How council works

Council-controlled organisations


Council-controlled organisations (CCOs) are organisations in which the council controls 50 per cent or more of the votes or has the right to appoint 50 per cent (or more) of directors or trustees.

A substantive CCO is a CCO that is either responsible for the delivery of a significant service or activity on behalf of Auckland Council, or owns or manages assets with a value of more than $10 million.

Auckland Council has six substantive CCOs:

While each CCO has its own specific objectives, the Local Government Act 2002 identifies the principal objective of all CCOs. In summary, this is to:

  • achieve the objectives of its shareholders, both commercial and non-commercial as specified in the statement of intent
  • be a good employer
  • exhibit a sense of social and environmental responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates and by endeavouring to accommodate or encourage these when able to do so; and
  • conduct its affairs in accordance with sound business practice.

The overall direction for CCOs is set in line with the Auckland Plan, the council’s long-term plan, including the CCO Accountability policy, which sets how the council will hold its CCOs accountable for meeting its objectives and priorities for them.

The council also has a number of legacy CCOs.

Governance of CCOs

CCOs are governed by their boards of directors or trustees, and operate at arm’s length to the council.

They are accountable to the council, which determines the objectives for each CCO and monitors their performance. The CCO Governance and External Partnerships Department, CCO Finance Department, Auckland Council’s Accountability and Performance Committee and the CCO Strategy Review Subcommittee assist the council in this governance.

Accountability and Performance Committee is responsible for monitoring the performance of CCOs, and approving policies relevant to CCO accountability. The council’s Council-controlled organisational accountability policy (PDF 170KB) is described in Chapter 2 of the Long Term Plan.

CCO Strategy Review Subcommittee is responsible for appointing directors and negotiating CCOs’ statements of intent (SOIs) which are the basis for CCOs' reporting. These SOIs include performance measures and are agreed by the CCO Strategy Review subcommittee.

The public are able to provide input to the Board's consideration of its statements of intent (SOIs) at meetings, which the CCOs must hold in public. The public meeting to discuss the council's comment on the draft SOI for the following year must be held before 30 June each year. The second public meeting must be held after 1 July each year, where the board will consider the CCOs performance under its SOI in the previous financial year.

In December 2015, Auckland Council published guidelines for the governance of its Substantive CCOs. These are available in the Governance Manual for substantive CCOs (PDF 12.7MB). These guidelines will be reviewed periodically with input from the CCOs.

CCO review

Auckland Council undertook a review of the CCOs. This review was finalised in 2015.

The review evaluated how things had been working since amalgamation in 2010 and investigated whether any changes were needed.

The review's aim was to ensure Aucklanders were receiving efficient, integrated services and value for money from the council and CCOs.

For more information, read the CCO review.

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