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Council spending focused on infrastructure

Office of the Mayor
News Release
19 March 2012

Council spending focused on infrastructure

The Mayor has reacted to proposed changes to local government by noting the vast majority of council investment in Auckland goes toward building infrastructure to cater for the region’s growth.

Len Brown says Auckland Council will consider the proposal before meeting with Local Government Minister Nick Smith later this week.

“Auckland Council is in a very strong financial position We are delivering efficiency savings throughout the organisation and next year are proposing a rates increase of 3.6 per cent, which is down from the more than 9 per cent increases we faced after amalgamation.

“At the same time we are investing in the infrastructure to cater for our region’s development. Auckland is expected to have 2 million people living here in 20 years time and we have to provide for that growth.

“I would be concerned if new restrictions on the activities of council meant that we had to stop developing infrastructure like roading, public transport or waste water, or delivering the types of social and community activities that make a city great.”

The proposed changes also seek to redefine the role of local government.

“Imagine Auckland without the ability to fund the Rugby World Cup or the Volvo Ocean Race. Those types of exciting events bring a city to life.
“The government needs to be careful that it doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when clamping down on community development activities.

“Aucklanders tell us that they value the essential support council gives to community groups and programmes. That support is the glue that binds people together and getting rid of it would make our country a poorer place.”
Ends

Note to editors: Auckland Council retains an AA credit rating from Standard & Poors and its debt to equity ratio is within accepted guidelines.

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