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

 


Another service reduction for old Auckland City area


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Media release

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Another service reduction for old Auckland City area

Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s draft budget for 2013/14 released today will cut out a long-held lawn mowing service for residents living in the old Auckland City area who are the same ratepayers stung the hardest with ongoing rates increases,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.

“In an attempt to save $4.1m by discontinuing road-side berm mowing for the isthmus – a proposal that was rejected outright by the Transport Committee earlier this month – the Mayor is hitting many of those who face another 10% rates increase next year.

“Most of the 133,000 Auckland households currently paying the full 10% rates increase cap are within the isthmus. Many of them will still have to pay another 10% next year and the following year as a spillover from this year’s rates transition. The 2.9% average region-wide rates increase now being promoted by the Mayor has little meaning for areas like the eastern suburbs. The reality is the majority of households in the Orakei ward will be up for a double digit rates next year. For them, it won’t be 2.9% next year, just as it wasn’t 3.6% this year.

“Those on the isthmus are paying huge rates, yet they’re now up for a further service reduction. Their rates keep going up but now on top of user-pays rubbish being signaled they’ll also lose the long-standing free berm mowing service. They’re being asked to pay more for less.

“In his famous cost-cutting report to the former Auckland City Council 11 years ago, former Finance Minister Bill Birch recommended that the “council should stop mowing berms” and at the time there was just about a mutiny by residents. Subsequently, changes to the regularity of berm mowing were made, but the service was ultimately retained. The Mayor needs to take heed of this experience.

“He should look at tightening up the costs around the berm mowing contracts. However to remove this service completely would be a big mistake. Ratepayers affected won’t like it one bit and it will only make many of our streets untidy. Residents need to make sure they have their say on this.”

Mr Brewer said while the 2.9% average region-wide rates increase was encouraging, the Mayor needs to re-look at some of the big capital projects in his draft budget for next year.

“Before he commits $180m for the City Rail Link in 2013/14 alone, the Mayor needs to at least get some commitment from the Government, particularly when you consider he’s trimming the stormwater and flood protection budget which currently stands at about $78m. Is spending $3.4m next year on starting the Quay Street Boulevard a priority? I would say no, nor is spending millions on extending the Wynyard tram tracks.

“Overall there’s still too much fat in the CBD and waterfront capital budgets, and ATEED needs to find further savings other than simply closing some information centres. The Mayor says he will not re-litigate any of his strategic priorities in the Long Term Plan which is a mistake given the increasing financial pressure this council is under, and the fact that’s we’re borrowing nearly $3m a day.

“The Mayor’s described his cuts as ‘rats and mice’ that won’t have an impact on service levels but in the old Auckland City area ceasing berm mowing is undoubtedly a service cut which will negatively affect a big part of the community,” says Cameron Brewer

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news