Auckland Council’s Annual Budget for 2019/2020 has been formally adopted on 20 June 2019.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said: “This budget continues to see record investment in infrastructure to support growth and make Auckland world-class.
“We’ve committed to capital investment of $2.75 billion. Our projects range from major regional initiatives such as the City Rail Link and delivery of our water quality and natural environment targeted rate programmes through to local initiatives such as new community facilities and the development of town centres. This budget is for Aucklanders of today and the future.”
Public transport initiatives were also on the agenda. Free weekend and public holiday travel for children under 16 years, plus ferry fare integration for hop card users was also announced.
“Every person on a bus, train or ferry seat is one less in a car adding congestion to our roads. We are investing significantly in public transport to encourage more people to use public transport, and free travel for under 16-year-olds will help to accelerate that,” continues Phil Goff.
These record levels of investment are being delivered while keeping average general rate rises to 2.5%, with no increase in the environment and water quality targeted rates, and while maintaining prudent and sustainable debt levels.
Savings and value
As well as investment, the budget also confirms additional operational savings of $23 million. This will be achieved by building on what we have achieved so far and:
- removing duplication and leveraging our capability and capacity more efficiently
- leveraging our scale and working with government to leverage our combined size to deliver better value on contracts
- challenging expenditure through a culture of questioning and challenging all spend
- aligning staff growth to areas of growth in revenue or cost recovery.
“Our ongoing commitment to saving while financing record capital investment shows the strength of vision and passion within the council,” commented Finance and Performance Committee Chair, Ross Clow.
“The latest results for the first nine months of the current financial year show savings of $18.2 million. We are already delivering, and this budget demonstrates that we’re not prepared to simply rest on our laurels.”