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


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed? - Have Your Say

Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon.

We at Scoop and PEP believe that an issue as important as the fairness of the tax regime should be open for discussion, debate and dialogue. Unfortunately, a written submission process just doesn’t encourage the kind of public exchange we think is necessary in a well-functioning democracy. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages