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


Auckland Council Invites Feedback On COVID-19 Emergency Budget

Auckland Council yesterday agreed to adopt the Consultation Document for its Emergency Budget 2020/2021, with public feedback open from mid-day today until 19 June 2020.

The Emergency Budget responds to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Auckland Council’s finances. It estimates a huge drop in revenue in the coming financial year, with operating cash income across the council group projected to be around $525 million less than previously budgeted. This fall in revenue results from reduced dividends; a sharp fall in revenue from venues, pools, and facilities, public transport fares and parking; and reduced income from development contributions and council regulatory fees. A rates postponement scheme to ease pressure on those suffering genuine hardship because of COVID-19 will also defer receipt of up to $65 million in rates revenue.

“The hit to Auckland Council’s revenues by COVID-19 is more than half a billion dollars—the highest faced by any council, and the highest in the city’s history,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

“This is an emergency budget. We cannot respond to this crisis as business as usual. We have to cut our spending and manage our finances responsibly. We are required by law to balance our budget but can spread that over a slightly longer period than the next financial year. It is fine to borrow for infrastructure which benefits future generations. It’s not good practice to borrow to pay for today’s operational costs and load that debt on future ratepayers,” he said.

Councillors have cooperated together to put forward an emergency budget which reduces spending and defers some infrastructure projects while working hard to stop these cuts from impacting unacceptably on the vital services that the council provides Aucklanders.

“We have also sought to keep up as much investment as possible in building the infrastructure the city needs to improve transport, the environment and for housing. We want to work with the government to stimulate the economy and to save and grow new jobs to assist economic recovery.

“There are tough decisions ahead of us but by working together we can build a better and stronger Auckland.”

As part of the Emergency Budget consultation, Aucklanders will be asked whether they support the previously agreed 3.5 per cent average general rates increase, or a lower increase of 2.5 per cent.

The 2.5 per cent option would require greater cuts in spending with $50 million less investment in community assets and in transport projects to renew and make our roads safer.

This option would also mean reduced footpath cleaning, closing some public toilets and removing litter bins, reduced maintenance and cleaning of public spaces at the city centre waterfront, as well as the potential removal of some public transport fare concessions.

A zero rates rise would have severe impacts on cutting vital council services, slashing investment in much needed new infrastructure, pushing up debt levels and reducing employment and business activity in Auckland.

Finance and Performance Committee Chair Desley Simpson said, “COVID-19 has punched a half-billion-dollar hole in council’s revenue which we urgently need to address. Identifying substantial increases to savings and efficiencies has been our priority. Following consultation, we then need to make the difficult but necessary decisions that will enable Auckland to recover as quickly as possible from this crisis.”

Other proposals in the Emergency Budget include a COVID-19 rates postponement scheme to allow ratepayers who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 to defer up to $20,000 of their rates for the 2020/2021 year, and a suspension of the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate to provide relief to the accommodation sector.

Auckland Council’s Emergency Budget is open for feedback until Friday 19 June 2020.

Feedback can be provided online and via email or social media; in person at a local library, service centre or local board office; by phone or post; or at Have Your Say webinar.

To find out more and to have your say, visit akhaveyoursay.nz/emergency-budget.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Apparent Inability To Read The Public Mood

The basic skill that a successful politician needs is the ability to “read the room” and gauge the public mood. If National Party leader Judith Collins ever possessed that ability, it seems to have deserted her of late. Surely, very, very few of the public would agree with Collins and her deputy Gerry Brownlee when they claim :
(a)that the threat from Covid-19 means that the election due on September 19 must be postponed until November, or sometime next year
(b) that in the middle of the current outbreak the government is obliged to hand over all the relevant decision- making to the top officials in the public service... More>>


Government: Plan To Tackle Problem Plastics

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon

As Melbourne has shown, the webs of urban life overlap so extensively that community transmission can be very hard to trace, let alone control. Each of the family members in the South Auckland family at the centre of the current outbreak will have had ... More>>


National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

Election 2020: Labour Launch

E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


Democracy 2.0: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech

Joint Press Release: NextElection, Scoop.co.nz, ScoopCitizen NextElection , a technology platform empowering democracy and Government accountability, and Scoop Independent News have partnered to strengthen citizen participation in the 2020 New Zealand General ... More>>


Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels