our organisational strategy. We know that a significant
component of inclusion is work/life balance and flexible working. It is also essential we
consistently champion, internally and externally, key diversity and inclusion messages.
1. Embed diversity and inclusion principles within employee lifecycle policies and
2. Create the necessary policy and practice changes to increase the uptake and
acceptance of flexible working.
3. Empower diverse groups and resource networks within the council.
4. Ensure the council is an effective a champion of diversity and inclusion principles.
1. Review corporate polices with a diversity and inclusion lens to embed diversity and
inclusion principles and best practice.
2. Evaluate the implications of a policy change that mandates that all roles offer
3. Pilot divisional diversity and inclusion action plans, as part of Business Planning,
which will outline how the principles of this framework relate to each division.
4. Complete Rainbow Tick accreditation and Be Accessible accreditation
5. Refresh and strengthen employee resource networks.
6. Empower senior leaders with information and a strong business case so they can
be champions of diversity and inclusion.
7. Expand and enhance programme of diversity and inclusion visibility events, such as
Pride Parade, Pasifika and Chinese New Year, etc.
Auckland Council has a diverse and inclusive leadership team and leadership talent
We recognise that the success of our diversity and inclusion strategy depends on the
support of people and senior leaders within the organisations. This requires a two-fold
approach: to equip all leaders with the tools of inclusive leadership; and to create more
diversity within the council’s senior leadership. We will achieve this by developing an
inclusive leadership programme for senior leaders and integrating inclusive leadership
(which includes unconscious bias) into our current leadership frameworks, developing and
implementing targeted programmes to increase diversity among high potential leaders,
and creating diversity and inclusion accountabilities for our all our people leaders.
1. Develop inclusive leadership capability in senior leaders and in all people leaders
(via the Leadership Compass).
2. Build the diversity leadership pipeline to ensure more representation of gender and
ethnic diversity in senior leadership.
3. Ensure accountability of senior leaders through enhanced diversity and inclusion
4. Provide thought leadership across the council as a whole and across government
sectors by sharing learnings and highlighting best practice.
1. Implement inclusive leadership training for all people leaders through the Leadership
2. Develop targeted leadership programmes for high potential female and ethnic staff.
3. Strengthen and extend Pacific mentoring programmes led by Moana Pacifica.
4. Implement a diversity and inclusion diagnostic tool and other diversity dashboard
metrics that allow us to assess progress and provide accountability measures for
5. Build our thought leadership capability through engaging with global and local
experts, applying these learnings and sharing evidence and case studies.
2. Ensuring our processes, policies, plans, and
services meet the diverse needs of Aucklanders
Ensuring our processes, policies, plans and services meet the
diverse needs of Aucklanders
We aim to demonstrate that we value diversity and inclusion through creating meaningful
opportunities for engagement and participation with Aucklanders, identifying and removing
barriers to access in our processes, and being well-informed about who makes up our
This means putting a diversity and inclusion lens on our community engagement and
participation actions, our advice to design makers, and how we design and deliver
services. We have several pockets of good and developing practice across these areas.
our Inclusive Communications framework with guidance, tools and standards for
implementing accessible communications, communicating with vision impaired
people, and people for whom translations may be needed
developing consistent, high quality, engagement practice across the council, such
as a robust performance framework to evaluate engagement practices
co-design/co-creation work with communities led by the Community Empowerment
unit and the Southern Initiative
the Quality Advice programme which trains report writers in critical thinking, impact
assessment, options analysis and providing clear, evidence-based advice.
The recommended actions will build on these areas of good practice to embed a
consistent, high quality approach to understanding and responding to the diverse needs of
our customers, citizens and community. The recommended changes actions are:
Develop a robust performance framework to evaluate engagement with Auckland’s
Utilising engagement results from the 2018 Annual Plan to set a baseline, we will develop
targets for engagement with all of Auckland’s communities. Having a consistent approach
to engagement practice will allow us to evaluate our progress in meeting these targets in
any financial year. Evaluation will occur against our performance framework, developed
and agreed with all departments undertaking engagement.
Make better use of existing research and data to inform service design and delivery
Currently we seek and gather demographic and other information from Aucklanders
through consultation and engagement, research, data collection from events and services,
focus groups, customer surveys and the People’s Panel. This information is held in
different parts of the council and is not easily accessible to staff. We are still to consistently
use this treasure trove of data to inform our advice to decision-makers or in our service
design and delivery decisions. Often, we re-consult, asking the community similar
questions many times over, often without checking to see what they may have told us
The Citizen Value and Engagement team is preparing a business case with options to
address this issue.
As a first step, we will work with the Community Services Integration team to ensure that
information relevant to the design of community services is easily available. We will also
partner with this team to implement a process for using this information consistently in
service design and evaluate its effectiveness.
Establish high quality social and community impact assessments as standard
practice for all policy advice
Our written advice to elected members has improved as a result of the Quality Advice work
programme and the work led by the Community and Social Policy team. However, one
area we need to improve is the quality of our impact assessments. As part of our
commitment to diversity and inclusion, we will progressively embed, as standard practice,
the inclusion of high quality social and community impact assessments for policy advice.
Beginning with reports to the Environment and Community committee, we will develop the
Auckland Council standard for demographic evidence base and social impact
assessments. We will agree a progressive roll-out of this approach during the next three
years for other reports to decision-makers.
This will ensure our elected members and other decision-makers receive quality advice on
how an activity or decision impacts on diverse communities, as well as enable a broad
range of community views to better influence decision-making.
This, in turn, will support high quality decisions that better reflect the diverse needs of
Auckland and improve elected members’ trust, confidence and satisfaction in our advice.
Implement the council’s Disability Operational Action Plan
In 2016 Council adopted a Disability Operational Action Plan, developed with input from
the Disability Advisory Panel, in 2016. The plan includes internal and external facing
championing universal design and adopting universal access principles for our
services and infrastructure
assessing leisure centres, parks, maunga and cemeteries for accessibility;
actively seeking to employ disabled people and working with the Blind Foundation
to increase library access and usage.
The recommended action increases our focus on delivering on our Disability Operational
Action Plan. Implementing and monitoring the agreed actions will help us to ensure we
have an accessible workplace for our staff and customers; and to help shape Auckland as
an accessible city.
Strategic leadership to foster an inclusive Auckland
Auckland Council is the largest local government entity in Australasia. One third of New
Zealanders live within our boundaries. Building on work underway, this focus area proposes
leadership actions to ‘make our size work’ in improving on diversity and inclusion outcomes
The Auckland Plan is a 30-year high level strategy for Auckland, developed and
implemented in partnership with central government, the private sector and Aucklanders.
First adopted in 2011, the Auckland Plan will be updated and refreshed in 2018. The
Auckland Plan sets the overall parameters for all of the council’s work, including other
strategic documents, such as the Long-term Plan, local board plans, and regional and local
The Auckland Plan is being refreshed using a themed approach. One of the themes is
‘belonging’ and feedback will be sought on:
recognising, valuing and celebrating Auckland’s diversity as a strength;
inclusive, thriving and resilient communities; and
equitable opportunity for all to achieve their potential
The Community and Social Policy team is leading the ‘belonging’ workstream for the
Auckland Plan refresh, along with work on investing in Aucklanders to create a friendly,
inclusive city, focussed on talent and potential.
The updated Auckland Plan will be considered for adoption by the Governing Body in late
2018. The Auckland Plan refresh process is an important strategic opportunity for Elected
Members to determine Council’s leadership role in building social cohesion, inclusion, and
belonging with Aucklanders.
Recently refreshed national strategies from key government agencies, such as those
relating to new migrants and refugees, ethnic communities, international students, Pacific
peoples, and disabled New Zealanders, have a strong focus on inclusion.
These provide a strategic opportunity for the council to explore working with central
government to develop mutually agreed social cohesion/diversity and inclusion goals for
Auckland, within the direction set by our current regional and local strategies.
Recommended actions include working with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to:
investigate the impact on social cohesion of providing integrated local and central
government services, through community infrastructure such as libraries and schools
develop a consistent understanding of, and policy approach to, fostering social
We also recommend investigating other potential options to work with central government to
positively impact on shared diversity and inclusion goals for Auckland.
Leading the diversity and inclusion discussion in Auckland
Celebrating and learning about Auckland’s diversity is an essential part of an inclusive
Auckland and an inclusive culture in the council. An important component of fostering social
cohesion is intercultural dialogue, understanding and relationships.
We will develop avenues for community discussion to enhance social and cultural
holding an Auckland Conversations event on what diversity and inclusion means for
utilising the Champions for Change and local and central government sector
networks to encourage private and public sector agencies to improve their own
diversity and inclusion outcomes
increasing our knowledge and understanding of Auckland’s diverse communities by
celebrating cultural events at work, e.g. Lunar New Year, Pride, International
Women’s day, Pasifika, Matariki, Diwali, Hannukah as learning opportunities
having a bigger, bolder, council family float in the annual Pride Parade
looking for opportunities to speak up about the benefits of diversity and inclusion in
facilitating cross-cultural engagement opportunities (e.g. marae and maunga visits for
Building a more inclusive society means addressing Auckland’s growing social and
economic inequity. In 2012, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
set an ambitious goal to increase the median real household income 40 per cent by 2025 as
part of its vision to grow New Zealand.
MBIE’s Pacific Economic Strategy provides clear direction towards supporting Pacific
peoples to participate and share in New Zealand’s economic success. Sustainable job
opportunities, affordable and suitable housing, and more sustainable Pacific-owned
businesses are the strategy’s key goals.
The Southern Initiative (TSI) and addressing impacts on social and economic equity
A small team of social intrepreneurs within the TSI is fostering real and sustainable change
by linking our procurement requirements on infrastructure projects with training and work
pathways for people previously not employed or in education or training. This contributes to
improved social outcomes and is making a real, measurable difference for the participants.
Sharing the learnings from this approach will increase the impact of improved social
outcomes through council procurement.
Understanding diverse business communities
Championing enhanced economic outcomes for Aucklanders means better understanding
our diverse business communities. The council works with small businesses through the
Business Improvement District (BIDs) programme. Businesses are becoming more diverse,
as are their customers. Over the next three years we will support BIDs to improve
engagement between businesses and their communities.
Supporting diverse and inclusive governance
Reflecting Auckland’s diversity
The council has 170 elected members and more than 100 appointed members making
significant decisions that impact locally, regionally and nationally. Our elected and
appointed members are the face of Auckland Council and are key to demonstrating our
commitment to valuing diversity and fostering inclusion.
In the 2016-2019 term, the diversity across our elected members more closely reflects
Auckland’s diversity than in previous terms but does not fully match the region’s
In the lead-up to the 2019 elections, the council’s Voter Participation project aims to:
increase participation, particularly among communities that do not traditionally vote
promote the opportunity for candidates from across Auckland’s different
communities to stand for election.
Many factors influence a successful candidacy (including campaign strategies, resourcing
and voter attitudes). In partnership with the council’s demographic Advisory Panels and
several external agencies, the Voter Participation project will focus on voter awareness
and encouraging candidates to stand.
In addition to supporting this project, the other recommended actions are:
Diversity and inclusion training for elected members
The council shapes and influences Auckland through planning, policy, service design and
delivery decisions across a wide range of activities. Governance that is reflective of and
understands the diversity of Auckland’s communities enhances decision-making and
increases community trust and confidence.
In 2017, diversity and inclusion training will be offered to all elected members as part of
their Kura Kāwana learning and development programme to better support them in their
knowledge, understanding and engagement with the communities they represent.
Support for the council’s demographic Advisory Panels
Auckland Council’s demographic Advisory Panels are an important source of knowledge
on the diverse interests and issues facing a number of different communities. The panels
are supported by liaison councillors from the governing body and senior members of staff
as lead officers. Our challenge is to develop ways for the panels to more effectively
contribute to organisational and governance decision-making.
Two actions are proposed for this:
reporting to the panels on the progress of the Inclusive Auckland framework and
actions, and seeking their views on key issues as this work progresses
establishing strategic high level meetings between the panels and the governing
body, and the panels and our executive leadership team to review progress on
these actions and other matters of importance to the panels.
Appointments to the boards of Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)
Auckland Council appoints a number of decision-makers to various roles, including board
members of council-controlled organisations, hearings commissioners, and other bodies.
The CCO Governance team are currently reviewing the CCO Board appointment policy
and process, including policy direction on diversity and inclusion. Councillors will consider
a range of options for refinement of current policy settings in July 2017 with the intention of
adopting the final policy by September 2017.
We will also work closely with our CCOs to share the learnings from the actions in this
Keeping diversity and inclusion on our radar
Delivering on this work programme will require sustained and effective collaboration
across different parts of the council to deliver progress across several areas
simultaneously. The head of Diversity and Inclusion has overall responsibility for ensuring
implementation of this work programme; and will work closely with the Principal Adviser,
Diversity and Inclusion (People and Capability) and other business owners across council.
The council’s previous Diversity Steering Group will be reconvened as the Inclusive
Auckland Reference Group to champion this framework and role model behaviours to
drive change and achieve our goals.
We will revitalise the diversity and inclusion intranet page so that it becomes a strong and
vibrant intranet presence, sharing our successes and best practice stories.
Monitoring and reporting framework
The approach outlined in this framework will be evaluated for its effectiveness through
a range of monitoring and reporting processes, including:
Performance Plan quarterly reporting:
- the Engage and Enable Communities sub-group has oversight over the whole work
- the Our People, Our Culture actions are also reported through the High
Performance Culture sub-group
Champions for Change – progress towards our workforce composition goals will be
reported through this external reporting process, along with several government
departments and large commercial organisations
governing body and local boards - actions needing political level approval will be
reported through appropriate committees or local boards
an annual meeting between the advisory panels, ELT and governing body with
reporting on progress on all actions in this framework informing the agenda.
We also recommend participating in the Intercultural Cities benchmarking system
(discussed below) which assesses the impact of local government actions on fostering
social inclusion in communities.
In 2016, the council submitted entries into the Pay Equity and Diversity Works awards. We
will look for opportunities to submit entries into these and other awards in 2017.
Intercultural Cities benchmarking programme
We will investigate joining the Intercultural Cities programme, facilitated by the Council of
Europe, as part of our monitoring and reporting programme.
The Intercultural Cities programme is aimed at local authorities and offers international
benchmarking and a range of analytical and assessment tools to support and drive
intercultural inclusion. Being part of this international programme will reinforce and support
the Inclusive Auckland framework approach and provide access to international best
practice thinking and networks with other cities on this journey.
The Intercultural Cities Index benchmarks local government policies and practices and
their effect on communities against a wide range of indicators including:
leadership, accountability and budget for diversity and inclusion strategies
the impact of policies and planning on the accessibility and welcoming environment
for all diverse communities
the locational distribution of different ethnic communities in the city
the extent of engagement with ethnic media
taking pro-active leadership to foster social cohesion.
One hundred and fifteen cities inside and outside Europe have joined the Intercultural
Cities Network and others have completed the benchmarking index while considering
joining. One Australian city (Ballarat) completed the index in 2016 and six others will
complete it in 2017.
We propose to provide advice to the Environment and Community committee on the
potential benefits of joining the Intercultural Cities Network.
1 Lisa Marriott and Dalice Sim Indicators of Inequality for Māori and Pacific People
Working Papers in Public Finance, Victoria University 2014
2 Superdiversity Stocktake – Implications for business, Government and New Zealand http://www.chenpalmer.com/wp-content/uploads/Superdiversity_Stocktake.pdf
7 Waiter is that inclusion in my soup? https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/human-capital/deloitte-au-
9Inclusive Leadership-will a hug do? https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/human-capital/deloitte-au-