Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


RAM's 'equal shares' rates plan vetoed by ARC.

RAM's 'equal shares' rates plan vetoed by ARC.

Protest resignation of finance deputy chair.

'Equal justice denied homeowners' says RAM councillor

At today's crucial Auckland Regional Council meeting on rates policy, the "equal shares" plan put forward by RAM councillor Robyn Hughes was voted down by other councillors.

Robyn Hughes proposed that businesses and homeowners, the ARC's two ratepayer groups, each pay an equal share of the council's total rates take.

"Our equal shares plan would have ended the ARC's policy of forcing home ratepayers to subsidise business," said Robyn Hughes. "Last year, the ARC's own figures show that struggling homeowners subsidised corporate Auckland to the tune of $27 million. That's outrageous."

"This year, despite a microscopic rise in the business differential from 1.5 to 1.6, the homeowners' subsidy to business will be several millions more than last year. It just keeps getting worse for low and modest income people."

RAM's equal shares proposal would have required a significant rise in the business differential to around 4. That means business ratepayers would have paid four times more in the dollar than home ratepayers.

"That's way below North Shore City's 9.35 differential, yet nobody calls their mayor George Wood a radical," said Robyn Hughes. "The ARC's refusal to significantly increase the business differential shows that the ARC's centre-left councillors elected on 'fair rates' are actually to the right of a National Party supporter like George Wood on this issue."

"By voting down RAM's equal shares plan, the rest of the ARC have denied equal justice to homeowners," said Robyn Hughes.

The ARC's veto of RAM's equal shares plan was followed by the protest resignation of Robyn Hughes as deputy chair of the ARC Finance Committee.

"I resigned as finance deputy chair because I cannot play a leading role in a committee that oversees the ARC's rates when it's following a policy that denies equal justice to home ratepayers," explained Robyn Hughes.

She continues in her role as an ARC councillor from Manukau.

"RAM will be taking our equal shares rates plan to the region's citizens, and we will be taking it to other councils as well as the ARC. We believe that a Second Rates Revolt could well begin around RAM's equal shares plan, since grassroots Auckland is sick of continuing rates injustice."

Reprinted below is the paper distributed by Robyn Hughes to other ARC councillors at today's meeting.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election