Auckland Council’s Emergency Committee today unanimously approved the levy for funding Auckland’s regional amenities for the 2020-2021 financial year.
After discussions with the Mayor on the impact of COVID-19 sharply reducing council revenues, the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, in consultation with the regional amenities, has agreed to hold its levy request for this coming financial year at the same level that was provided the previous year.
In total a levy of $14,680,500 has been approved to fund nine Auckland regional amenities under the Regional Amenities Funding Act. This is together with $824,000 in funding approved for Coastguard New Zealand for the next two financial years.
In total this funding is equivalent to the 2019-2020 levy and saves the council additional expenditure of more than $1 million had the earlier 6 per cent to 7 per cent increase proposal gone ahead.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said, “I thank the Funding Board and the regional amenities for the co-operation and understanding they have shown for the council as we seek to tackle the challenge of COVID-19’s impact on our financial position.
“In discussions with them we have together agreed that the most equitable position for all would be not to increase or decrease the funding levy but to simply to maintain the same level of funding from the previous finance year.
“The cooperation the Funding Board and the Amenities in adjusting their levy request for the next financial year is a clear example of how we can best meet the economic challenges caused by the lockdown by working together,” the Mayor said.
“He waka eke noa, we are all in this together.”
Finance and Performance Committee Chair Councillor Desley Simpson agreed.
“My thanks to the Funding Board and the Regional Amenities was made public in the resolutions I moved today.
“They could well have asked for more money, the legislation allows for that, but they understood the challenging financial circumstances we face as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown and made their ask accordingly.
“The Emergency Management committee was unanimous in their appreciation of their co-operation and assistance.”
The Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board grant allocations:
- Auckland Festival Trust - $3,837,000
- Auckland Philharmonia Trust - $3,267,000
- Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust - $450,000
- Auckland Theatre Company Ltd - $1,800,000
- Drowning Prevention Auckland-WaterSafe Auckland Incorporated - $1,050,000
- New Zealand Opera Limited - $1,100,000
- Stardome - Auckland Observatory and Planetarium Trust Board - $1,440,500
- Surf Life Saving Northern Region Incorporated - $1,396,000