1. Environment and Cultural Heritage
The environment is inextricably connected to Aucklanders’ sense of identity and place. Our environment supports our very existence as people and all other aspects of our social lives, but it is also home to many special local ecosystems and is essential for the survival of both indigenous wildlife and species from across the world. We have a responsibility to ensure the natural environment and also our unique cultural sites are protected and cared for, particularly from the pressures of growth as well as other emerging risks. Considering the Auckland Plan’s directions for this policy outcome, students are encouraged to bring their local knowledge about the environment and cultural issues that matter to them to this committee. Here, students will be able to explore and create a range of policy options to achieve better environmental outcomes through local government decision-making.
2. Transport and Access
Having easy and fast access to work, school, family and friends, is vital for all Aucklanders to lead successful and enjoyable lives. To achieve this, Aucklanders need to have choices about how they get around. The Auckland Plan aims to build an integrated transport system that connects people and goods, increasing real travel choices and minimising harm to people and the environment. This committee will foster healthy debate among students about Aucklander’s transport options especially due to the recent implementation of a regional fuel tax. Access is a vital part of this debate and students can draw on their personal experiences with transportation in their local areas to inform their policy thinking. Join this committee if you have something to say about Auckland’s transport system and access issues!
3. Opportunity and Prosperity
Auckland’s economy needs to be agile and innovative, which is particularly important in an age of rapid technological change. The Auckland Plan aims to create the conditions for a resilient economy, to attract and retain skills, talent and investment, and these further in light of the changing nature of work. These directions will be implemented by harnessing emerging technologies to support businesses, innovation and productivity growth, advancing Māori employment and increasing educational achievement. While technology contributes to economic growth, it has also gained some public disdain with reduction of jobs due to automation, the increase in skill requirement and the need for professional skill of many digital programmes. There are myriad issues under this committee topic, and due to the broadness of the topic students will be challenged to come up with solid resolutions, and this will create discussions and debates on how to address these issues for our region.
4. Homes and Public Places
Housing and public spaces are vital to our Auckland society. For housing, Aucklanders have faced many problems due to our current housing system, as we have one of the least affordable housing markets in the world. With a focus on the current policy directions from the Auckland Plan, this committee will discuss local policy solutions, drawing from your own experiences with our housing system. There will also be opportunity to discuss Auckland’s demographic change and its evolving housing demands. Furthermore, this committee will also discuss the role of public places and spaces where we live, work and play — such as our local parks, libraries, sports fields, our roads, town centres, plazas and other public spaces. How would you design our public spaces?
5. Māori identity and Well-being
Auckland embraces its uniqueness founded on Te Tiriti o Wātangi and shaped by its Māori history and presence. Te Tiriti recognises the mana of Auckland’s hapū and as rangatira, and the inseparable bond between Tāmaki Makaurau the people and Tāmaki Makaurau the place. Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau is diverse and dynamic population. Comprising nearly 12 per cent of Auckland’s population, over half of Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau are under 25 years. A significant proportion of Māori are not benefitting from Auckland’s success. The Auckland Plan has a number of policy initiatives to progress its goals towards advancing Māori wellbeing particularly among tamariki and whānau in Auckland. Students will bring their own knowledge to this committee and engage in respectful dialogue around how local government aims to strengthen rāngatahi participation, increase Māori political representation at the local level of governance, and incorporate Tikanga principles in schools. Join this committee to engage in these important conversations.
6. Belonging and Participation
Auckland is diverse in terms of culture, religion, socio-economic status, gender and sexuality, disability, and location. Such diverse communities brings a range of values and lifestyles, different demands for goods and services, and expectations of civic participation and democracy. To ensure positive life experiences, Aucklanders must be mindful of our shared and different histories. The Auckland Plan aims to foster an inclusive Auckland by improving the health and wellbeing for all Aucklanders, through providing opportunities for all communities to participate in society, and also supporting and working with minority communities. With the least directions for this policy issue in The Auckland Plan, this committee can use this as an opportunity to further directions. Students will bring their own understanding of belonging and participation to this committee, and will be able to explore their own diverse experiences living in Auckland and consider with each other a range of policy-solutions to creating a socially cohesive Auckland society.