Auckland Council recorded overall savings of $69 million up to the end of August, latest figures show. This equates to over 57 per cent of the $120 million savings to be achieved by 30 June 2021 as set out in the Emergency Budget 2020/2021.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the $69 million in savings achieved so far was a good start and flagged more to come.
“Given the financial pressures council is facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the drought, we are doing everything we can to identify savings and slash non-essential expenditure across the organisation, while maintaining the key services that Aucklanders need, such as our libraries, recycling services, public transport and community projects,” he said.
“We will continue to look for savings and further ways to increase efficiency and cut spending in the months ahead.
“At the same time, we are investing in the future of our city. Despite the effects of COVID-19, we have retained our record $2.6 billion capital investment programme. This will help boost employment and stimulate economic recovery, while also delivering the long-term assets and critical infrastructure that Auckland needs to secure its place as New Zealand’s world-class city.”
In other areas of the Emergency Budget, council group financial performance is on track but notable impacts from the latest lockdown restrictions include public transport revenue reducing by $4.7m, pools, leisure centre and venue hire revenue being down by $3.3m and parking revenue being down by $0.9m. However, this was largely offset by favourable revenue in July. The future impact of further lockdowns, should they occur, is being closely monitored.
Finance and Performance Chair, Councillor Desley Simpson concluded:
“The savings we have achieved in this period are not only the results of Emergency Budget decisions, but also our ongoing determination to prove to Aucklanders we continually work hard to find efficiencies and deliver value for money for our ratepayers.
"With the challenges we are facing, both as a region and as an organisation, it is critical the council is delivering services as economically and effectively as possible. Our strong focus has savings and cost avoidance realised through the removal of duplication, process improvement, technology investment and smarter ways of working.”