Auckland Council's five unelected business units that run much of the Super City are set to be slimmed down to four, the Herald understands.
Council sources said an independent review of the council-controlled organisations (CCOs) has recommended merging Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed).
A merger of the council's two event arms is believed to be the main finding of an independent review of the CCOs, which mayor Phil Goff is releasing today.
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The other three CCOs - Auckland Transport, Watercare and Panuku Development Auckland - will carry on, but with greater political oversight and measures to make them more responsive to communities.
The unelected directors of the CCOs, who pocket more than $3 million a year in fees, are also expected to be put on notice about salaries and bonuses to senior executives.
Last month, Goff said no one employed by the CCOs should earn more than the $600,000 salary of new council chief executive Jim Stabback. Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram earns $775,000 and outgoing Panuku chief executive Roger MacDonald was paid $645,000.
The recommendation of the independent review panel to merge Regional Facilities and Ateed is not unexpected.
The two CCOs both work in the events space and as far back as 2011 a report argued there was too much double-up.
Ateed is responsible for major events like the V8 Supercars and the World Masters Games in 2017. It also runs big cultural festivals like the Lantern Festival, Diwali and Pasifika and sports events like the Auckland Marathon.
Regional Facilities runs the city's major event venues like the Aotea Centre, Civic Theatre, Mt Smart and Western Springs. It also runs the Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Zoo, and gives money to Auckland Museum, Motat, Stardome and the Maritime Museum.
RFA and Ateed collaborate to attract events to Auckland, and they both run separate convention businesses.
The two CCOs have seen their businesses shrink under Covid - Regional Facilities is expecting revenue to fall by $40 million this year - and will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future.
The most recent figures show Regional Facilities' executive team and board costs were $3.46m, including a salary of $480,000 for chief executive Chris Brooks. Ateed's executive team and board costs were $1.92m, including a salary of $425,000 for chief executive Nick Hill.
The Herald understands Ateed chairman Mark Franklin will chair the new merged organisation and Regional Facilities chairman Andrew Barnes will lose his role.
Chairman of the RFA Andrew Barnes said in a statement: "We have been working collaboratively with all parties involved in the CCO review and it is too early to speculate as no decisions have been made. We are confident that any decision will be made amicably with all parties involved for the benefit of ratepayers."
The independent review panel has been chaired by Miriam Dean, QC, and has two other members - consultant Doug Martin and former Manukau City Council chief executive Leigh Auton.
Goff, who has earlier signalled the CCOs could be abolished or downsized, is not commenting on the review ahead of its release today.