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2016 - 2017

Funding Plan

January 2016
































Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Chairman’s Report It is again my pleasure to present the Draft 2016-2017 Funding Plan on behalf of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board.

This is the Funding Board’s seventh funding plan since the enactment of the legislation, although it will represent the eighth distribution of grants to the specified amenities.

The ten specified amenities have all made significant contributions towards the well-being of the Auckland region, making Auckland a vibrant and attractive place to live in and visit, as well as contributing to making Auckland the most liveable city in the world.

The Funding Board considered the funding applications from all ten specified amenities;

determined the provisional allocation of grants to each amenity; and discussed the proposed levy with representatives of Auckland Council.

The Draft 2016-2017 Funding Plan now provides details of the total levy to be collected from Auckland Council, and the allocation of grants by the Funding Board to each of the ten specified amenities that sought funding for the 2016-2017 financial year.

Following a review undertaken by Auckland Council around the role, purpose, effectiveness and relevance of the Funding Board and the legislation that it operates under, a decision has been made for the status-quo to prevail. In doing so, it was agreed that the Funding Board will lead a piece of work to define ‘sustainability’ as it relates to the ten amenities. The Funding Board welcomes the opportunity to lead this study as it will hopefully provide all interested parties with a clear definition and set of parameters to operate under in the future.

The Funding Board is proposing a levy of $16,142,000 for 2016-2017, representing an increase of $994,100 (or 6.56%) over 2015-2016. A direct comparison to the previous year is not really possible, as one amenity chose not to make an application in 2015-2016, and the levy for 2015-2016 included a step-up in funding of $1 million for the trial annualisation of the Auckland Arts Festival in 2016.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my board colleagues for their diligence and professional work during the development of the Draft 2016-2017 Funding Plan. They all approach their work for the Funding Board with a high degree of commitment and integrity.

Individually and collectively, they bring with them a wealth of experience, skills and abilities that continues to give me confidence that the Draft 2016-2017 Funding Plan is one that delivers a mechanism to provide adequate, secure and sustainable funding within a fiscally responsible framework.

Vern Walsh Chair January 2016 Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Introduction This Draft Funding Plan, covering the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, is the seventh plan published by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, (Funding Board).

Although the Draft 2016-2017 Funding Plan represents the seventh year that the Funding Board has assessed and recommended the distribution of grants to the specified amenities, it will be the eighth year that grants will be distributed to the amenities. The Funding Board believes that the levels of funding proposed in this plan are in line with the key funding principles outlined in the Act, and in accordance with the primary purpose of the Act, namely the provision of a mechanism for adequate, sustainable and secure funding for the specified amenities.

Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Background The Funding Board was established with the introduction of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008. The Act introduced a levy to be imposed on Auckland Council.

The levy is collected by the Funding Board and distributed as grants to the specified amenities named in the legislation. The purpose of the Act is to establish a mechanism that provides sustainable funding to ensure the on-going sustainability of the organisations named in the Act who deliver arts, culture, recreational, heritage, rescue services and other facilities and services to the wider population of the Auckland region. All amenities make significant contributions towards making Auckland a global city.

In this eighth year, the maximum funding permissible is defined in the Act as being no more than 2% of the rates collected by Auckland Council in the previous financial year. For 2016the maximum levy cap has been calculated as $29,400,000. The Funding Board, whilst cognisant of that levy cap, assesses each application on its merits and does not regard the maximum levy cap as either a target or a notional budget to work towards. The proposed 2016-2017 levy represents 57.4% of the levy amount permitted under the legislation.

On a day to day basis, the Funding Board is not responsible for the governance of any of the entities named in the Act. The sole purpose of the Funding Board is to administer the provisions of the Act which primarily comprises determining the levy to be collected from Auckland Council, and then distributing this as grants to the specified amenities. Each of the specified amenities retains its own board of governance and management and is therefore responsible for the decisions made regarding the operations of the organisation. Decisions made by an entity that may have operational funding implications do not automatically trigger an increase in grant funding to contribute to any increased costs associated with those decisions.

Similarly, increased public expectations of service delivery need to be tempered with the willingness of the public and other users to pay for such services. If other users of a service are unwilling or unable to increase the amounts paid, it does not automatically mean that increased grant funding will be made available through this regional funding process.

Additionally, the availability of regional funding via the Funding Board for the specified amenities does not replace the requirement for each of the specified amenities to continue raising funds from other sources. The Funding Board is aware that in some cases, the ability for some of the amenities to access those resources is becoming more challenging, primarily because they are in receipt of funding via the Funding Board. Conversely, some of the amenities are particularly successful with their fundraising activities, thereby reducing reliance on this grant funding. The Board is cognisant of the statutory requirement that the amenities must make all reasonable endeavours to maximise their funding from other available funding sources.

Grants provided through the regional funding provisions, are assessed on an annual basis.

That means annual funding applications are assessed on their own merit, allowing changes in economic and environmental matters to be taken into account as they arise. It allows Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan grants to either increase or decrease as the board considers appropriate, noting that the Act does not stipulate that annual grant funding should remain at a minimum or constant level.

The provision of regional funding via the Act enables each of the amenities to plan both strategically and operationally within a framework with some certainty of on-going funding.

The amenities have been able to demonstrate to the Funding Board significant improvements, both in regional reach and the quality of the services being delivered to residents of Auckland.

The grants distributed to the amenities are derived from a levy paid to the Funding Board by Auckland Council, and by extension, the ratepayers of Auckland. As both the Funding Board and amenities are aware of the source of this funding, accordingly each amenity ensures that advertising, promotional material and funding acknowledgements recognise the role of Auckland Council and the ratepayers of Auckland.

The Funding Board recognises that for some of the amenities the grants are the largest single source of funding received. Importantly there are also numerous other partner organisations involved in supporting the organisations and funding many aspects of the work that the amenities have highlighted in this plan. That is important, as the nature of much of the work undertaken by the amenities is dependent upon developing and maintaining strong links with their partners to ensure consistent and sustainable service delivery.

The Funding Board does not anticipate receiving any requests from Auckland Council regards adding any new specified amenities in the foreseeable future.

Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Auckland Council The Funding Board remains mindful that it must act in accordance with the legislation and needs to fulfil its obligations to provide a mechanism for adequate and sustainable funding to the specified amenities. The Funding Board undertakes a thorough and comprehensive review of all applications received to ensure that the amount provided is justified and that the Board is fulfilling its legislative requirements. The Funding Board welcomes regular meetings with Auckland Council representatives to learn of the issues facing the Council as well as the goals and aspirations Auckland Council is hoping to achieve.

Defining Sustainability Following a review of the on-going relevance of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act undertaken by Auckland Council in 2014-2015, the Funding Board has agreed with Auckland Council and the specified amenities to lead a piece of work to define the term ‘sustainability’ as it relates to the context of the specified amenities, Funding Board and Auckland Council.

The Funding Board is currently in discussions with Auckland Council to determine and agree how to progress this piece of work. It is anticipated that the outcome of this work will be to provide the interested parties with some parameters around what are the appropriate the levels of service provided by the specified amenities for the residents and visitors to the Auckland region. This information will in turn help guide discussions around the appropriate levels of annual grants.

Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Principles of the Act The funding principles are embodied in s.21 of the Act.

These principles are to be considered by the Funding Board and Auckland Council when assessing the funding applications and approving the total levy.

These principles are summarised below:

a) the primary purpose of the funding is to contribute to the expenses that the specified amenity must incur to provide its facilities or services;

b) funding is not available for capital expenditure; and

c) funding is not available for any part of facilities or services that the specified amenity provides outside the Auckland region; and

d) funding is not available for facilities or services that at any time in the five years immediately before the date on which the Funding Board or the Auckland Council applies this paragraph have been provided funding by ‒ i. a Crown entity as defined in section 7(1) of the Crown Entities Act 2004; or ii. a department specified in Schedule 1 of the State Sector Act 1988; and

e) funding for the retention and preservation of a specified amenity’s library or collection takes priority over the amenity’s other expenses; and

f) funding is available only if the specified amenity has made all reasonable endeavours to maximise its funding from other available funding sources; and

g) total funding for all specified amenities assessed for a financial year must not exceed the maximum total levy for that year under section.34; and

h) Total funding for all specified amenities assessed for a financial year should have regard to Auckland Council’s proposed rates increases for the forthcoming year; and

i) Funding is available only if the specified amenity has made all reasonable endeavours to align its activities (in the Auckland region, and for which it seeks funding) with the objectives of the Auckland Plan, including by adopting relevant performance measures.

Note: (h) and (i) above were introduced by Auckland Council on 25 November 2012.

Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board – DRAFT 2016-2017 Funding Plan Provisional Allocation of Grants The Funding Board has undertaken a rigorous examination of the applications made by the specified amenities and has made a provisional allocation of grants for the 2016-2017 financial year.

The table on page 11 sets out the allocation of grants to each of the ten specified amenities.

Following this table are comments from the Funding Board relating to the level of funding allocated. If appropriate, the comments also include any conditions placed on the grants or directions on how a portion of the grant is to be used by the amenity to ensure that particular matters raised in the funding application are actually provided or implemented.

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