Kia ora koutou.
On 1 November, the new Auckland turns two. In our first two years, we have managed to absorb the cost of amalgamation while making savings by consolidating the expenditure of the former councils, and confirmed the biggest programme of capital investment in Auckland’s history.
In February, we welcomed our 1.5 millionth Aucklander. Our population is expected to increase by another million over the next three decades, but we will be ready thanks to the Auckland Plan, which has given us a united vision for future development.
Our local boards continue to be clear voices for their communities, delivering a variety of projects to protect and foster local identity. Wynyard Quarter, the revamped Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Zoo’s New Zealand precinct, Te Wao Nui, are all open and welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The 10-year Economic Development Strategy outlines how we will attract businesses, investment and visitors to Auckland while retaining skilled workers - creating a stronger economy, with more jobs and higher incomes.
Our progress hasn’t gone unnoticed. We have a top 10 rating in all three international liveable city surveys – the Economist Intelligence Unit (10th), Monocle magazine (ninth) and Mercer Quality of Living (third).
Lonely Planet also named Waitematā Harbour and Hauraki Gulf, and urban Auckland as the top two international tourism attractions in New Zealand. Aucklanders have a renewed sense of passion for their city, and Auckland has a new sense of pace and momentum.
Ka kite anō.
Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland