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

 

Auckland Deputy Mayor Puts Spin on Water Rates

                                                                          
12 June 2007
Contact: Elaine West
Auckland City
 

Auckland City Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker Puts Political Spin on Water Rates


Whenever Auckland City Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker says that increasing water rates is justified -  that is, an average 140% increase in household water rates over the next ten years – he does so knowing that such costs will cause financial hardship for society's most vulnerable people.
 
In an attempt to defend soaring water charges, Dr Hucker says that Auckland City rates are:

1) lower when compared to other cities and
2) that there is the increased rates rebate for some residents.                            

But Dr Hucker's comments are no more than political spin. 
 
In reality,
 
i) Council has a long-term rates differential policy that is shifting the burden of rates from businesses to householders.
 
ii) Council has split General rates into a variety of rate categories which disguises the total intake eg: water rates, general rates and a selection of targeted rates. Added together, soaring costs give every reason for ratepayers to feel financially swamped by Council taxes.
 
iii) Metrowater, a council controlled organisation, is promoted as a 'champion' of user charges.
 
iv) Watercare, a regional bulk water supplier 'owned' by six Councils, intends to show a significant increase in water prices from 2008.
 
v) Dr Hucker told the Rates Inquiry Panel that Auckland City Council aims to borrow $1.5 billion over ten years with interest and repayments from rates.  Therefore, the Deputy Mayor is about to 'lock-in' ratepayers to a significant burden of debt.
 
vi) Aucklanders are expected to pay a regional fuel tax of up to 10c a litre, and
 
vii) Council has agreed to tolls on Auckland's roads despite massive public protest against tolled roads and despite not having a mandate. 
 
The Deputy Mayor Keeps Turning His Back on the People
 
For more than ten years, thousands of Aucklanders have protested against the commercialisation of public goods and public services including introducing direct user charges for water and roads.
 
In 1999, my submission to Council stated that tolls on roads represented a social injustice and that water is essential to human life and universal access to quality drinking water was a human right.
 
The Deputy Mayor Should Heed the Lessons of the Auckland Rates Revolt
 
In 2003-04, as Chair of Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers and as a leader of the rates revolt, I convened and chaired the first combined regional meetings across Auckland which protested the unjust rate rises imposed by the Auckland Regional Council.
 
The "increased rates rebate" which Dr Hucker recently referred to when defending increasing water rates, was achieved during the rates revolt by the very people whom the soaring water rates will hit hardest:  families, low/fixed income earners, and householders with high overheads such as mortgages.
 
At no time, did the people lobby central Government to allow Councils to use an open cheque-book, or to entitle Councils - or the Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker - to design policies with the intention of putting profit before people.
 
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Speech: NZ Moves To Red


Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday....
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>



Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels