Your Opinion – Hibiscus Matters letters – March 17, 2021

Value for money

Marcia Krska, Stanmore Bay (abridged)
I have a question relating to the piece regarding David Rankin being appointed CEO of Auckland Council’s property arm Panuku Development on a salary of $520,000 (HM February 17). In light of this huge salary, can Council inform us of Mr Rankin’s Key Performance Indicators please? How else can we taxpayers measure that we are getting value for our money from his efforts?

Panuku chair, Paul Majurey, responds (abridged): In accordance with the Local Government Act, Auckland Council’s annual Statement of Intent (SOI) for Panuku Development Auckland details its activities and intentions for the next three years. The SOI also includes performance measures and targets and is publicly available at When setting the chief executive’s salary, Panuku follows Council’s practice of obtaining market remuneration information from independent experts. Salary ranges are reviewed against market data from both private and public sector organisations using best practice methodology. Panuku salaries do not include variable components such as bonuses or incentives, which are common in most private sector organisations and some public sector entities. David Rankin is a widely respected and hard-working leader who has devoted his life to public service for Tāmaki Makaurau.

Carpark help valued

Lorraine Sampson, Area Committee member St John Hibiscus Coast (abridged)
Recently the carpark at the St John ambulance base at Silverdale was extended. This allowed for extra staff parking and off street parking for those who rent the hall. As we would have to do major fundraising for the sealing, we left the extension just with gravel – this caused problems with the gravel being spread. We would like to acknowledge the assistance from Fulton Hogan who helped us with the sealing and organised for the lines to be painted. The team, led by Ewould Botha, allowed us to have the parking area fixed and although we continue to fundraise we have been able to get the job done earlier than expected.

Rates rise rejected

Michael James, Ōrewa
Watercare says it should be able to fund its plan without higher than normal price rises. However, we are told that the service charge will be 7 percent and the growth will be 12 percent. This is to cover reduced revenue, yet they congratulated us on saving water in 2020. They can’t have it both ways. Auckland Council is proposing to raise rates by 5 percent. Both organisations are affected by reduced income in 2020 due to the effects of Covid-19. So is everyone else. We all suffered, so Watercare and Council, do the right thing and leave the increases to no more than the usual 3.5 percent.

No footpath

Katie Gibbs, Manager/Owner, Montessori Beginnings Preschool (abridged)
I read with interest your article ‘Dangerous walk for highway residents’ (HM February 17). We are also in that situation but our issue is the lack of footpaths. We are a small preschool on Brightside Road in a converted house. The centre has been there for about 12 years. In the seven years that we have owned the centre traffic has increased, especially with the supermarket just down the road. I have tried on numerous occasions to contact Auckland Transport/Council. The only result has been a job number and nothing else. We are only able to go out for walks but we have to cross straight in front of the centre. We are only able to do this if a teacher goes further up Brightside to stop any traffic. This is not ideal. The lack of footpaths around the Coast affects a lot of us.

Auckland Transport spokesperson Mark Hannan responds: This request for a footpath is on our list but unfortunately does not have high enough priority when measured against other projects. It has been on the list since 2016 and is assessed every year. There are a very large number of “missing links” in the footpath network throughout Auckland. Auckland Transport can’t deliver all these connections at the same time, so we have to use the available funding to target locations that have higher pedestrian numbers. In addition to Auckland Transport funding, local boards also have some discretionary funds for local walking and cycling projects. We would suggest that the preschool approach the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board to see if it can help.

Opportunity missed

Sharon Elliot, Gulf Harbour
Our household are big America’s Cup fans – and really enjoyed your feature on the locals involved (HM March 3) – but even we are thinking now was it really worth all the money? Covid has cut a huge margin through it and benefits to Kiwis and local businesses seem few and far between. Which is why I was so angry to see Council’s lack of support for a club that just wanted to show the races in its clubrooms (HM March 3). There can be no reason to block any opportunity for Kiwis to make a buck from the Cup, especially given the circumstances. Well done for bringing this behaviour out into the open.