One of the major responsibilities and powers given to the new mayor of Auckland Council is the ability to design the process for council decision-making. The number of committees, forums, panels and the people who chair them are at the sole discretion of the mayor.

This is one of the major new "executive-style" powers given to the mayor of the Super City to help govern Auckland.

There is increasing evidence that the surfeit of committees, forums and panels designed by Mayor Len Brown for the new Auckland Council is causing significant gridlock in decision-making.

Mayor Brown, for some inexplicable reason, has chosen to bring in a total of 30 such committees, forums and advisory panels since the election to deal with the political decision-making for the Super City.

Not only has this glut of talkshops caused political decision-making to bog down but the new council is arguably failing to devolve much-promised significant powers to the local boards.

In short, the new council is talking too much and doing too much at the top council level.

This is all the more concerning given the extensive promises made by Mayor Brown to give significant local powers back to communities through the local board structure.

On Facebook, new Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer wrote: "There is growing discontent from Auckland Council staff, local board members and councillors over the bulging 30 committees, forums and panels. I don't have the magic bullet but I do know there is an easier model.

"It dawned on me today after we debated at length and passed a recommendation on one specific subject, only to go downstairs to the next meeting where the whole issue was tabled to be discussed again."

It is my opinion that there are a number of committees and forums which could happily be folded into a single committee in order to streamline decision-making.

There is no need to maintain separate Accountability and Performance, CCO Strategy and Tenders and Procurement bodies when there is already an uber-committee tasked with the financial stewardship of the council that all councillors get to participate in - the Strategy and Finance Committee.

Arguably the Economic Development panel could also fold into a council tasked with financial matters.

Likewise, in the realm of planning there are separate committees and forums to deal with hearings, planning, urban design and the spatial plan, with heritage being lumped in a separate forum with parks and recreation.

There also appear to be local issues being discussed and decided by what should be an organisation with a more regional perspective. At this month's "Parks, Recreation and Heritage" forum, an item of discussion included pest-eradication issues at Shakespear Park in Whangaparaoa, which is a matter that could have been happily devolved to the newly elected local board.

At the same meeting a presentation on Kauri die-back disease took place, which only involves $40,000 of council expenditure and is mostly related to the geographical areas of Waitakere and Hunua.

The outcome of the presentation was informational - the forum merely received the report and no actual decision was taken. The small level of expenditure, the relatively local nature of the topic and the fact that it was for information purposes meant it could have been given to local boards.

The new council was supposed to make decisions in a more timely manner, focus on bigger regional issues and avoid the duplication of discussion and arguments between competing territorial authorities.

It was also supposed to empower local communities through their local boards, through the devolution of power for issues with a local focus.

But instead of Auckland talking with one voice, it appears to be heading down a path where it is debating with itself ponderously on myriad issues, some it doesn't even need to consider.

It has traded policy gridlock between territorial authorities to duplication of discussion between committees of the same council.

The new council committee structure is Mayor Brown's attempt to be as politically correct as possible. While this reflects his personal style of governance, he is badly hurting the new city with an inability to get timely decisions.

He is also breaking his word on giving local boards more authority and power to deal with local policies. His term is still young, though, and there is hope he might change this abominable structure in favour of a more streamlined council.

It would be a terrible shame if Mayor Brown's desire to give every council politician a fancy job title ends up choking Auckland's aspirations for what we want to see achieved by our first Super City council.

* Aaron Bhatnagar was an Auckland City councillor who chaired the city development committee between 2007-10. He did not seek re-election last year.