Ngati Ōtara Multi-sports and Cultural Centre upgrade to go ahead under Emergency Budget

Publish Date : 03 Aug 2020
Ngati Otara Multi-sports and Cultural Centre upgrade to go ahead

Auckland Council last week agreed it’s Emergency Budget 2020/2021.

The financial impact of COVID-19, and added financial pressure of ensuring Aucklanders continue to have access to water due to severe drought, created a budget gap forecast to be three quarters of a billion dollars.

Commenting on the process of finalising the budget, Manukau Councillor Fa'anana Efeso Collins said:

“Auckland has never been in a situation like the one we currently face, and we have had to make some difficult decisions, one of which was to go ahead with the planned 3.5 per cent general rates rise.

"We know, through our consultation that this was not what some people wanted, but that was before we knew the $224 million cost of dealing with Auckland’s drought.

"So, along with my fellow councillors, I have gone through the numbers and the scenarios and know that in order to get Auckland, it’s people and the economy back on their feet, we had little choice.

“We were not prepared to let the financial burden of COVID-19 unnecessarily impact Aucklanders for years to come.”

Fellow Manukau councillor, Alf Filipaina said:

“Despite the cost savings the council has to find, I want to reassure people that the long-awaited upgrade of Ngati Ōtara Multi-sports and Cultural Centre for which I have advocated for many years, was never considered as part of the Emergency Budget savings and will still go ahead. We are both pleased to see that it will be completed.

“This is important because it will lift the whole community.  Local sporting talent can be retained and will be delighted to call the centre home and community will have a venue they can be proud of.  It is good to see that the value of this facility and what it means for this area has been acknowledged and its development safeguarded.”

Councillor Collins concluded:

“Councillor Filipaina and I would like to congratulate Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board for their ongoing commitment to securing the Ngati Ōtara Multi-sports and Cultural Centre.

"I would also like to thank them, other local boards and my fellow councillors for their valuable input to the Emergency Budget process.  Through working together, I believe we’ve struck a balance between financial prudence, maintaining the core services Manukau deserves, helping those in financial need and investing in our region’s future. There were some very difficult decisions but I believe that we are now in a position to recover from both a pandemic and a drought.”

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