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Auckland Mayor Applauds Sensible Submissions On The Long-Term Plan

“I want to thank Aucklanders for taking part in the consultation on the Long-term Plan. It’s important that groups and individuals get an opportunity to have their say on how Auckland Council sets its budget and delivers services over the next decade, given the financial and economic challenges we are faced with,” says Mayor Brown.

Public feedback on the council’s Long-term Plan (10-year Budget) 2024-2034, was presented to the Budget Committee today in a workshop. Almost 28,000 submissions were received from individuals, organisations and iwi during the month-long consultation process, which closed on March 28.

In addition, there were participatory forums with the general public, community leaders, and advisory panel members.

Due to the complexity of submissions, the following figures relate solely to feedback received from 22,079 individuals – not organisations (391) Māori entities (23), or pro-forma responses (5485).

Overall direction for the Long-term Plan

The central proposal was laid out in the consultation document. And, for the first time, Aucklanders were presented with two alternative options – ‘pay more, do more’ or ‘pay less, do less’.

The individual submissions indicate that support is fairly evenly split between the option to ‘do less’ (37%) by reducing council services and investment, and the central proposal (34%). Only 20% of individuals want the council to ‘do more’.

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Seven council-funded service areas were highlighted. When asked what the council should ‘do less’ of, the most common responses were economic and cultural development (41%), and city and local development (40%). In practice, individuals want to see less wasteful spending and inefficiency.

“I’m not surprised that many Aucklanders want to do less and pay less. The economy fell back into recession and the cost of living keeps going up. People are doing it tough right now. As a council, we must keep rates as low as possible to reduce the burden on Auckland households,” says Mayor Brown.

“I campaigned to stop wasteful spending, and this is still a priority. Any organisations that are reliant on Auckland Council for funding should also be prepared to do less. This will be an ongoing process, not a slash and burn exercise. And, it will be balanced by prudent investment in the backend to improve performance, as we look to strengthen the council’s long-term financial position.”

Overall, the central proposal had broad support from individuals across four of the seven council-funded service areas highlighted, including council services, governance and grants (48%), water (47%), parks and community (40%), and environment and regulation (39%).


Almost three-quarters of individuals support all or most of the proposed transport plan, which features a $50 weekly cap on public transport fares, including bus, rail, and inner harbour ferry services. When asked what the council should ‘do more’ of, the single most common response was public transport (44%).

However, public feedback was polarised on the issue of roads and footpaths, and walking and cycling improvements, which feature prominently among the most common responses from individuals for ‘do more’ and ‘do less’.

“Transport is clearly a priority for Aucklanders, and I stand firm on my commitment to get Auckland moving – better, faster, and cheaper. Our region is the economic powerhouse of New Zealand and, in order to lift productivity, we have to move people and goods more efficiently,” says Mayor Brown.

“Funding for transport in the Auckland region was cut by around $600 million, when the coalition Government scrapped the Regional Fuel Tax in its 100-day plan. And, we are yet to strike a deal with central government on transport, which leaves us with a lot of unknowns and a significant shortfall for the time being.”

Major investments

The proposed Auckland Future Fund garnered a good level of public support, but feedback on the future of the Port of Auckland Ltd (POAL) was finely balanced.

The results show that the largest group, 43% of individuals, support the proposal to establish an Auckland Future Fund with the council’s shareholding in Auckland International Airport Ltd (AIAL), valued at around $1.4 billion. Conversely, 35% of individuals do not want to proceed with the proposal.

Notably, 99% of pro-forma responses support the proposed Auckland Future Fund.

“It’s encouraging to see that many Aucklanders are open to doing things differently. At this point, the cost of not doing anything poses a greater threat than fear of the unknown. And, regional wealth funds have worked well elsewhere. I would just reiterate this not about selling assets, it’s about swapping assets and getting the best value and returns from what we have,” says Mayor Brown.

Where the future of the port is concerned, continued council ownership and operation is the preferred option for 42% of participants, with the proviso that POAL lifts its profitability. Not far behind, 38% of participants support leasing the operation of the port for 35 years and investing the proceeds, estimated at $2.1 billion, in the proposed Auckland Future Fund.

Notably, 98% of pro-forma responses support the proposed port lease.

“It’s still a tight race, which serves to prove that the future of the port is not predetermined. If we create an Auckland Future Fund, it should be well-capitalised, but how we get from A-to-B is still up for discussion,” says Mayor Brown.

“We’ve put pressure on the Port of Auckland and its profits have already improved, but it can and must do better.”

Public feedback on the use of port land shows that 53% of individuals support the proposal to transfer Captain Cook Wharf and Marsden Wharf from POAL to Auckland Council for mixed development and public benefit.

Only 35% of individuals support the proposal to transfer Bledisloe Terminal to Auckland Council, while 45% want it to remain an operational area under POAL.

“We need to make the most of our harbours and the environment. Any land that is nonessential to port operations should be released, so everyone can enjoy more of our city’s prime waterfront,” says Mayor Brown.

The consultation feedback will help inform elected member’s decision-making about how to allocate funding in the Long-term Plan 2024-34.

“I want elected members to receive the public feedback with an open mind and give it due consideration. We must consider what matters most to all Aucklanders,” says Mayor Brown.

Decisions on what will be included in the Long-term Plan 2024-34 will be made on May 16, with the final adoption on June 27.


The LTP report can be found here:

The LTP presentation is here:

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