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


AK Council pre-election report means higher rates increases


The nationwide campaign to reform the present system of council rates –

Founder – David Thornton

Media release          13th August 2013   [statement by David Thornton]

Auckland Council pre-election report means higher rates increases ahead.

SuperCity is proving costly to ratepayers.

Ten years ago this month Auckland ratepayers revolted in a spectacular fashion. 140,000 ratepayers withheld all or part of their rates. A few thousand rebels marched up Queen St one Saturday morning, and 40,000 ratepayers signed a petition calling on a council to re-set its rates.

The cause of this ‘ratepayers rebellion’ was the decision of the former Auckland Regional Council to substantially increase the amount of rates it collected and to invoice ratepayers directly.

This was the start of a decade which saw council rates feature as a constant news item around the country. Constant advocacy and public pressure led to an Independent Rates Inquiry six years ago, and then to a Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, followed by Rodney Hide’s unpopular creation – SuperCity.

As the first term of SuperCity comes to an end a huge cloud hangs over the city’s ratepayers who are likely to see an explosion of rates increases to pay for the mountain of debt and interest payments now building at an alarming pace.

Last year the Council increased its self-imposed ‘prudent’ debt limit from 175% of total revenue to 275% of revenue which has allowed a huge increase in the amount the Council actually has borrowed or plans to borrow.

Figures revealed in the Auckland Council 2013 Pre-election Report show debt rising swiftly to 213% of total  income, and interest payments rising to more than $21 dollars of every $100 of rates collected – and likely to reach the prudent limit of $25 dollars in every $100 in a couple of years time.

The Report states, in typical bureaucratic language, “the increase in our net debt percentage of total revenue reflects a lower level of rates increase”. In simple terms the council is not raising sufficient income from rates to reduce debt and meet interest payments.

The solution will inevitably involve much higher rate increases in the years ahead.

It is impossible to accept Mayor Brown’s claim that he aims to keep rates increases at about 2.5% for the next three years.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels