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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

ALSO:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news