Increasing wealth and income inequality will be one of the major challenges facing Auckland over the next 10 to 20 years.
This is according to the revised Ngā Hapori Momoho, Thriving Communities Strategy 2022-2032, presented to Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, on February 10.
First adopted in 2014, the strategy sets out an action plan for community and social wellbeing. Specific objectives include financial security and health outcomes; community leadership, access and participation; and resilience, sustainability and innovation.
Rainbow Advisory Panel member Max Tweedie, who presented the strategy to the committee, said Council needed to get out of the way and let communities do what they did best. To this end, the strategy recommended that communities be resourced directly.
Tweedie pointed to Proud Centres, community centres designed by and for the queer community in Auckland, as an example. Proud Centres have organised 150 individual activities such as potlucks or performances to enhance community wellbeing.
The strategy also recommended more free events for Aucklanders.
Cr Fa’anana Efeso Collins, who is also on the Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel, said the report contained some challenging statistics. These included the growing income inequality in Tamaki Makaurau, the pace and scale of growth and social change, and climate change.
According to the report, more than half of Maori and 72 per cent of Pasifika families weren’t earning a liveable income, and close to half of those surveyed reported feeling isolated.
Cr Angela Dalton supported the strategy, but felt Council was limited by the tools available to provide help.
“Success for one community will look different for another,” Dalton said.
She also wondered whether the ways of measuring success were fit for Maori communities.
The committee also raised concerns about caring for the unvaccinated.
The strategy was adopted unanimously, and staff will report back to the committee with an implementation plan, monitoring/evaluation framework and business case for additional investment in August.