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PRESS RELEASE: Joint Statement on the Proposed Auckland Council Funding Cuts to Devonport-Takapuna Local Board
Response from Partner Organisations in the Devonport Peninsula Community
To find out more please attend an upcoming meeting at:
Devonport Community House – Wednesday 22 March, 7:30pm
Auckland Council will shortly release its proposed 2023-24 budget for consultation, and a network of community organisations are urging members of the public to have their say.
Announced just before Christmas, the Council proposed that funding to Local Boards would be drastically reduced. This will have a catastrophic impact on our local communities and community organisations funded by our Local Board. It has been suggested that cuts to some local partners could be up to 60%. This puts at risk valuable community programmes, organisations and events that have always brought the Peninsula community together, offering enormous cultural, social, environmental, and economic value to residents and businesses.
At a recent meeting of leaders of the organisations, identified below, there was unanimous concern at the proposed cuts. The group identified shared concerns, and the following statements were agreed:
- That the well-being and emotional resilience of this community, now, and into the future, relies on Council funded organisations, events, activities, and services and that these programmes are core to the vitality of our community. These organisations are often volunteer-led, already operating on small budgets and significant cuts will be unmanageable. Council funded initiatives and organisations foster important citizen-led purpose driven outcomes in Community Building; Environmental Restoration; Climate Adaptation and Future Proofing; Arts Education, Development and Engagement; and appreciation and support of Culture and Heritage. Many are housed in community facilities.
- That these community groups and organisations are essential to assist Council to meet its statutory obligations to promote the social, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities in the present and for the future. These obligations on Council are mandatory1, not nice-to-haves. The partner groups ask Council to confirm that it recognises the value of investing in Community Strengthening for the longer-term well-being and liveability of Tāmaki Makaurau.
- That the core funding these groups receive from Auckland Council and the Local Board forms the funding foundation for the provision of valued community events, activities, development and well-being. This core funding allows organisations and programmes to attract further investment into the local area.
- That it is unacceptable that partner organisations will not know the funding to be provided to them for the next financial year, until July 2023. Organisations which rely on annual funding from council are unable to plan with any certainty beyond June 2023 (that’s this year!)
- That the proposed cuts will create generational damage, they are not expected to be reversed for years, if at all, and in effect, will be permanent. Community Programmes and Outcomes that have taken years to establish will not survive.
- That the community should be encouraged to understand the effects of Council’s proposed budget, particularly the extent to which the 5% ‘across the board’ Local Board cuts disproportionately impact Devonport-Takapuna Local Board’s ‘Locally Driven Initiative’ Operational Funding. This could mean a 60% cut to vital sources of funding relied on by many community organisations, not 5% as reported through Council communications.
- The peninsula’s communities are urged to have their say when the consultation process starts on February 28, and to express their concerns to Local Board and Council representatives and to submit through Council’s usual consultation channels.
1 Local Government Act 2002, s 9, cl 10(1)(b)
Partner Organisations on the Devonport Peninsula will continue to evolve and co-ordinate their messaging on this issue to the extent their individual resource and capacity allows. You can support local organisations by giving your feedback on the proposed budget cuts here.
And the following individuals:
Danny Watson – He Manu Hopukia Marae
Nigel Bioletti, Devonport Peninsula Trust
027 445 6211
Devonport Community House
09 445 3068
DEPOT Te Whare Toi
09 963 2331
Restoring Takarunga Hauraki
021 908 210
021 285 9399
09 445 2661