Eke Panuku Board Chair update
08 November 2022
In last month’s update, the Board encouraged a focus on continuing to deliver the plans and projects agreed with council, and you continue to excel with your urban regeneration and portfolio management mahi for Tamaki Makaurau.
It was no surprise then that the day after that update Eke Panuku received national awards from the Institute of Landscape Architects for your mahi in Parks, Open Spaces and Recreation at Amey Daldy Park + Daldy Street Linear Park and Tank Park, and for Masterplanning and Urban Design for Te Whakaoranga o Te Puhinui.
Tena ra tatou e te whanau o Eke Panuku
And, last week there was endorsement from a range of councillors at a CCO – council briefing hui that your mahi makes a real difference for Auckland’s town centres and amenity of our local communities. So much so that there was a call for Eke Panuku to extend our urban regeneration programme across Auckland.
As widely reported, the council whanau is facing financial challenges with constrained funding and increased costs of delivering services and investments. The current financial year operating budget across the group provided for a shortfall of $90-150m (depending on inflation and interest rates) and that is now projected to grow to ~$270m in the next financial year. This is the product of rising inflation, interest rates (on debt), wages and goods and services.
In previous years, financial challenges have been managed through significant efficiency gains, deferral of lower priority capital works, disposal of surplus assets and some increased charges. This was especially the case in the past few years with ~$900m of reduced income, and savings were delivered by the council whanau to help balance the budgets. Another initiative in 2020 to support the group through the Emergency Budget was for the CCO leadership to ‘share the pain’ and take pay cuts.
In the face of mounting challenges, the Board of Eke Panuku has unanimously agreed to take a 10% pay cut, effective today - to be reviewed at the end of the current financial year (30 June 2023). In the current environment we think that is tika. As professional directors, we are not looking for any of you to follow suit.The well-being of the Eke Panuku staff and families is of the utmost importance to the Board.
The focus of Eke Panuku will continue to be working alongside the council group to find sustainable solutions with a long-term outlook rather than focusing on the negative short term. Our whanaungatanga will get us through as it always has.
Naku iti nei
Eke Panuku Board Chair