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Waitakere Cautious on Regional Funding Initiative

Media Release

15 September, 2006

Waitakere Cautious About Regional Funding Initiative

A proposal to fund more key regional facilities and services by a levy on ratepayers would only be supported by Waitakere if the levy is collected by the Auckland Regional Council.

At present a number of facilities – such as the Museum and MOTAT – are based in Auckland city but because they serve the whole region, the ratepayers of the other cities and districts are levied to help pay their costs.

It has now been proposed that other facilities should also receive a contribution from a regional fund.

Possible contenders are: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, Surf Lifesaving Northern region, Watersafe New Zealand, Auckland Zoo, Edge/Aotea Centre, Maritime Museum, Stardome Planetarium and Observatory, Auckland Festival, Auckland Theatre Company, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, NBR Opera.

The Waitakere City Council’s Finance and Operational Performance (FOP) Committee conditionally supported the Regional Funding Initiative proposal at its September meeting.

“Our support for this initiative is entirely conditional, however, upon this levy being collected by the ARC,” says Councillor Janet Clews, chair of the FOP Committee.

“Waitakere City Council has some reservations about this funding proposal – one of them being the financial impact upon our ratepayers,” she says.

“We are talking about regional funding for regional facilities so it is a no-brainer that the regional council should be collecting this.”

Council has also asked for the West Wave Aquatic centre to be placed on the list of regional facilities for consideration – this has been done.

ENDS

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