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City to hear new issue before plans are finalised


18 June 2005

City to hear new issue before plans are finalised

Auckland City’s combined committees will need to consider a new key issue next week when they meet to make final decisions about the city’s draft budget and plans for the next financial year.

A new report from officers will include options for funding the combined Aotea Square and Civic Underground Carpark projects.

“Officers will be presenting recommendations for funding this new priority which will include the longer-term financial impacts,” said David Rankin, chief executive designate of Auckland City.

Councillor Vern Walsh, chairperson of the Finance and Corporate Business Committee says, “This will result in a significant cost to council and we will need to carefully consider the financial impacts of integrating the Aotea Square upgrade project with the necessary work that is required on the Civic Underground Carpark.”

“We will look at a recommendation from officers to spend $6.4 million to begin work to coordinate the two projects to ensure the area is able to take its place as Auckland’s premiere civic square,” he said.

The Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard says, “This is now the last step in the annual planning process. We have listened to people’s submissions on the draft annual plan and will consider these, along with the officers reports and recommendations.

“We are preparing for some good discussion and debate before we make the tough decisions about how best to put rates into action.”

Auckland City received 554 submissions to the draft annual plan, covering some 2400 issues. This compares to 669 submissions received on the long-term council community plan last year.

The proposed budget includes a 9.7 per cent rates increase including 2.7 per cent inflation and four new targeted rates. The money from these new rates will be ring-fenced to fund these key areas:

Transport: an extra $14 million a year from a new five per cent targeted rate (which should attract an extra $17 million in extra transport subsidies from central government).

Open spaces and volcanic cones: an additional $2.8 million a year raised from a new one per cent targeted rate.

Urban design and heritage: an extra $1.4 million per year raised from the new 0.5 per cent targeted rate.

Community development and housing: new funding of $1.4 million from a new 0.5 per cent targeted rate.

The meeting of the combined committees on 23 -24 June will discuss and confirm the annual plan and budget which will be published at the end of July.

All reports will be available online at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/annual plan from Monday 20 June 2005.


Reports that will be discussed at the combined committees meeting on 23 – 24 June 2005 include the following issues:

Progressing the Aotea Square upgrade and the Civic Underground Carpark repair project to the value of $73 million with an initial investment of $6.4 million
Options for recovering the increased costs of the refuse collection service
$850,000 to fund an extended rates assistance scheme for people on low fixed incomes
Funding of $523,000, in addition to the $1.4 million from the targeted rate for heritage and urban design, to implement the action plan of the Mayoral Task Force on Urban Design
Increasing funding for the Auckland Philharmonia to the tune of $200,000
Increasing funding for the Black Grace dance group from $10,000 to $50,000
Additional funding of $500,000 to retain and grow major events in the city
Bringing forward invoicing and payment of rates instalments by one month

18 June 2005

Summary of annual plan consultation

Auckland City received 558 submissions to its Draft Annual Plan 2005/2006 (with 2446 different issues raised)

Of those who submitted, 159 people made verbal submissions at hearings on 7 - 9 June and as a result councillors requested 79 additional reports from officers.

While the submissions covered a range of topics, many related to these key issues:
growth – 75 issues raised
general transport issues – 107 issues raised
general rates issues – 313 issues raised
targeted rates – 178 issues raised
open spaces and volcanic cones – 101 issues raised
heritage and urban design – 79 issues raised
development contributions – 81 issues raised
housing – 137 issues raised.

Submissions about the four priority areas and the targeted rates in the draft annual plan were divided.

Submissions that raised the issue of the targeted rates in general were equal (12 support 12 oppose)

Some 37 submissions supported Auckland City’s transport policy and planning, 34 opposed. More submitters objected (31) to a targeted transport rate than supported it (14).

More submissions supported the targeted rates for open spaces and volcanic cones and heritage and urban design than opposed them (14 – 10 and 10 - 8 respectively)

Having a targeted rate for community development was supported (5 – 1) but there were some concerns raised by 21 submitters about this funding being partly used for housing.

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