Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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


Majority Of Aucklanders Back Mayor’s Proposal To Lease Port

A Curia Market Research poll commissioned by the Office of the Mayor of Auckland has found strong support for his proposal to consult on leasing the port operations.

Excluding those who were undecided, 71 per cent support leasing the port operations for up to 35 years under a deal that would involve an upfront payment of several billion dollars, with Auckland Council retaining ownership of the port land, and port operations returning to the council at the end of the lease. Only 29 per cent were opposed.

“It is very encouraging to see that Aucklanders are receptive to some of the weighty recommendations that have gone into my preliminary proposal. I would urge the Budget Committee to keep an open mind when it comes time to decide which items should go to public consultation,” says Mayor Brown.

“This research serves as an initial indication of interest. We still have a full and thorough consultation process ahead of us. All Aucklanders will have access to the information they need to make an informed decision in due time.”

The poll also found support for the proposal to sell the council’s Auckland International Airport (AIAL) shares, valued at around $1.3 billion. Of those polled, 61 per cent support selling Auckland Council’s remaining airport shares if the proceeds are invested in a diversified fund. Only 29 per cent were opposed, and 10 per cent were unsure.

Additionally, participants backed the Mayor’s efforts to keep rates as low as possible, with 76 per cent supporting a reduction of services to keep rates below 10 per cent.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The initial projected rates rise was 35 per cent over the next three years, if Auckland Council were to maintain the status quo.

“Even with continued financial restraint, significant rates increases have been baked-in by previous decisions and events beyond our control. The council has relied on borrowing money to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure, and our large-scale investments have not generated high enough returns to cover the cost of owning them,” says Mayor Brown.

“We can’t keep going out to Aucklanders every year saying the same thing. Something has to change.”

The proposed Auckland Future Fund would be capitalised by the AIA shares and proceeds from leasing the port, to the value of $3-4 billion, which would go a long way in securing the region’s financial and physical resilience. Achieving a better return on investment would also help mitigate household rates rises.

In this scenario, the projected rates rise would be 19 per cent over the next three years – 7.5 per cent in year-one, 3.5 per cent in year-two, and 8 per cent in year-three – and remain at 3.5 per cent or lower for the following seven years of Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan.

“My proposal aims keep rates as low as possible, while securing Auckland Council’s long-term financial position and making provision for climate change and other related risks,” says Mayor Brown.

The Budget Committee will determine what items from the preliminary mayoral proposal go to public consultation in February. The final 10-year Budget (Long-Term Plan) 2024-34 will be adopted in June.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.