Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Auckland Faces Service Cuts If Bill Not Passed

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Thursday February 21, 2008


Residents in Auckland Region Face Service Cuts If Funding Bill Not Passed

Residents in the fast-growing Auckland region will see cuts in the current service levels of several life saving services and a reduction in the quality and quantity of cultural experiences on offer, say the promoters of a Private Bill being considered by a Select Committee in Auckland today.

Ten voluntary organisations told Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Select Committee that they receive little funding support from any of the seven territorial councils in the region, with the exception of Auckland City Council, which contributes the bulk of all local body funding.

The organisations, say they cannot raise more money through ticket sales, donations, sponsorship and other funding, and that volunteers are increasingly spending time fund raising rather than providing core services. They are seeking legislation similar to the Acts which provide appropriate contributions from Auckland councils to help fund the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

Spokesman Steve Johns told the Select Committee that market research had shown strong public support for greater council funding, and an upper limit of 2% of council rates had been suggested in the draft Bill.

“The Auckland region is growing by about 30,000 people a year, and voluntary organisations have no show of keeping up with demand, or improving services without some assured funding to supplement their own fundraising efforts. If we can’t get the backing of the councils through this proposed legislation, people in the Auckland region will have to get ready for reduced services,” he warned.

“The performing arts are desperately short of money, and will have to limit the number of performances they can offer and the extent where they can reach out into the region with performances. Without proper funding, they will struggle to retain their talented performers in this country. ”

Mr Johns told the Select Committee that he was aware of suggestions that the issue of fair regional funding for the 10 organisations named in the Bill should await the outcome of this year’s Royal Commission looking at the governance of the Auckland region.

“However, there is no certainty about what the Royal Commission might recommend, or whether Parliament will enact legislation based on those recommendations. The whole process could take years. The funding need is urgent – if fair regional funding is not put in place this year, some of our organisations will have no alternative but to begin cutting services in the near future.”

Mr Johns, who is chief executive of Surf Lifesaving Northern Region, said his organisation could afford to patrol only 12 of the region’s 130 beaches, but nevertheless was on target for saving 750 lives in the current year.

“We will have to look at patrolling fewer beaches, shortening the season or reducing hours if we can’t get more money. It would be heart-breaking, but we would have to face reality”.

Mr Johns says water - loving Aucklanders, with one of the highest ratios of boat ownership in the world, and with three major harbours in their region, posed special difficulties for other safety organisations too.

“Coastguard, with 11,000 members, has to maintain rescue vessels on three separate harbours.

“New Zealanders have one of the worst drowning records in the western world, yet many schools in the region don’t even have a swimming pool, and Watersafe doesn’t have enough money to spread its wonderful education programmes out to all of our schools or reach the Maori, Pacific or Asian communities who are overrepresented in drowning statistics, particularly when fishing off rocks or swimming at surf beaches. “

Mr Johns said the sheer size of the Auckland region and its congested roads, meant that it could often take more than an hour to get an injured person to hospital, whereas this could be achieved in a fraction of the time in a helicopter.

“It is not a luxury. It can be the difference between life and death”, said Mr Johns.

“Auckland prides itself on being the City of Sails, but the region’s councils seem reluctant to properly fund one of the world’s best maritime museums celebrating our prowess in water based sports, preserving priceless historic vessels and recording Auckland’s maritime and social history.

“The Auckland region loves the international image, and uses it to attract tourists, but most of the councils seem a bit reluctant to put their hand in their pockets to help essential volunteer services survive”.

Mr Johns said the Select Committee should take notice of the strong public support for the 10 organisations promoting the Bill, and introduce legislation that ensures councils make an appropriate and enduring financial contribution to the organisations providing valued services to the region.

(Issued Wednesday 20th February 2008 by Star Public Relations 912 7827, on behalf of the 10 Promoters of the Bill.

Release embargoed until 3pm Thursday 21st February 2008.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Welfare Reform Has No Champions In Parliament

Ever since Victorian times, the unemployed have been a problem for those more fortunate, wealthy and powerful. Down the ages, society has been torn between providing for them as victims of misfortune, or dealing to them as the shiftless agents of their own condition. Either way, the poor are commonly regarded as The Other – as a group of outsiders gathered pitifully, reproachfully, or (depending on your POV) threateningly at the gates of polite society.... 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>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... 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>>

ALSO:


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>>

ALSO:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:

ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>

ALSO:

Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Dodgy Politics Of Easing Level 3

As countries around the world tentatively emerge from lockdown, a lot of political noise is being generated by politically-driven arguments that (a) the safeguards need to be lifted faster and (b) the lockdown itself was an over-reaction likely to leave lasting economic damage in its wake... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels