Today Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced his Annual Budget 2019 – 2020 proposal to councillors seeking to help Auckland’s most vulnerable with a proposed contribution of $5 million to the City Mission’s HomeGround housing and social services project.
The Mayor’s Annual Budget proposal also confirms the largest ever annual capital investment in transport infrastructure of $1.2 billion, continued investment in the water quality improvement programme and protection of kauri and holding average general rate rises to 2.5 per cent for the coming year.
Calling it the “deliver-it” budget, the Mayor says, “This budget is about spades in the ground and cranes in the air. We are using the record levels of funding we’ve secured to deliver the critical infrastructure the city needs.”
The Mayor’s Annual Budget proposal 2019 – 2020 includes:
- Record capital investment of over $2.5 billion, including the largest ever transport investment of $1.2 billion
- Progressing the water quality improvement programme to clean up our beaches and streams
- Protecting our Kauri and managing predators through actions funded by the Natural Environment Targeted Rate
- $5 million proposed council contribution to the City Mission’s HomeGround housing project
- $200,000 proposed continued funding to deal with illegal dumping
- Average general rates rise limited to 2.5%
- An additional annual operating savings target of $23 million bringing the savings achieved this term to 4%, with estimated cumulative savings of around $560 million over a decade
- All council staff paid a living wage from 1 September 2019
Mayor Phil Goff says, “The time for talk is over. In the last year, this council has made bold decisions to progress major new works with record levels of funding that will transform Auckland into a world-class city. Now it’s about getting stuck in and delivering on those plans for Aucklanders.
“This next year is about delivering what matters most to our communities, building a modern, efficient and connected transport system, increasing the pace and scale of house building in Auckland, saving our kauri and cleaning-up our beaches.
“While focused on addressing the critical infrastructure issues facing our city, we must continue to help our most vulnerable. I am proposing additional funding of $5 million for the City Mission to support their HomeGround Project.
“I want to end homelessness in Auckland. It is an ambitious aim, but necessarily so. We need to get people off the streets and out of cars and into proper accommodation with supporting services to deal with problems like mental health and addiction which contribute to their homelessness.
The proposed funding to the Auckland City Mission’s HomeGround project will be in addition to Council’s continued support of Housing First which provides homeless people with appropriate housing and supports them with wrap-around services.
“We are delivering the largest ever investment in Auckland’s infrastructure and keeping average general rate rises to 2.5 per cent, the lowest rate rise of any high growth metropolitan city in New Zealand.
“With investment at record levels, every dollar counts. The 17A Value for Money reviews are ongoing through the coming year and have identified potential operational and capital savings of $500 million over 10 years.
“I am seeking an additional specific annual savings target of $23 million from the council parent to be built into this budget. This will ensure savings achieved in this term of council are on track to hit 4 per cent.
“I campaigned on introducing a living wage for council’s low paid staff and am proud that it will be fully implemented by September next year. It’s really important that our people have a fair wage that can support them and their families to meet the costs of living in Auckland.
“This budget is about delivering on Auckland Council’s commitment to transform Auckland into an inclusive, modern, world-class city,” says Mayor Phil Goff.
Comments from committee chairs
Chair of Finance and Performance, Ross Clow, says, “The largest ever investment in our region’s infrastructure is underway. The whole city will see tangible, positive impacts from this Annual Budget and the 10-year Budget that came before it.
“I want to assure Aucklanders that even as we invest at record levels we will continue to put pressure on council to be cost-effective and efficient, and provide value for money in everything we do,” says Ross Clow.
Environment and Community Chair Penny Hulse says, “New rates to fund water quality improvements and save our kauri and native trees and birds are already delivering for Auckland.
“In October we were able to tell Aucklanders that four beaches in the Manukau Harbour which have been no-go areas, some of them for the past 20 years, are now open for summer. And next year we will begin work on the Central Interceptor which will have a huge impact on reducing wastewater overflows into our streams and beaches,” Penny Hulse says.
Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby says, “The tough slog of agreeing the plans and funding for transformative investment in our transport infrastructure is done. Our focus is now on delivering dramatically improved public transport and vibrant urban centres.
“Auckland is changing rapidly. The investment we are making right across Auckland next year and for the next ten years will make our city a more welcoming, cleaner and healthier place for people,” says Chris Darby.
The Mayor’s Annual Budget proposal is being workshopped today with councillors and will be presented at the Finance and Performance Committee on Tuesday 11 December.