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


Len Brown plan for rates reform looks like a road to nowhere


17th March 2014

[Statement from David Thornton]

Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s plan for rates reform looks like a road to nowhere.

Auckland needs to find a solution to its own funding problems.

Interviewed on TVNZ’s Q& A on Sunday Mr Brown proposal consisted of asking Local Government New Zealand [LGNZ]to carry out a review of local authority funding throughout the country, together with his suggestion of a ‘city tax’ without any detail of what that meant.

I understand that Mr Brown has not discussed this proposal with his Council and that there has been no debate on Council’s attitude to his proposal.

While NoMoreRates has consistently called for reform of the rating system, and welcomed the Mayor’s initial announcement of a funding review, his proposal to ask LGNZ to carry out a review is a road to nowhere.

Local Government New Zealand has a non-existent record of achievement other than as a generator of talk-fests.

Mr Brown is correct when he highlights problems with the current rating system, but rather than launch yet another nationwide review he should concentrate on finding solutions to Auckland’s problems.

After more than three years of effort the Mayor and his budget office have failed to find a solution for funding his favourite project the City Rail Link.

In that time rates have climbed to almost 25 cents in every rates dollar on the back of huge increases in debt.

As the first SuperCity in the country the Auckland Council has vast borrowing powers compared to any other city, and the Council needs to sort out its own funding problems rather that getting involved in some nationwide talk-fest through Local Government New Zealand.

The Mayor should ask the Council to set up its own review panel including representation from the three rating sectors, residential, business and rural.

The panel should use Council’s research and communication facilities to prepare funding options and seek Aucklanders responses and ideas.

A purely local review is likely to complete a funding plan far more quickly than going through Local Government New Zealand with its mixture of councils each with their own special problems.

Auckland’s needs are urgent.

The Mayor needs to talk to his Council and get on with that job.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news