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Auckland Rates could rise by 50%

NoMoreRates.com
The nationwide campaign to replace the present system of council rates with a fairer system which reflects ability to pay and value for money.

MEDIA RELEASE 29th November 2012

[Statement from David Thornton]

Auckland Rates could rise by 50% to cover repayment and annual interest on debt.

Central Rail Link will mean less transport investment in expanding ‘non-rail’ suburbs.

A new report from a Treasury Unit makes it clear that the proposed Central Rail Link and other major Auckland Transport projects will place huge additional funding requirements on Auckland Council.

The report states that, even if central government met half the costs, Auckland Council has not identified how it would fund its share, but if the Council borrowed to pay its share the cost of repayments of principal and annual interest would exceed $700 million, equivalent to 50% increase in Auckland Council rates.

The report, from the National Infrastructure Unit, notes that Central Rail Link will require residential and commercial/industrial intensification along the rail corridors, but will also result in lower investment in in other areas of intensification which have lesser access to rail, especially the North.

This would result in ratepayers with limited or no access to rail would be paying to subsidise a rail network from which they got little or no benefit.

The report calls on the Auckland council to reconsider its priority for these projects, “A priority for the Auckland Council, potential funders and infrastructure users is to reconsider the proposed projects and undertake the strategic review to determine whether individually, and as a package, they are the right projects to address the long-term transport challenges facing Auckland.”

The Central Rail Link must not proceed until a fully costed and funded business plan is produced which substantiates passenger forecasts, which has the unchallengeable support of residents, and does not depend significantly on ratepayer funding.
ends

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

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Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

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CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

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Gordon Campbell:
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Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

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Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

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