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Local input on budget planning vital says Ōrākei Ward Councillor

Published: 22 February 2021

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Never have local voices been more important in budget consultations than today

“Never have local voices been more important in budget consultations than today,” explains Councillor Simpson of the Auckland Council Recovery Budget consultation, currently underway and open to review and input until 22 March 2021. 

“I know Ōrākei residents care deeply about our community and want to ensure the council is investing in our area – in particular, to vastly improve the quality of our water."

“Water quality is a particularly emotive topic for Ōrākei, considering the number of locations in our community with health warning signage. Consequently, I am especially interested in the feedback we get from residents on the water quality funding options as part of our Recovery Budget.”

“What will please many of our community is the confirmed funding in the budget proposal for the Meadowbank to Kohimarama links to the Tamaki Drive Shared Path. Work could start in year one of the new budget if approved in June.”

“There are many other factors in this budget decision making which need to be taken into consideration. On top of the $450 million loss of income from this current year, we face an additional shortfall of an estimated $540 million over the next three years. Community feedback will definitely help shape my decision-making.”

“As Chair of the council’s Value for Money Committee, I am of course especially focused on our efforts to find savings within our business, as well as ensuring we provide value for money to our ratepayers.

"The proposed 10-year Recovery Budget includes our commitment to $90m of savings each year, while still delivering the investment that is required, both with our infrastructure and at the local community level.

"As we have seen in other parts of the country, delaying investment in public assets can have dire consequences.”

“The rates increase may well be one of the main topics of discussion during this consultation,” explains Ōrākei Local Board Chair Scott Milne, “however without it local investment may be so limited that many of our local community groups, events and initiatives will cease to be able to provide.  It is often these local investments that are felt the most keenly by our communities who, through consultation, have indicated a need to be seen as funding priorities. It is reassuring to know that Councillor Simpson is on the same page regarding local board budgetary prioritisation.”

“It is important to note that the proposed budget retains the council’s long-term commitment to an average 3.5 per cent general rates increase over the course of the 10-year Budget, with a one-off increase to five per cent in the next financial year, which is imperative if we are to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

“We encourage you to have a say on the Auckland Council 10-year plan consultation, the outcomes of which will have such an impact in this coming year, as we all seek a brighter future for our communities, our families and our economy,” says Ōrākei Ward Councillor Simpson and Ōrākei Local Board Chair Scott Milne.

Have your say

Public feedback is open from 22 February until 22 March 2021.

Aucklanders can have their say in a variety of ways including at in-person events and online.

For more information visit akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget

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