Auckland Council has several advisory panels that advocate for diverse sectors of the community.
Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Ward Councillor Josephine Bartley, the liaison councillor for the Disability Advisory Panel, found the panel's input invaluable.
"No matter the topic, they were always clear in their direction and focus, providing me with excellent and perceptive feedback that I was able to pass on to my fellow councillors," she says.
Attending the Disability Advisory Panel’s Community Forum last month in Takapuna, Councillor Bartley was able to connect with the disabled community to hear their aspirations for Auckland, as well as their challenges and ideas for improvement.
"The Disability Advisory Panel’s input is vital to our roles as governors, given that people living with a disability represent a fifth of Aucklanders."
In total, there are 11 advisory panels that provide advice to the council. They submit on Auckland’s 10-year Budget, the Auckland Plan 2050, and numerous other plans and policies at both central and local government level.
"Having these advisory panels ensures we have a starting point for connecting with diverse communities, holding us to account so that we act meaningfully,” says Councillor Bartley.
“Over the next year the panel will be looking at relevant issues like focusing on universal design for housing, easy and accessible public transport and general accessibility issues.”