Auckland ratepayers will be hit by an average 43 percent rates rise and 111 percent rise in water costs over 10 years to help pay for Council’s $31.8 billion infrastructure spend up to move the city and region into the fast lane.
“I acknowledge that Council has trimmed back and achieved savings, and while that is a good start it is not going to the root of the issue to build a new Auckland that competes against other cities as an employment, investment, education, tech and lifestyle hub,” says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett. “We know we need our most basic infrastructure upgraded and renewed from roads that reduce congestion and move people and freight swiftly, to stopping sewage overflows into the harbour, and we need all of this fast.”
“But this 10-year budget seems to put the right answers on the table without solving a crucial issue – the pace of change. Our response may be a new road but that will be five years away and we needed it five years ago.
There are some things we might consider that would help Auckland in the interim:
Introduce a congestion charge (introductions in other world cities has delivered 12 – 20% congestion reduction). Look at how we leverage the assets ratepayers own and control to get better returns or accelerated projects (e.g. the Port operations).
“We like to promote Auckland as a dynamic, vibrant, and modern city but we operate at snail’s pace while promoting the benefits and opportunities from life in the fast lane,” Mr Barnett said.
For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber