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Creating an affordable Auckland

Auckland City Council Media release

18 April 2008

Creating an affordable Auckland

What do you think about $400 million of continued investment in capital works across Auckland? The level of rates increase? Water prices? Which projects continue across the city?

That is what we are asking you, the residents and ratepayers of Auckland, in our draft annual plan, released today.

Every year Auckland City Council is required to produce an annual plan to communicate what it proposes to do and its priorities for spending over the next financial year

From 18 April to 20 May we are seeking feedback from the public and stakeholders on those proposed actions to inform our decision-making.

This year the key issues are: * the $400 million of continued investment into projects the council is getting on with across the city * the proposal to keep the rates increase at 5.1 per cent next year * the deferment, changes or cancellations of some projects * the price of water supply and wastewater services

"Our promise was to keep overall rates increases to the level of council's rate of inflation, 5.1 per cent. We have kept that promise," said Mayor of Auckland city, Hon. John Banks.

"We need to prioritise the things that need to be done in the city and have a very careful look at whether we should continue with those projects that were nice to have, but not essential. It is about affordable progress."

A summary of the draft annual plan will be delivered with City Scene this weekend. People can view the full document on the Auckland City Council website, www.aucklandcity.govt.nz, or at an Auckland city public library. There is also a DVD illustrating the key points available on the council website.

People can submit their feedback quickly and easily online and can highlight if there are any projects currently on the list to be deferred, changed or cancelled, they would like brought back into the council's plans. Returning more projects to the plan would lead to an increase in rates.

You can also submit your feedback on the three options given in order to keep water price rises at a minimum level necessary to fund a first-class water and wastewater network.

A feedback form is also available inside the draft summary document.

"There have been some difficult choices and decisions made in the effort to hold the rates increase to 5.1 per cent," said Councillor Doug Armstrong, chairperson Finance and Strategy Committee.

"People in Auckland will continue to benefit from over $400 million of investment in projects across the city next year while at the same time keeping the rates increase to an acceptable level.

"We want to know what the public thinks about our proposals to defer, change or cancel some of the things that were originally planned to start next year. This is your chance to have your say."

Feedback from residents, ratepayers and key business and community stakeholders will be considered by council before the budget and plans for the 12 months are decided. We want to know what you think.

We encourage you to have a look at our plans and tell us what you think, because by working together we will see Auckland reach its potential.

ENDS


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