North Shore Councillor Chris Darby is urging North Shore residents to step up and have their say on Auckland Council’s Emergency Budget and to progress Auckland’s Covid-19 recovery.
The council is asking Aucklanders for their views on funding and spending options in light of a savage curtailing of council revenues.
Councillor Darby says that the council is facing an unprecedented shortfall.
“The council is expecting a shortfall of around a half billion dollars because of the Covid-19 crisis and progressing Auckland’s recovery from Covid-19 will mean really tough decisions to balance our budget,” explains Councillor Darby, who also chairs the council’s Planning Committee.
“Yet we still must invest in the vital infrastructure Tāmaki Makaurau desperately needs. And of course, we want to maintain the great local services Aucklanders rely on, like public transport, our important town centres, leisure facilities, libraries, our wonderful parks and the beautiful beaches that North Shore residents love and use every day.
“The importance of this consultation cannot be stressed enough. Our revenue erosion has been dramatic, so we need to recut our cloth and prioritise like never before” says Councillor Darby.
“We need to know the direction Aucklanders want us to take. There are advantages and disadvantages to the two general rates rise options, a choice between a 2.5 per cent or a 3.5 per cent rates setting.
“The Emergency Budget consultation document explains what those options might mean for us here on the Shore, and wider Auckland,” he says.
“We’re also proposing a rates postponement scheme that we hope will help people who are experiencing financial hardship because of Covid-19. We think this is one way to help people get back on their feet.
“We all know that the council will have to save money, reduce expenditure and reduce its levels of service, but to what extent depends on the views our communities provide. There has never been a more important time for North Shore residents to tell us what they want!”
Consultation is open now until 19 June. Visit akhaveyoursay.nz/emergency-budget to have your say.