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Ratepayers Will Shoulder The Burden For Decision

Ratepayers Will Shoulder The Burden For Council Decision

Mayoral candidate Chris Fletcher today issued a challenge to Mayor John Banks and the current Council to come clean with Aucklanders over Council's decision to delete a provision in the Central Area Plan that required the builders of new developments to contribute financially to the transport infrastructure of the city.

In addition, the Council has agreed to a request from Ports of Auckland to an exemption from paying a contribution for open space and reserves. "This is cronyism at its worst. Given that Ports of Auckland just recently forced the Council to spend $46 million buying Westhaven when the company put it up for sale," said Chris Fletcher. "Any property owner knows that when they develop their land, they are obliged to make contributions to the common good," she said. "Why should Ports of Auckland be treated differently from anyone else?"

"New developments directly bring in thousands of extra commuters to the city centre. The city somehow has to pay for the roads and public transport to meet this increase in demand. This is a direct subsidy by commercial and residential ratepayers to the major developers who erect multi-storey commercial and residential buildings in our downtown area," Chris Fletcher said.

"It is outrageous that the Council should be shutting off possible avenues for funds to support this development at the time as the Council is contemplating major transport infrastructure expenditure costing in the billions of dollars."

She noted that the Council's draft Annual Plan did not make any provision for funding for the Eastern Motorway being promoted by Banks. "Given that he's actively cutting off possible funding sources, where does he think that the money for his absurd motorway project is actually going to come from?" she asked.

"The bottom line is that the ratepayers, both residential and commercial, are going to have to foot the bill for Banks' extravagances," she said, "and that's just not fair. Isn't it about time some of Banks' "mates" also made a fair and reasonable contribution to the improvement of our city?" she asked.

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