Six months in: Council books performing well, amid challenges

Publish Date : 29 Feb 2024
Interim Report 2023 (1)

Auckland Council’s Interim Report shows the council performed well in the six months to December 2023 – delivering a surplus after income tax of $1.4 billion, despite the challenges of ongoing flood recovery and increased cost pressures.

Acting chief financial officer Nicola Mills said the six months to December were heavily focused on the recovery from last year’s extreme weather events. Despite that, there’s been solid progress in key areas, including on infrastructure projects.

“Building our financial resilience continues to be a priority, while investing in infrastructure, services and facilities for Aucklanders,” says Ms Mills.

While the council borrowed to pay for new projects, the sale of Auckland International Airport Limited shares resulted in a $833 million injection that enabled council to reduce its debt raising. During the six months, net debt decreased by $429 million to $11.9 billion.

Overall, the Auckland Council Group saw a $492 million increase in operating revenue, to $4.8 billion, up 11 percent compared with the six months to 31 December 2022.

While the early 2023 storms meant the council’s priority in the six months to 31 December 2023 was to support the region’s recovery, the council continued to renew and build infrastructure to support regional growth.

“We invested over $1.4 billion in key infrastructure across Auckland, particularly in our roading, transport, water supply and wastewater assets – a $232 million increase compared to the six months ended 31 December 2022,” says Ms Mills.

“Investing in Auckland’s infrastructure continues to be a priority. While the focus on recovery and resilience does bring budget challenges, there is significant benefit for the region now and in future.”

A 50-50 agreement between Auckland Council and central government secured in October 2023 will help fund ongoing resilience projects and regional recovery, including the $459 million provision for Risk Category 3 property buy-outs.

Capital investment in the period includes $599 million into roading and public transport infrastructure, including the transformational City Rail Link and Eastern Busway projects and roading asset renewals. An additional $551 million into water and wastewater assets helped deliver a range of projects including progress on the central interceptor, and completion of the New Lynn pump station upgrade and Muriwai water treatment plant recovery.

“Community assets such as regional parks and facilities, town centre regeneration and environmental projects also had an overall investment of $185 million.”

Looking ahead, the Auckland Council group is continuing to focus on delivering for this generation and the next, particularly investments that strengthen physical and financial resilience.

“We remain committed to helping storm-affected residents, upgrading and building new infrastructure, and providing the core community services and amenities that Aucklanders require.”

Read the full Interim Report here.

Auckland Council Group highlights – six months to December 2023

  • Operating revenue increased 11 percent to $4.8 billion compared to the six months to 31 December 2022.
  • The surplus after income tax was $1.4 billion, a decrease of 16 percent from the prior period comparative, which includes a $459 million provision for Risk Category 3 property buy-outs.
  • The group's capital investment in infrastructure and community assets totalled $1.4 billion, this was 19 percent more than the prior period.
  • Total assets increased $1.8 billion to $74.8 billion in the six months.
  • Group debt, net of cash and term deposits, decreased by $429 million to $11.9 billion.
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