«Funding Plan Table of Contents CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 4 INTRODUCTION 6 BACKGROUND 6 AUCKLAND COUNCIL 9 PRINCIPLES OF THE ACT 10 ALLOCATION OF GRANTS TO ...»
AMENITIES FUNDING BOARD
2015 - 2016
Table of Contents
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 4
AUCKLAND COUNCIL 9
PRINCIPLES OF THE ACT 10
ALLOCATION OF GRANTS TO SPECIFIED AMENITIES 112015 -2016 ALLOCATION OF GRANTS TO SPECIFIED AMENITIES 12 APPLICATIONS FOR FUNDING FOR JULY 2016 TO JUNE 2018 22
AMENITIES INDICATIVE FUNDING REQUESTS FOR JULY 2016TO JUNE 2018 23 LEVELS OF FUNDING 24
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORITIES 25
FINANCIAL INFORMATION 25THE BOARD 26
FUNDING BOARD MEMBERS REMUNERATION 27
AMOUNT PAYABLE TO THE ADVISORY OFFICER 27ADMINISTRATION 28
THE AMENITIES INTRODUCED 29
DIRECTORY OF SPECIFIED AMENITIES 45SUBMISSIONS ON THE DRAFT 2015-2016 FUNDING PLAN 44 DIRECTORY 45 Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 3 Chairman’s Report It is my pleasure to present the 2015-2016 Funding Plan on behalf of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board.
This is the Funding Board’s sixth funding plan since the enactment of the legislation, although it will represent the seventh distribution of grants to the specified amenities.
The ten specified amenities have all made significant contributions towards the wellbeing 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 nine of the ten specified amenities; determined the provisional allocation of grants to each amenity;
and discussed the proposed levy with representatives of Auckland Council.
The 2015-2016 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 nine specified amenities that sought funding for the 2015-2016 financial year.
As noted in previous year funding plans, the Funding Board had identified that some of the funding requests signalled for future years were somewhat ambitious. It has been the Funding Board’s view that the level of funding allocated in earlier years has contributed significantly to fulfilling the intention of the Act. The board has taken this into consideration when assessing the applications and developing the funding plan for 2015-2016.
The Funding Board must again reiterate the message with regard to the levels of funding requests signalled for future years. The requests for future years appear to reflect very ambitious programmes of work which need to be thoroughly tested and worked through with all interested and affected parties prior to being finalised and applying for funding. Although the legislation requires the amenities to signal what future year funding requests may look like, the proposed funding levels do appear Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 4 excessive and in some instances there has not been consultation with affected parties to gain buy-in to the proposed expansion.
The Funding Board is proposing a levy of $15,148,400 for 2015-2016, representing an increase of $837,400 (or 5.85%) over 2014-2015. A direct comparison to the previous year is not really possible, as one amenity chose not to make an application, and the proposed levy for 2015-2016 includes a step-up in funding of $1million for the trial annualising the Auckland Arts Festival in 2016.
The Funding Board was part of a Judicial Review during 2013-2014 which reiterated that the processes undertaken by the board are robust and fulfil the requirements of the legislation. This was a pleasing outcome from what was a very time consuming and expensive exercise.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my board colleagues for their diligence and professional work during the development of the 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 Funding Plan is one that delivers a mechanism to provide adequate, secure and sustainable funding within a fiscally responsible framework.
Vern Walsh Chair April 2015 Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 5 Introduction This Funding Plan, covering the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, is the sixth plan published by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, (Funding Board).
Although the 2015-2016 Funding Plan represents the sixth year that the Funding Board has assessed and recommended the distribution of grants to the specified amenities, it will be the seventh 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.
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 seventh 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 2015-2016, the maximum levy cap has been calculated as $28, 120,000.
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 2015-2016 levy represents 53.87% of the potential levy amount permitted under the legislation.
Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 6 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. It does not follow however, that decisions made by an entity that may have operational funding implications will 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 the 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. This means that annual funding applications are assessed on their own merit, allowing changes in economic and environmental matters to be taken into account as they arise. This allows 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.
Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 7 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 ongoing 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. This 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.
Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 8 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.
The funding plan was subject to a public consultation and hearings process. As a result of this process, the Funding Board received six submissions which were considered and changes were subsequently made to the Draft 2015-2016 Funding Plan – full details are outlined on page 44 of this plan. A copy of the finalised Draft 2015-2016 Funding Plan was subsequently forwarded to Auckland Council to consider and approve the levy for 2015-2016.
In the year ended 30 June 2014, Auckland Council made an ex-gratia payment of $400,000 towards the legal costs being incurred in respect of the judicial review proceedings. Following the decision of the High Court, no further action has ensued and the Funding Board will refund this amount to Auckland Council.
Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board: Funding Plan 2015-2016 Page 9 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;
c) funding is not available for any part of facilities or services that the specified amenity provides outside the Auckland region;
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 II. a department specified in Schedule 1 of the State Sector Act 1988;
e) the funding for the retention and preservation of a specified amenity’s library or collection takes priority over the amenity’s other expenses;
f) funding is available only if the specified amenity has made all reasonable endeavours to maximise its funding from all other available sources;
g) total funding for all specified amenities assessed for a financial year must not exceed the maximum total levy for that year under s.34;
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;
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.