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Auckland Council Formally Adopts Record $32 Billion Recovery Budget

Auckland Council’s Governing Body has formally adopted the 10-year Budget 2021-2031, locking in a record $31.8 billion investment package to support the city’s recovery from COVID-19 and deliver the infrastructure Aucklanders need.

Mayor Phil Goff says the budget will stimulate economic recovery, protect jobs and incomes, and deliver the critical infrastructure needed to tackle long-term challenges facing the city.

“Despite a $750 million projected revenue loss caused by the pandemic, we have not imposed austerity measures that would put essential services and projects at risk.

“Instead, we have pulled every funding and fiscal lever we can to retain the essential services and investments our communities rely on.

“We are lifting capital investment by 21 per cent compared to the previous 10-year Budget. This includes a $4 billion boost for freshwater, wastewater, and stormwater projects, $600 million more for transport projects as part of the $31 billion Auckland Transport Alignment Project, and $900 million of additional funding for parks and community facilities.

“While we are investing strongly in Auckland’s COVID-19 recovery, we remain focused on tackling the long-term challenge of climate change, with $152 million of new spending to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change.

“As we lift our level of investment, we are also keeping rates rises fair and reasonable. The long-term annual average general rates increase will remain at 3.5 per cent, with a one-off 5 per cent increase for next year.

“This represents around $0.74 per week more for the average-value residential property compared to the planned 3.5 per cent rise and compares with double digit increases this year in cities like Wellington and Tauranga,” Phil Goff says.

Finance and Performance Committee Chair, Councillor Desley Simpson, says, “In tandem with our commitment to delivering the infrastructure our city badly needs, this budget retains a laser-focus on delivering value-for-money to ratepayers.

“In the last year we have delivered $120 million in savings and through this budget we are committed to finding $90 million per year of savings across the business.

“This budget also allows us to invest more into improving the quality of our water through the increase and extension to the Water Quality Targeted Rate. This means we are able to fast track big infrastructure projects by six years and deliver more investment to improve the health of the water in every local board area,” says Desley Simpson.

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