The Southern Initiative
STRENGTHENING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN STABLE HOMES AND EMPLOYMENT
239_ The Southern Initiative is one of two big place-based initiatives of the Auckland Plan. It covers the four local board areas of Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara Papatoetoe, Manurewa, and Papakura: combined, these cover an area of Auckland with significant economic opportunity yet high social need. Almost 300,000 residents live in the area, with over 80,000 under 15 years of age. More than three quarters of the population is either of Māori, Pacific or Asian ethnicity. The area is job-rich but has a high level of local unemployment. The purpose of the Southern Initiative is to plan and deliver a long-term programme of co-ordinated investment and actions to bring about transformational social, economic, and physical change. The Southern Initiative is an opportunity to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of local residents dramatically, reduce growing disparities, and increase business investment and employment opportunities, for the benefit of all of Auckland and New Zealand.
240_ Delivery of transformational change will only be achieved by everyone working together. Central government is a major investor in housing, health, education, justice and social development in this area. The Auckland Council and its local boards invest in the area through physical and social infrastructure and programmes (including roads, parks, libraries, leisure centres, arts centres and events), and influence the physical and social environment through their regulatory and advocacy roles. Other stakeholders including non-government organisations (NGOs), businesses, the philanthropic sector, the private sector and local communities, invest in the area through facilities, programmes, housing and a wide range of voluntary activities. There is considerable community energy, enterprise, creativity and knowledge, and many excellent programmes in the area to build on. But the scale of under-achievement in education, high rates of unemployment, and health inequalities necessitate new ways of thinking and working together to achieve urgent change.
241_ Many of the strategic partners for the Southern Initiative operate within the area. The Auckland Airport is a key economic driver for Auckland and for New Zealand. A 2007 Market Economics report estimated that the airport adds $10.7 billion to Auckland’s economy and sustains around 153,000 full time jobs directly and indirectly in Auckland. The airport company is committed to corporate social responsibility and to improving employment opportunities for local people by connecting with other businesses and the educational sector, to be a catalyst for change. There are major businesses and corporations, small and medium enterprises and other economic hubs in the area. Opportunities for them to support or develop projects include the Mangere Gateway project, Manukau Centre, Greenmount/ East Tamaki and Wiri industrial areas, and Takanini and Papakura business centres.
242_ The growing health sector is a major local employer. The Counties Manukau District Health Board has 5,417 fulltime equivalent (FTE) employees. Its estimated job multiplier is 15% and its annual turnover is $1.2 billion*. The Board’s vision is to develop the local workforce to serve the health needs of its community and reflect the diversity of the area. It has recently established strategic partnerships with tertiary education providers and leading international institutions to create Ko Awatea (based at Middlemore Hospital). This is a health innovation hub to foster new thinking, applied research, products and services to address the area’s urgent health issues, and to attract, grow and retain highly skilled health professionals in the area.
* Submissions to the draft Auckland Plan, Counties Manukau District Health Board
243_ Manukau Institute of Technology and Auckland University of Technology grow the skills and qualifications of local communities, link training to the requirements of local business, and lead innovations such as tertiary high schools. The new tertiary institution planned at Manukau Centre will increase opportunities for education and training.
THE OPPORTUNITIES (SEE MAP 1.3)
244_ The Southern Initiative area has a combination of attributes distinctive in Auckland and New Zealand.
245_ The area is steeped in Māori culture and tradition, with Auckland’s oldest, continually occupied papakāinga at Ihumatao. It is the Pacific hub of New Zealand and the world, with a growing number of other ethnicities. These communities have many strengths, including strong family, community and cultural identities, renowned sporting prowess, growing pride in the area, and well-established and emerging community leadership, networks and organisations. The area has many excellent public, arts, leisure and sporting facilities, and programmes which support creativity, healthy lifestyles and well-being, such as Counties Manukau Sports, Bruce Pulman Centre, Let’s Beat Diabetes programme, Ōtara Music and Arts Centre and The Māngere Arts Centre.
246_ Auckland Airport is Auckland’s and New Zealand’s gateway to the world. The Southern Initiative area could become one of Auckland’s major tourist destinations, complementing the city centre: the area offers a wide range of cultural, natural and built heritage experiences. These include the natural environment of the extensive Manukau harbour and coastline; the volcanic environment, such as Māngere Mountain, Ōtuataua and Matukutūreia Stonefields; the modern, iconic TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre; the Pacific experience of the Ōtara Markets and Māngere Town Centre markets; and the performing and visual arts at venues such as the Māngere Arts Centre and Nathan Homestead. There is the opportunity to bring these experiences together to create a visitor destination.
247_ This area will have over one third of Auckland’s growth in employment opportunities: in the tourism, hospitality and logistic sectors, and innovative, highly skilled industries such as food technology and health.
248_ Mana whenua are committed to papakāinga development that will enable their rangatahi (youth) to remain in the area with kuia and kaumātua (elders). They are also committed to sharing their capacity and learning. The Initiative will provide opportunities for governance partnerships with mana whenua: for example, establishing papakāinga models on traditional Māori land and general land, along with whānau centred service delivery models throughout the area.
- Rapid population growth – the 2011 population of 292,000 is projected to increase to approximately 425,000 by 2040 (medium-growth scenario), an additional 133,000 people
- Deprivation – 89% of Māngere-Ōtahuhu, 80% of Ōtara Papatoetoe, 67% of Manurewa and 53% of Papakura residents live in areas of high deprivation
- Low educational achievement – only 60% of school leavers have at least Level 2 NCEA certificate, compared to 74% for Auckland as a whole
- Youth unemployment is 36% (31% for the region – 2011)
- Housing – one third of households are Housing New Zealand tenants, and 20% of families live in over-crowded homes, which is the highest rate in the country
- Social health and well-being – the area had 353 licensed liquor venues (as of June 2011). There is strong community perception that this number is too high, particularly in areas of high deprivation (see Chapter 1: Auckland’s People)
- Health inequalities – the gap in life expectancy for Māori in the area compared to non-Māori is 10 years; for Pacific residents compared to non-Pacific residents, the gap is 7 years.
The overall strategic direction for the Southern Initiative is: Strengthening children and families in stable homes and employment.
249_ The key to improving the quality of life and well-being in the Southern Initiative area is to raise educational achievement and skills, which will lead to well paid employment and the ability to afford secure, quality housing. The foundation for educational achievement is established in the first 5 years of a child’s life. Income, educational achievement, employment status and housing are key determinants of health status. Lifting education achievement and ensuring all young people have clear training and employment pathways, makes them work-ready and able to take up employment opportunities. Economic development that creates secure employment must be supported through investment in essential infrastructure such as transport and ultra-fast broadband. Accessible, affordable transport is essential to get people to early learning services, schools, training facilities, health services and jobs. As these priority areas are all interconnected, the Southern Initiative takes an integrated approach. The overall strategic direction for the Southern Initiative is: Strengthening children and families in stable homes and employment.
250_ The Southern Initiative has a 30-year time horizon. In the first 5 years, the focus will be on the following priority areas:
- ensuring strong family attachment and early intervention for children before school
- providing clear pathways and support for young people to achieve in education and employment
- creating an outstanding international gateway and destination area
- promoting economic development and jobs for local people
- increasing public transport services and encouraging increased use of public transport
- housing development in Māngere and Manurewa.
The urgent priorities for the first 5 years for the whole of the Southern Initiative are outlined in the following pages.
PRIORITY 1: Early, strong FAMILY ATTACHMENT AND learning opportunities that set CHILDREN up for success at SCHOOL and in life
251_ The early stages of a child’s life are the most important for future education achievement. Parental or family support and involvement are critical to a child’s development, as is the transition to the first years of school. The Initiative will encourage strong, positive attachment within the family/whānau, and the opportunity to participate in quality, culturally appropriate, early childhood learning. This provides essential skills for transitioning to and settling at school, helping parents and families support their child’s learning. Early intervention can be a catalyst for further education, training or employment for parents, through building their confidence and improving their literacy and numeracy skills. Central government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children discussion document28, acknowledges that ’vulnerability’ arises from an accumulation of risk factors, particularly poverty and disability; and that culturally appropriate early intervention and Early Childhood Education (ECE) programmes are important, as the evidence shows that they benefit children and their families.
Develop and deliver a multi-sector programme of actions and effective early intervention models, with priority to vulnerable children.
PRIORITY 2: A CLEAR PATHWAY AND SUPPORT FOR FURTHER EDUCATION, TRAINING OR EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING SCHOOL
252_ According to the 2006 Census, 30% of Auckland’s children and young people live in the Southern Initiative area. It has the highest youth unemployment levels for the region, yet is rich in employment opportunities. 90% of the new employment opportunities in the area require NCEA qualifications but in 2010, 40% of students in the area left school with less than NCEA Level 2 qualifications, compared to 26% for Auckland as a whole. Educational achievement must be raised dramatically and training and employment pathways well established for all young people, to prepare them for employment opportunities in the area. Examples of initiatives include: all young people developing a career plan before leaving school; more programmes in schools that directly link study and qualifications with local employer needs, and involve family/whānau; prioritising young people from the Southern Initiative area in cadetship and similar schemes; and investigating how procurement policies could encourage contractors to employ local youth.
Provide a transition and pathway programme for all children, from year 7 to leaving school.
Work with business leaders and employers to enhance job opportunities and connect work-ready youth to local employment.
PRIORITY 3: AN OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY AND DESTINATION AREA
253_ The attractiveness of a place contributes to long-term investment decisions and sustainable economic growth. Attractive, friendly places become preferred destinations. There are many beautiful natural and cultural features in the Southern Initiative area. The key is to:
- ensure that these are connected through street and road networks that make the journey to reach each destination pleasant and uplifting; and
- enhance the quality of developments in all areas to produce coherence in the built form, making the best of ordinary places and the most of the extraordinary.
254_ The development of Area Plans for the local boards within the Southern Initiative area provides another opportunity for developing an outstanding international gateway and destination. Area Plans depict how the Auckland Plan’s directions and aspirations can be implemented at a local level, integrating economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes. The Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board has been identified as being one of two boards to begin the area plan process, in part due to major infrastructure projects (e.g. the South-Western Airport Multi-Modal Corridor Study). As well, the presence of different environments (residential, business, major infrastructure, cultural and natural heritage and open space) will be useful in informing the development of the Unitary Plan. Area plans for all four local boards in the Southern Initiative will be completed by 2015.
Deliver an outstanding international gateway and destination in the Southern Initiative area to complement Auckland’s international city centre and its northern and southern rural, coastal and marine environments.
PRIORITY 4: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JOBS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
255_ The Southern Initiative area has a critical role in Auckland’s economic performance, and New Zealand’s overall economic well-being. Continual improvements in educational achievement and training, together with job creation that keeps pace with population growth, will ensure that local residents have access to sustainable employment opportunities. To achieve this, regulatory and planning conditions will be developed to encourage businesses and the private sector to invest in the area. The Development Strategy identifies locations for future business growth and the infrastructure required to support business development (see Chapter 6: Auckland’s Economy). Auckland Council’s role in developing the Unitary Plan will result in a simpler, more transparent and accessible planning system that will speed up projects in the area and foster job creation.
256_ The Māngere Gateway project, Auckland Airport, Manukau Food Innovation Centre, the Health Innovation Hub, and the Greenmount/East Tāmaki and Wiri industrial areas are some of the existing opportunities that can be leveraged to increase employment. New opportunities will be identified as part of the staged programme of action.
Develop and deliver a programme for leveraging existing and identifying future economic development opportunities, with a focus on increasing skills and jobs for local people.
PRIORITY 5: INCREASED SERVICES AND INCREASED USE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT
257_ Many parts of the Southern Initiative are well served by public transport, but residents may not be aware of this. In other areas, vital connections – for example, to the airport – are lacking. The Council, along with Auckland Transport, will review (within one year) and improve public transport services in the area.
258_ A number of other ‘multi-modal’ transport initiatives planned through to 2030 will improve bus, rail and road connections across all of southern Auckland (see Chapter 13: Auckland’s Transport).
Complete a review of the public transport service network plan in the area; commence a detailed bus service redesign consultation by the end of 2012; within 1 year procure a new bus service between Onehunga and the Auckland Airport; and deliver a public marketing campaign about transport services for the area.
PRIORITY 6: HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN MĀNGERE AND MANUREWA
259_ Home ownership or secure, long-term renting of affordable, healthy housing not only improves health and educational outcomes, but gives families a sense of pride, belonging and commitment to their local communities. Many families in the Southern Initiative area have low incomes and/or significant debt, and are unable to buy their own home or afford quality, secure rental housing. There are large concentrations of state housing, especially in Māngere and Manurewa. There is chronic overcrowding, high turnover of tenants and poor quality housing.
260_ Increasing household crowding is the most urgent housing issue in the Southern Initiative area. In 2006, Manukau had the highest incidence of crowding in New Zealand – 10.7%, with 51% of Pacific and 35% of Māori households overcrowded; and 35% of children under 15 years and 33% of 15–24 year olds living in overcrowded households.
261_ There is a housing affordability crisis generally in Auckland, which requires bold, large-scale multi-sector action (see Chapter 11: Auckland’s Housing). The Southern Initiative will be a focus for identifying opportunities to increase the supply, choice, quality and affordability of housing. There are opportunities for new housing developments, redevelopment partnerships, and community-based programmes to increase housing supply, quality and choice, increase home ownership and tenure mix, and make a more attractive environment. Auckland Council will work closely with Housing New Zealand and the Department of Building and Housing to improve the quality of state housing stock. A recent District Plan change in Māngere Town Centre, and possible developments by community housing providers and churches, provide early opportunities in Māngere. Papatoetoe Town Centre could also benefit from the development of well-designed, affordable housing.
262_ A staged and managed release of greenfields land for housing and business growth for Auckland, including the Southern Initiative, is described in the Development Strategy (Section D of the Plan and on the Development Strategy Maps D.I and D.2).
Within 5 years, have a programme of housing redevelopment in Māngere and Manurewa under way, supported by a range of financial literacy programmes that prepare families for home ownership and offer innovative, culturally appropriate ways to finance home ownership.
MULTI-SECTOR ACTION PLAN
263_ Achieving the goals and delivering the directives of this Initiative requires multiple stakeholder commitment, collaboration and investment. The Initiative will only succeed if it is owned and (ultimately) driven by local communities. To achieve this, the Initiative must be planned and delivered in a way that builds the area’s leadership, capacity, skills and resources.
264_ As central government and Council are major investors in the area, the maximum possible alignment of policies and programmes will increase their effectiveness. Local Boards have developed specific Local Board Plans for their areas through intensive consultation with local communities. These set out a framework to guide decision-making and actions over the next three years. Priorities in the four Local Boards’ plans are included in the Initiative.
265_ There are many existing and planned education, employment, cultural and community development initiatives in the Southern Initiative area. For example, significant gains have been made in community safety and crime reduction through collaborative action between central government (New Zealand Police, Ministries of Social Development and Justice), the Council, NGOs and community organisations. Additional Police resources, youth workers, programmes such as the Youth Gangs Initiative and the John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams, have made a tangible difference to many young people’s lives. The increased collaboration achieved through the Southern Initiative will build on and accelerate these gains.
266_ However, what is required for transformational change is a community-driven, multi-sector, concentrated, long-term (30-year) focus on the area that both significantly increases the effectiveness of existing investment, and delivers new ways of thinking to unlock the potential of the area and tackle chronic problems.
267_ The Auckland Council is providing high-level political support for transformational change. The Southern Initiative is championed by the Mayor, working with the governing body, local boards, central government, mana whenua, business, community leaders and other strategic partners. These partners will drive the development of a multi-sector action plan which will:
- be driven by the principles of community-led development, including activities and resources to engage with communities and strengthen existing and emerging community leadership
- scope out and clarify the roles and contributions of each agency
- identify opportunities for improved outcomes from existing investment through policy and operational alignment and partnerships
- identify opportunities for innovation and different ways of working.
The Auckland Council will facilitate the establishment of an appropriate governance structure for The Southern Initiative.
268_ The action plan will be monitored, and subject to ongoing review. The immediate priorities will be to:
- undertake a stock-take of existing and planned policies, programmes and physical assets for early childhood programmes, school achievement, youth transition, training, employment, and housing development
- deliver Directives 1-7 above.
By December 2012, produce an agreed multi-sector action plan for the area.
Southern Initiative Targets
269_ The general targets in the Auckland Plan (particularly the Auckland’s People and Auckland’s Housing chapters) also apply to the Southern Initiative. The targets below specifically address the Southern Initiative priority issues/directives*:
* As local boards, boundaries are not incorporated into census-based statistics (nor many government agencies’ statistics), Auckland Council will work with central government agencies to ensure that future census and information sources align with the current Council governance structure.