As Aucklanders return to life in Alert Level 3, Councillor Desley Simpson, Chair of Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee, is reminding people of the opportunity to head online and have their say on Auckland’s Recovery Budget.
“This lockdown is a timely reminder of just how fragile things are and how important it is that we make robust plans for our future,” says Cr Simpson.
“I’m urging all Aucklanders to get online and join one of our webinars to hear more around the background to our Recovery Budget, the reasoning behind our proposals, and importantly, to give us their feedback as to how we are going to support Auckland in the coming years.”
The Recovery Budget is Auckland’s 10-year Budget 2021-2031 and sets out the council’s plans to support regional and economic growth as well as providing the services and facilities businesses and communities rely on. Importantly, it also includes how all of these activities will be paid for.
“We want to know what Aucklanders think,” says Cr Simpson. “Obviously, we have had to cancel or postpone our face-to-face events this week, but we have webinars through akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget that provide electronic opportunities for our residents and ratepayers to hear from us.
“On the same website, people also have the opportunity to read through our proposals and then provide their feedback.”
Aucklanders with no, or limited, internet access can also request to give their feedback over the phone. Simply call 09 301 0101 and request a call back.
For the first time, Aucklanders can have a go themselves at balancing the financial pressures of supporting Auckland’s recovery and growth against the need to provide the day-to-day essential services people rely on.
Through the budget simulator, people can enter how they think the council can raise funding through things such as borrowing, selling assets and rates rises. But that then leaves tough decisions on where they can spend – or not – the funds they raise.
“We want Aucklanders to get a first-hand understanding of the impact various levers have on our finances, then give their feedback accordingly. Considering the views of our communities is a key part to our decision-making,” says Cr Simpson
Our Recovery Budget - key topics for consultation
- The Recovery Budget – includes proposals for an increase in capital investment to $31 billion over the next 10 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, or by phoning 09 301 0101.
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.
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.