The cornerstone of Heart of the City is advocacy and lobbying. We regularly lobby on behalf of businesses on key issues that impact the economic success of the CBD. We also take a keen interest in understanding our CBD, and to that end we publish and/or procure a range of research that identifies trends in the CBD.
Lobbying and Advocacy
We actively get involved in opportunities to represent business interests on the future shaping of the city. We seek feedback from our members to inform our position.
We are involved in a range of discussions that will contribute to positive economic outcomes and an enhanced sense of place in the city centre. This currently includes:
The Port Future Study - The study will recommend a long term strategy for the Port in Auckland, and takes into account social, cultural, economic and environmental considerations. We are a member of the Stakeholder Reference Group. The study scope is published here.
Freyberg Place - We lobbied to achieve results on key areas of concern with Council’s proposed designs for refurbishing the square. These included the retention of shared access for vehicles, particularly in the absence of a wider plan for the district to ensure decisions are not made in isolation; and mitigating the impact of construction.
City Rail Link - The CRL will improve the city centre's accessibility; however, we were concerned about the impact of early stage works, particularly on businesses in close proximity to construction. We raised issues with Auckland Transport and action was taken, for example improved hoardings and lighting in Victoria Street. We have sought to be involved earlier in these discussions so proactive mitigation can be agreed and the impact of construction reduced as this project progresses.
Homelessness - We actively sought solutions to end homelessness on city streets and are pleased that social service providers have come together to support a sustainable solution that has been successful internationally – Housing First. Action is also underway to improve emergency accommodation, with $2m of targeted rate funding committed to enhance emergency housing at James Liston Hostel.
Begging - We presented to Council’s Regulatory and By-Laws Committee, urging Councillors to support a speedy review of the by-law and for Council to take a more holistic approach to resolve and not just manage this complex issue. We need solutions for people in genuine need as well as businesses affected by these issues in order to address negative perceptions and ensure locals and visitors can enjoy our city streets. This remains a priority for action.
Unitary Plan - We have been an active participant in the debate since the draft Unitary Plan was released in 2012. We appreciate that Auckland needs a platform for growth but we raised residual concerns about the importance of design quality and heritage protection in the city centre; as well as protecting against further reclamation in the harbour.
Council's Annual Plan - We joined with the EMA and Property Council to oppose a proposal to change the Interim Transport Levy which we believed would unfairly shift cost to business one year into a three-year programme, in some cases by tens of thousands of dollars. The result of the Annual Plan deliberations was that Council retained the status quo for the remaining two years.
SkyPath - We supported the SkyPath project through the Resource Consent process and this year we reconfirmed our support for its construction and operation. It will open up cycling and walking access between the North Shore and Auckland’s City Centre, bringing with it increased access to central city business. It will also create an iconic destination, which we believe will bring economic benefit to the region and provide a reason for visitors to stay longer in Auckland.
Visit our submissions page to view our most recent submissions on important Auckland issues.
Auckland City Centre Advisory Board
We also represent CBD business interests as a member of the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB). ACCAB is an advisory body with a special interest in the overall success of the CBD.
ACCAB was originally conceived to oversee the delivery and implementation of Auckland Council’s ‘Auckland's CBD Into the Future' 10-year strategy and the CBD Targeted Rate which set out a number of projects for the city centre including significant Shared Space Upgrades and a destination marketing strategy. It now focuses on projects that are being delivered under the City Centre Masterplan and the CBD Targeted Rate. It is comprised of 14 city centre stakeholders who represent various groups, including K’road Business Association, the council, Ngati Whatua o Orakei, City Centre residents, educational bodies, city professionals, the hospitality industry and arts sector interests, and ourselves.
You can find out more information about the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board here.