A record number of Aucklanders have had their say on Auckland Council’s 2020/2021 ‘Emergency Budget’.
More than 34,800 people took part in the three-week consultation which closed on June 19 - the highest number of submissions received on a consultation since the council’s formation in 2010.
The budget and consultation were in response to the financial impact of COVID-19, which has seen a forecast shortfall in revenue of more than half a billion dollars over the next financial year.
As part of the consultation, Aucklanders were asked whether they supported a 2.5 or 3.5 per cent average general rates increase, as well as a rates postponement scheme to ease pressure on those suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19.
A suspension of the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate to provide relief to the accommodation sector was also consulted on.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff thanked everyone who gave feedback on the Emergency Budget.
“The record amount of feedback indicates how seriously Aucklanders take this crisis,” he said.
“We will consider this feedback carefully when making budget decisions, to ensure that we continue to provide the essential services Aucklanders rely on while also aiding in the economic recovery from the pandemic,” he said.
Finance and Performance Committee Chair Councillor Desley Simpson says:
“Given the magnitude of the challenges we are facing I’m thankful we have received a record number of submissions. This tells us Aucklanders are aware of the emergency nature of this budget and how it will impact each and every one of us.”
In addition to the number of submissions received, the council website saw more than 79,000 visits, with numbers of daily visits averaging 10 times that seen in the first annual budget consultation earlier this year.
Feedback received through the consultation is now being sorted and will be reported back to the council’s Finance and Performance Committee on 8 July. Decisions will be made on 16 July and then formally adopted by the Governing Body on 30 July 2020.
Final documents and details of the decision will be publicly available from mid-August