04 August 2020
An update on the Auckland Council Emergency Budget from our Chief Executive
I wanted to update you on Auckland Council’s Emergency Budget and what this means for Panuku, as Auckland Council begins its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you are aware, the global pandemic left council with a significant drop in income. It asked the community for feedback on a new budget that balanced providing for the community with investing in critical infrastructure.
The council has now adopted its Emergency Budget and Panuku is pleased that we are still able to deliver $100 million of urban regeneration this year. Our focus is on completing current projects, critical renewals and building a pipeline of work for when funding is available.
Our neighbourhood work continues to move forward.
A significant portion of the $100 million will be allocated to committed projects including the Gasometer car park at 14 Huron Street in Takapuna, purchasing property in Northcote and several projects on the waterfront including public space. The remaining funding will be allocated across the region with the greatest proportion going to Manukau, Avondale and Takapuna.
We are continuing other project planning and design so we can maintain a pipeline of activity. Regulatory work such as plan changes will continue for Onehunga Wharf and the waterfront. Critical maintenance will go ahead, and we will continue our property services including managing marinas, properties and leases.
We’ll also be getting properties ready for future development in Northcote, Henderson, Avondale, Panmure and Onehunga to catalyse urban renewal across the town centres. Our role includes determining what we want to get out of the sites, master planning to confirm the design and development, as well as identifying suitable development partners to achieve our community outcomes.
We’re streamlining our structure.
As with our council whānau, Panuku has committed to making savings across our organisation through voluntary pay reductions, not filling vacancies and reducing our workforce. As we change and adapt to our new business outlook, we are committed to ensuring a balance between the right level of resource to deliver and managing operational costs in line with budget restraints.
We continue to support our tenants.
Panuku manages a large property portfolio on behalf of Auckland Council. During the lockdown, we encouraged our tenants to contact us if they had concerns and where they needed to, register for hardship so we could work with them to determine what support we could offer.
As well as providing useful and accessible information on our website, we supported our commercial tenants where appropriate with rent reductions or deferrals and provided advice and support where needed for our residential tenants.
We remain committed to the people of Auckland.
In times of crisis, building a city of well connected, thriving neighbourhoods is more important than ever.
As Auckland’s urban regeneration specialists, we’ll continue to shape spaces that Aucklanders not only love, but that also make us stronger and more resilient in challenging times.
Chief Executive (acting)