Key issue 4: Investment in our community

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This recovery budget is proposing a move away from an asset-dominated approach to community services.

We propose to consider how to better use partnerships, grants, digital and non-asset based approaches more tailored to community needs.

Our community investment challenge

Councils have traditionally provided community services through building community assets and delivering services through those. This means that Auckland now has a large network of community facilities, many of which are aging and require significant renewal investment.

Auckland’s population continues to grow and become increasingly diverse. The needs of our communities are changing over time. We need to become more adaptable in how we provide community services to keep up with the changing needs.

With much of our investment locked into aging community assets, we are spending more on renewals and maintenance. This detracts from the amount we can spend delivering the services Aucklanders need.

Our current asset-based approach is becoming financially, socially and culturally unsustainable.

What we are proposing

Stylised illustration of a community centre building.

We are proposing a focused investment approach, working within the $31 billion proposed 10-year investment programme and the proposed rates and debt settings under key issue 1.

Services will be tailored to the greatest needs of our communities. We will use alternative ways of delivering services, through partnerships and digital channels and multi-use facilities.

These are less dependent on having a large number of community assets. We would maintain the same service levels for our communities, just delivered differently.

Why we are proposing this

Over time, implementation of this new approach would see us divest aging community assets that aren’t fit for purpose and reinvest in services and facilities that better meet the needs of our communities.

We propose to do this by working with our local boards who understand the specific needs of their local communities. Moving fully to this new approach will take time, with some changes implemented over the next three years and others to be implemented through the next 10-year Budget review.

In the meantime, we will provide an additional $65 million over the next three years to address the highest priorities for community services and facilities.

This would provide a level of renewals to safeguard our facilities from asset failure, and will support high-priority growth projects such as the Scott Point sustainable sports park and the Flatbush combined library, community and arts centre at Ormiston. It will also:

  • provide new neighbourhood space in greenfield areas
  • support Kāinga Ora developments, sports park investments in areas of greatest need
  • allow for progress on coastal protection areas such as the Orewa Seawall.

What do you think?

Should we move to a new way of providing community services that is less reliant on our assets?
See question 4 to have your say on this proposal and other key topics.

Alternatives we have considered

Illustration of a library building.

Alternative one - increased funding

We considered an alternative of increased funding with higher rates and debt. This would see need for $1.9 billion additional investment in assets over the next 10-years to achieve the same levels of service and portfolio offerings expanded to cater for growth.

This would ensure all assets are well maintained and adequate for growth, but not necessarily ensure these will be the assets that our diverse and changing community actually need.

It would require significant further increases in rates and debt than proposed, but not necessarily achieve the intended community outcomes set out in the Auckland Plan.

Alternative two - no change to our current plan

We also considered the alternative of the status quo with no additional funding and no change to how we deliver services.

This would mean rates and debt settings as proposed under key Issue 1, but would lead to a renewals gap that would grow exponentially.

Many facilities would likely need to close for health and safety reasons as they deteriorate past our capacity to maintain and repair them.

Multiple facility closures with no alternative service delivery would likely lead to a significant deterioration in community service levels over time.

You should know

This is a highlight of the key topics in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031. See the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Consultation Document for complete information and financial details.


This recovery budget is proposing a move away from an asset-dominated approach to community services.

We propose to consider how to better use partnerships, grants, digital and non-asset based approaches more tailored to community needs.

Our community investment challenge

Councils have traditionally provided community services through building community assets and delivering services through those. This means that Auckland now has a large network of community facilities, many of which are aging and require significant renewal investment.

Auckland’s population continues to grow and become increasingly diverse. The needs of our communities are changing over time. We need to become more adaptable in how we provide community services to keep up with the changing needs.

With much of our investment locked into aging community assets, we are spending more on renewals and maintenance. This detracts from the amount we can spend delivering the services Aucklanders need.

Our current asset-based approach is becoming financially, socially and culturally unsustainable.

What we are proposing

Stylised illustration of a community centre building.

We are proposing a focused investment approach, working within the $31 billion proposed 10-year investment programme and the proposed rates and debt settings under key issue 1.

Services will be tailored to the greatest needs of our communities. We will use alternative ways of delivering services, through partnerships and digital channels and multi-use facilities.

These are less dependent on having a large number of community assets. We would maintain the same service levels for our communities, just delivered differently.

Why we are proposing this

Over time, implementation of this new approach would see us divest aging community assets that aren’t fit for purpose and reinvest in services and facilities that better meet the needs of our communities.

We propose to do this by working with our local boards who understand the specific needs of their local communities. Moving fully to this new approach will take time, with some changes implemented over the next three years and others to be implemented through the next 10-year Budget review.

In the meantime, we will provide an additional $65 million over the next three years to address the highest priorities for community services and facilities.

This would provide a level of renewals to safeguard our facilities from asset failure, and will support high-priority growth projects such as the Scott Point sustainable sports park and the Flatbush combined library, community and arts centre at Ormiston. It will also:

  • provide new neighbourhood space in greenfield areas
  • support Kāinga Ora developments, sports park investments in areas of greatest need
  • allow for progress on coastal protection areas such as the Orewa Seawall.

What do you think?

Should we move to a new way of providing community services that is less reliant on our assets?
See question 4 to have your say on this proposal and other key topics.

Alternatives we have considered

Illustration of a library building.

Alternative one - increased funding

We considered an alternative of increased funding with higher rates and debt. This would see need for $1.9 billion additional investment in assets over the next 10-years to achieve the same levels of service and portfolio offerings expanded to cater for growth.

This would ensure all assets are well maintained and adequate for growth, but not necessarily ensure these will be the assets that our diverse and changing community actually need.

It would require significant further increases in rates and debt than proposed, but not necessarily achieve the intended community outcomes set out in the Auckland Plan.

Alternative two - no change to our current plan

We also considered the alternative of the status quo with no additional funding and no change to how we deliver services.

This would mean rates and debt settings as proposed under key Issue 1, but would lead to a renewals gap that would grow exponentially.

Many facilities would likely need to close for health and safety reasons as they deteriorate past our capacity to maintain and repair them.

Multiple facility closures with no alternative service delivery would likely lead to a significant deterioration in community service levels over time.

You should know

This is a highlight of the key topics in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031. See the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Consultation Document for complete information and financial details.