Aucklanders overwhelmingly back a proposed Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR) to help combat the climate crisis, according to consultation.
Public consultation on Auckland Council’s proposed Annual Budget 2022/2023 took place between 28 February and 28 March. Nearly 12,000 individual pieces of feedback were received, more than in any Annual Budget other than the 2020/2021 Emergency Budget.
More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of individuals who submitted feedback through the consultation supported the proposed targeted rate, with organisations and Māori entities also endorsing the proposal at 66 per cent and 67 per cent support respectively.
Strong support was common across a range of demographics including age, local board area, and ethnicity.
All age brackets had greater than 50 per cent support, with high levels of support coming from younger Aucklanders (73 per cent of under-15s and 83 per cent of people aged 15-24) and seniors (65 per cent of people aged 65-74 and 64 per cent of people aged 75-plus).
Support for climate action was strong across the region, with feedback from individuals showing a majority in 20 of the 21 local board areas backing implementation of the targeted rate.
Submissions also showed mostly strong support across ethnic communities, with 74 per cent of European, 68 per cent of Māori, 63 per cent of Asian, and 47 per cent of Pasifika individuals backing the CATR.
In addition to consultation feedback, independent polling by Kantar Public found more Aucklanders in favour of the CATR than against by a margin of 12 percentage points (48% versus 36%) in a representative sample of 3,991 Auckland residents. Support was highest amongst the Pasifika population (52 per cent support, 23 per cent against) and younger Aucklanders aged 18-29 (56 per cent support, 29 per cent against).
Mayor Goff says the consultation feedback and polling data shows Aucklanders support the CATR by a clear margin.
“Aucklanders’ support for climate action gives a strong mandate to councillors to approve the Climate Action Targeted Rate when the Annual Budget comes to the Governing Body for adoption in late June.
“The overwhelming scientific evidence shows that urgent climate action is necessary if we are to avoid a widespread climate disaster that will have severe impacts for future generations,” he says.
“It’s encouraging that Aucklanders have so strongly endorsed our proposed climate action programme and are willing to pay the small weekly sum of around $1.12 for the median value residential property to fund it.
“As well as reducing carbon emissions, the CATR will have wide-ranging co-benefits, including low emissions ferries, better public transport, improved walking and cycling infrastructure and the planting of thousands of large native trees in areas that currently lack green canopy cover.
“Aucklanders from across our diverse communities are backing urgent climate action to build a greener and more sustainable city and leave a positive legacy for our kids and grandkids.”
Other budget proposals, including standardizing waste collections and managing ongoing budget pressures caused by COVID-19 as well as increasing inflation and interest rates, were also supported by Aucklanders.
Finance and Performance Committee Chair Desley Simpson thanked Aucklanders for having their say on the budget.
“If we ask Aucklanders, we need to listen. So, as we work through this budget it’s important to keep this feedback front of mind as we balance the role of providing the services Auckland needs, finding efficiencies and focusing on the council’s long-term financial sustainability.”