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


COVID’s Half-billion-dollar Hit To Council Finances

New financial analysis reveals that Auckland could have a shortfall of more than half a billion dollars in revenue over the next financial year as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

More than half—60 per cent—of the council’s revenue comes from sources such as concerts and visitor attractions, pools and leisure centres, operations at Ports of Auckland, dividends from Auckland Airport shares, parking, development contributions and public transport fares.

All of these sources have declined significantly as a result of COVID-19, with the overall hit expected to be $550 million less cash coming in over the next financial year.

“While rates make up around 40 per cent of council’s revenue, the majority of our revenue comes from non-rates sources like recreation facilities, transport, concerts, and dividends from council assets,” Mayor Phil Goff said.

“All of these sources of income have dried up over the last three months.

“We are forecasting a shortfall of $30 million in revenue just from community facilities, pools and leisure centres over the next year. We’ve already seen a shortfall of $1.1 million in revenue from the zoo in April, and expect another $5 million over the next year.

“Overall, Auckland Council is forecast to have more than half a billion dollars less income as a result of COVID-19. The reality is, we have less money coming in, so we have less money that we can spend on the city and less money to deliver the essential services that Aucklanders rely on.”

Revenue from rates could also fall next year, because the council is proposing to allow people in hardship as a result of the pandemic to postpone or defer rates payments, the mayor says.

“That’s the right thing to do, but it means council may suffer a shortfall of around $65 million worth of rates income in the time that it would normally be available to support the funding of services and facilities like libraries, leisure centres and parks.

“All of this adds up to a huge challenge for Auckland. As a city and a council, we will have to make difficult decisions to reduce costs while ensuring we can continue to deliver key services and invest in critical infrastructure the city needs and which boosts jobs and economic recovery. We also need to target assistance to those in the most hardship because of COVID-19 by deferring rates.

“We’re looking at every way possible to save money and reduce expenditure. We’ve asked staff to take voluntary pay cuts, and we’re conducting a review that will result in fewer jobs in our organisation in the coming months.

“It won’t be easy and we will need to make some tough choices in the coming weeks as part of our emergency budget. But I’m confident that together we can get through this and recover stronger as a city.

Finance and Performance Committee Chair Desley Simpson noted, “We know we are looking at a big revenue hole and we need to act to address it. That is why, over the next two months, we will be doing our bit to find and deliver savings and reductions across the business to fill that revenue gap.”

“This will inevitably mean we have to look at reducing capital spending but more importantly reduce operational spending next year. These are difficult decisions to make, but absolutely necessary if we want our city to recover as quickly as possible from this crisis and move forward.”

Example revenue shortfalls (estimates) for Council include:

  • Rates postponement $65 million
  • AIAL dividends $60 million
  • Ports of Auckland revenue $60 million
  • Drop in consenting and licence volumes $50 million
  • Reduced parking and enforcement fees $40 million
  • Revenue from leisure centres, holiday parks, pools and other community facilities $30 million
  • RFA income $40 million, including:
    • Zoo revenue $4.8 million
    • Auckland conventions/concerts $14.2 million

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Using The Word “Fascist”

“Fascist” is one of those labels with the ability to capsize any debate. Call your opponents “fascists” – or “agitators” or “terrorists” or “scum” and you’ve taken the option of mutual respect and compromise off the table. Interesting then to see the ( paywalled) Washington Post seriously debating with itself yesterday over whether… Hmm, is it now finally time to bring out the f-word in connection with the presidency of Donald J. Trump, and with his enablers in the Republican Party..? More>>


RNZ: Covid-19 rules and restrictions on businesses to be lifted under alert level 1

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted" under alert level 1.
She said the lower alert level would also put an end to restrictions for hospitality businesses, and gatherings - including funerals and tangihanga - of any size could take place..... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>


Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Government: Five New Super Hercules To Join Air Force Fleet

The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. More>>


Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>






InfoPages News Channels