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Mayor kicks off review of Auckland’s Long-term plan

Mayor kicks off review of Auckland’s Long-term plan

Mayor Len Brown will today set the direction for a full review of the budgets and work plan of Auckland Council and its CCOs over the next 12 months, saying tough choices are ahead as Auckland plans for significant growth over the next decade.

Auckland’s Long-term Plan (LTP) 2012-2022 is reviewed by the Council every three years. The process kicks off at today’s Council Budget Committee.
“With Auckland continuing to experience strong growth, we will need to work hard to strike a balance between investing in vital infrastructure, and keeping our rates and debt low and sustainable,” Len Brown said.

“Auckland’s AA credit rating is testament to the careful and responsible approach we have applied to financial management. But we don’t have a blank cheque to fund Auckland’s growth, and so we need to be clear about the priorities in the Auckland Plan, and prepared to make tough choices in some cases.

“We also need to take advantage of the scale that has been achieved through amalgamation. That’s why I want us to take a thorough look at the opportunities presented by PPPs, alternative funding and commercial partnerships. The focus needs to be on providing higher quality services to Aucklanders, while transferring direct costs from ratepayers.”

Penny Webster, Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee said: “This review is an opportunity for all Councillors and local boards to have an in-depth examination of the budgets and ensure our investments are aligned to the Auckland Plan. I am confident we can continue to find savings and efficiencies, while making the investments we need to.”

The Mayor said that as part of the review he would be asking the Council to look at three areas to more actively manage the growth of debt while providing for important investments in infrastructure, including:

1 Investigating alternative funding for transport projects such as tolls or a congestion charge

2 Continuing to make efficiency savings and reducing operating expenditure. The Council has already identified $1.7bn in savings across the 10 year plan, but it is believed further savings can be found

3 Delaying lower priority capital projects to create room for more significant infrastructure projects to go ahead – which is likely to require some tough decisions from Council.

Ends

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