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Auckland Council sets higher rates for residents, stable for business

Auckland’s average rate rise for the next financial year will be 2.5%, following adoption of a new plan.

The Annual Plan for 2014-15 indicates an investment into $1.15 billion of new and improved assets.

The average rates increase for the period was reduced from an average of 4.9% projected in the council’s 10-year long-term plan.

It is an average increase of 0.1% for businesses and 3.7% for residents.

The council says the annual plan included $183 million of efficiency savings to be achieved across council.

The plans also includes investment of $1.15 billion in new and improved assets, including:

  • $215 million to buy more electric trains and $70m to progress the City Rail Link
  • $97 million to invest in local and sports parks
  • $23 million to continue development of new libraries in Massey North, Te Atatu Peninsula, Devonport, Flat Bush and Ōtāhuhu
  • $23 million to upgrade town centres, including New Lynn, Westgate, Māngere,  Mt Albert and Pukekohe.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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Comments and questions
25

I don't understand why New Lynn needs many more millions for upgrades. Anyone who has been there can see the place looks brand spanking new.

And it would appear a lot of that thanks comes from Avondale residents who have had their coffers stripped by the Whau Board who have pumped it into New Lynn.

Now Avondale residents are told they have no money left to invest in their own community.

And to see Auckland City is now giving them millions more is a slap in the face. Cahoots? (Len Brown, Ross Clow, David Cunliff)

New Lynn 'needs' many more millions for upgrades because that is where Len Browns supporters and voters are. Meanwhile in the Eastern suburbs and on the North Shore.....................

The benefits of amalgamation ?

Len screws....the constituents........again

Isnt the chandelier so lovely

Great news on the trains.

Does this mean that they will stop cancelling regular services at rush hour.

Or heaven forbid they actually put more carriages on the services when there is a scrum of ticket inspectors it is oh so hard to move.

The Devonport library is a case in point of this hopeless Councils spending.
The existing library was fine.
There was space for books, computers, the homeless, kids, everything that is needed.
Takapuna library very nearby is a big library and is also having a very expensive and unneeded upgrade.
Devonports 10 million dollar library is a ridiculous waste of money and my family use it a lot as you do with pre-teen children.
All of these decisions smack of a Council trying to keep itself busy, to prove that they are useful because they are doing these things and, of course libraries are soooo important and great for the community etc that it canot be questioned.

everyone reads books online now yet councils are building libraries???
they just need a room full of wireless connections that's all.

Auckland, particularly South and West Auckland, got what they wished for - a Mayor who believes in (a) social redistribution and (b) grand projects that match his vision, irrespective of over-spending and the potential for credit downgrades in the future.

Once again relentless increase in rates well above the inflation rate.

More investment in trains is great news.

An increase of 2.5% in rates should be celebrated, unless it is at the expense of increased debt levels.

Councils, like alot of big businesses, return on assets is less than the cost of debt. It is partly due to their social obligations. As such, the repayment of debt should be a priority.

People should however recognise alot of big business (public companies) return on assets is also less than the cost of debt. This however is hidden by mergers and acquisitions, which hide the truth.

We live in a society where there is now limited growth, due to a range of reasons, but largely a concentration of wealth with a select few. They create the short term business cycles, to give the illusion of growth, when it is all short lived and those exposed with debt in the downturn transfer the wealth to the select few.

There is good debt, which provides a positive return to stake holders, but there is also bad debt, which essentially transfers wealth to the select few. And unfortunately how democracy works today, most, if not all, of Council debt is bad debt.

You want us to celebrate an increase? If the Council cut out all the non core infrastructure items and stopped 'beautification' of roads we could actually have a reduction. This council is incredibly wasteful. Does Dominion Rd need to be destroyed at great cost and inconvenience to all?

Read the article correctly, it is an "average" 2.5% increase in rates, not a 2.5% increase across all residents. This is just statistical manipulation based on reducing the UAGC portion of the rating bill and an increase in the portion based on the capital value of the house. Len has simply moved the burden of rate payments to the central isthmus and the North Shore who have seen rates increase10% year on year on year whilst those who vote for him in South Auckland see their rates reduced. The council is forecasting 12bn in debt by 2022 and this ceiling has been revised upwards twice in the last 12 months. It also assumes interest rates remaining at a band between 5 and 6% - which isn't going to happen with the RBNZ's inflation target under threat. This and the fact there is no wriggle room for a credit rating downgrade means this council's finances are heading for a train wreck - pun intended. This while they scramble for new sources of revenue such as charging for rubbish collection, a core council service, toll roads, regional petrol tax, bed tax and anything else they can fleece residents for.

The thing that should really annoy most people is the fact that Businesses, who cause most issues on streets, only get a 0.1% increase and home owners 3.7%. How is this fair to an average rate payer.
I think the Auckland Council need to rethink the priorities of how and where the rates should be apportioned.
LEN BROWNS - AUCKLAND COUNCIL - you need to think of the people who voted you in and play fair. Your tenure will be remembered for all your failures.......

I suppose that will mean another 10% rate rise for me.

We should have a system where the council has to get pre-approval for rates rise increases, the status quo isn't sustainable and will just increase pressure on house holds regardless of whether you own a house or rent. The public servants need to get real, in the REAL world we are holding spending flat or still cutting back NOT borrowing excessively to pay for things that are nice to haves and not needs.

Totally agree. Council should be run as a business, not an extension of Len's ego or WINZ.

How can people afford these rates based on the current system. We have been in our house for 30 years and on paper it is worth a lot of money, however we earn a little amount of money and struggle to pay the bills like anyone else. There is only 2 of us and we are being forced to pay huge rates for very little services where people in the South and West have 5 plus people living in their house using a lot of services and pay little rates. Does Mr. Brown expect us to move because we cant afford the BIG rates bill. Its not our fault our house is worth a lot, we just live here and dont want to move as it is our home.

3.7% I wish, ours have gone up the usual 10% on top of the previous two years of 10%. As well as rates, insurance under the new system is costing nearly and extra $1,000.00/year. Where will it stop or is that when the council owns everybody's property for non-payment of rates.

Thanks Rodney!

Amen. Rodney is a smart politician. And there might be a handful of smart bureaucrats somewhere in NZ....I am an optimist. But neither category should ever be allowed to devise anything substantial and intricate in the REAL WORLD. They never have and never will have a successful outcome -- 'cos they are programmed to SCHEME.

Smoke n mirrors, Len's 3.7% is a crock of sh.te. The favoured suburbs have little or no increase but get all the upgrades in service, the favoured target suburbs get another slam dunk 7 or more % increase with some at 10%.

This left wing council has decided to spend while it can and damn the consequences. Build the train loop and passengers will come, what a load of rubbish, the only sure thing about the proposed capital expenditure programs is more debt and bigger rate hikes. The Len Brown legacy is a mountain of debt, and a book full of jokes about his inability to kept it in his trousers.

North Shore and the Bays gets nothing again, except more rate rises to pay for New Lynns Library, unreal!!! I live in Castor bay, I haven't seen one road works man in 3 years + that I live here..... come to think of it, nothing for any where on the shore. The bridge on Milford promenade still hasn't been mended after 5 years. The walk bridge over milford marina has never been delivered after the previous council took it down, with a project set to go to replace it. The Len got in and his lot scrapped it!!!! But still, year upon year rates increases. Time to revolt comrades, ENOUGH!!!! Stop all spending immediately, freeze all council projects, go line by line and kill all the non essentials.

Why are they spending millions of dollars on libraries; when libraries will be obsolete in less than 10 years time?

And an average rise of 2.5%? Utter smoke and mirrors - once again we'll be ripped off with a rate increase significantly higher than inflation and all of that money will go to continue to shore up the mayor's dwindling supporter base.

It is getting time that the Shore declares independence from the nightmare that is the supercity.

What we need is a system where the councillors are elected by the electorate, but the mayor is elected by ratepayers only

Nice to see that Len's pet projects are getting the lion's share of funding whilst those less glamorous yet essential items remain neglected.

Because of the inadequate waste water infrastructure Auckland will continue to pump raw sewerage into the harbour when it rains too heavily and the system gets overloaded with grey water. There's nothing glamorous about upgrading the system though so Len wants to spend the money elsewhere!

He can put a nice little plaque with his name on it on the side of a library, train station, etc....