Since its introduction back in 2018, the Water Quality Targeted Rate (WTQR) has funded a host of projects and initiatives to reduce contaminants entering our waters and restore our waterways.
Five beaches, previously closed due to public health concerns have reopened and the $24 million Freeman’s Bay Storm Water Network Improvements Project will, once complete, improve water quality and reduce overflows polluting the Waitematā Harbour.
However, under current plans, the WQTR will cease in 2028, and with it, according to Finance and Performance Committee Chair, and Ōrākei Ward Councillor, Desley Simpson, the opportunity to build on our successes and roll out further water quality improvements in other parts of the region.
“A massive $452 million of investment pumped into improving our beaches, harbours and waterways has been made possible by the Water Quality Targeted Rate and I want to thank Aucklanders for supporting our region’s future.
“While I commend the first proposal to extend the Water Quality Targeted Rate until 2031 to accommodate further work across the region, I don’t believe we can wait six years to address the next major projects on the list.”
“It is my personal belief that work to improve the quality of our water should happen much sooner. That’s why I’m really interested in hearing from Aucklanders on the second proposal to increase the targeted rate in line with the proposed annual general rate increase. If approved, projects will be brought forward that will bring benefit to every local board area – but especially the communities from Parnell to Glendowie, those around the Tamaki Estuary, and residents of Manukau. These areas are subject to ongoing health warnings and have some of the worst water quality in Auckland.”
Councillor Efeso Collins from the Manukau Ward is also keen to see the sparkle return to Manaukau Harbour sooner rather than later.
“The Manukau Harbour is a taonga with huge importance to iwi and the communities living on its shores. Decades of degradation have taken their toll on its water quality and overall ecological health, and this is a chance to speed up necessary work to help restore its mauri.”
“The WQTR rate increase will bring forward a package of storm water management improvements and stream restoration around the Manukau to reduce roading contaminants and other pollutants. Every little bit we can do to restore protect the harbour for our kids and future generations is important and I support the additional investment.”
Our Recovery Budget - key topics for consultation
- The Recovery Budget – includes proposals for an increase in capital investment to $31 billion over the next ten years, a one-off five per cent average general rates increase, a short-term increase in council borrowing, continuation of council savings and selling more surplus council property.
- Climate Change – an additional $150 million investment to respond to the challenges of climate change.
- Extend the Water Quality Targeted Rate from 2028 until 2031 and increase each year in line with the projected average increase in general rates. This will help to continue and extend the improvements we have made to our beaches and waterways.
- Community Investment – we are proposing a new approach to how we deliver services in our communities which includes leasing, sharing or consolidating our facilities.
- There are also a number of ratings policy changes that could impact on your rates.
Find out more and ways to have your say
The Consultation Document and Supporting Information, along with feedback forms are available at akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget, and are available at our service centres, libraries and local board offices or by phoning 09 301 0101.
If you plan to visit one of our locations in person, please check opening hours as times may vary due to COVID-19 restrictions.
You can visit akhaveyoursay.nz/ratesguide to find out how proposals in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 may impact your rates from 1 July 2021.
Have your say events and webinars are also being run across the region. Check akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget for events in your area. Events may be subject to COVID-19 restrictions so please be aware times or locations may change or cancelled at short notice.
Following consultation, all feedback will be considered and our 10-Year Budget 2021-2031 is due to be adopted in June 2021.
Decisions will be communicated once the budget is adopted and a summary report will be available on the council’s website.