Auckland Council Makes Significant Effort to Address Outstanding Actions for Māori, Independent Audit Finds

25 July 2018

An independent audit of Auckland Council’s (Council) activities to improve Māori economic, social and cultural and environmental development in Tāmaki Makaurau has found that Council has made significant efforts to address a high number of outstanding recommended actions from the previous 2014/15 audit, Independent Māori Statutory Board (Board) Chairman, David Taipari, and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, said in a joint statement.

The Te Tiriti o Waitangi Audit Report (the Report) is a key Board work programme that assists the Auckland Council Group to identify areas for improvement in meeting its statutory provisions referring to the Treaty of Waitangi and Māori; and improve how it responds to Maori aspirations and values that benefit all Aucklanders.

“This is the third independent audit carried out for the Board of the Council’s work on behalf of Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau and it is pleasing to see at last some solid Council progress, particularly in the development of Māori Responsiveness Plans designed to address Council departmental capability and delivery on Māori outcomes,” Mr Taipari said.

“I welcome the efforts Council has made to implement the outstanding recommendation actions from the previous audits. It is important Council plays its part in achieving positive outcomes with Māori,” Mayor, Phil Goff, said.

Mr Taipari said the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Audit, is a primary instrument for the Board to have assurance and confidence that Council is acting in accordance with statutory provisions relating to the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi).

“One of the Board’s purposes is to measure and evaluate progress or change in Māori wellbeing over time. A critical part of that measurement and evaluation process is to help ensure Council and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) meet their Treaty of Waitangi obligations. The audit process enables the Board to provide guidance on what is required of Council and CCOs and how to achieve those requirements,” Mr Taipari said.

Mr Taipari said the 2018 PwC Audit listed 13 recommendations that sought a Council management response, completion date and action owner, as well as a small number but larger action groups outstanding from the previous 2014/15 Audit.

“The Board considers that building strong relationships with Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau is critical to meeting legislative provisions and we encourage Council to effectively address all aspects of the relationship agreement action group, a key Audit recommendation,” Mr Taipari said.

Both Mr Taipari and Mayor Goff supported PwC’s recommendation that an internal review process be continued for the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Response programme by the Head of Council’s Internal Audit to the Audit and Risk Committee, with twice yearly reports.

While the Board and Council considered there is still a place for future Te Tiriti o Waitangi audits, both concluded that an opportunity now existed for Council to give effect to a user-friendly performance management system to measure its Māori responsiveness and contribution to Māori outcomes. Council officers are currently developing a detailed work programme addressing the findings, the outstanding actions and the operation of Māori Responsiveness Plans.

Council will report to the joint Governing Body and Independent Māori Statutory Board meeting in September and council’s Finance and Performance committee. The Board will seek an opportunity to review the draft detailed Council Te Tiriti o Waitangi Audit Work Programme 2018- 2021 that addresses the audit’s findings and recommendations. This measurement will support the Council Group to undertake self-review of its Māori responsiveness in many areas of its operations.


Contact: Brett Solvander (027) 223 9296