Ten years to build a better Auckland

Press Release – Auckland Council

Media release 27 October 2011 Ten years to build a better Auckland Projects providing a catalyst for Auckland’s transformation and how to fund them, as well as financial, funding and rating polices are among a package of proposals included in the Mayor’s …
Media release
27 October 2011
Ten years to build a better Auckland
Projects providing a catalyst for Auckland’s transformation and how to fund them, as well as financial, funding and rating polices are among a package of proposals included in the Mayor’s draft Long-Term Plan (2012-2022) released today.

“The Long-Term Plan (LTP) as proposed is based on the transformational shifts identified through the development of the Auckland Plan and will allow us to get on with building an even more liveable city,” says Len Brown

“We are focussed on fixing Auckland’s transport network, enhancing the economy, protecting the environment, supporting our young people and strengthening local communities.

“I believe this package enables us to tackle the long-standing problems facing Auckland while minimising the impact of that change on ratepayers.”

The Mayor has reaffirmed his commitment to keep rates increases at, or around, the level of inflation and proposes average rate increases of 3.6 per cent for 2012/13 and 3.4 – 5.1 per cent in subsequent years.

Alongside that is the development of a single rating policy for the council.

“We always knew this was going to be one of our biggest challenges and whatever we do there is going to be significant change,” says Len Brown.

The Mayor’s proposal includes
• A Uniform Annual General Charge of $350
• Differentials:
• Business 2.63
• Rural business 2.37
• Rural residential 0.9
• Farm and lifestyle properties 0.8
• Sea-only access properties 0.25
• Targeted rates for business improvement districts and city centre upgrade

Len Brown is proposing the transition to the new rating mechanism be through the use of remissions rather than a legislative or phased approach.

The development of the City Rail Link is a major investment that will increase transport options for Aucklanders, unclog Britomart and unlock the rail network. The LTP outlines how this $2.4 billion project could be funded, including:
• Government (50 per cent)
• Alternative funding sources (30.9 per cent)
• General rates (16.6 per cent).

Changes are being considered to some fees such as dog registrations, building and resource consents.

Among the existing and new projects and policies proposed by the mayor for inclusion in the LTP are:
• Additional funding for an Auckland-wide education trust
• Continued investment in libraries
• Development of a tertiary education cluster
• Investing in youth in sport programme
• Waste Management Plan
• Hauraki Gulf Marine Park spatial plan
• Regional schools tree planting
• Increased subsidies for public transport – particularly in the southern initiative area
• Investment in train stations, ferry terminals, roading and bus lanes
• Further funding for school travel and safety plans
• Town centre upgrades
• Developing a health hub
• Major events strategy
• Developing a visitor economy
• Implementation of the Waterfront and City Centre master plans
• Cruise ship terminal
• Local Board funding
• Heritage and culture projects
• Tamaki innovation precinct
• Super yacht refit infrastructure

Over the next few weeks councillors, local boards and the Independent Maori Statutory Board will consider the first proposal with a view to formally approving a draft LTP by the end of November.

Aucklanders will have the opportunity to have their say on the draft Long-Term Plan in February when the document is released for public consultation. The final Long-Term Plan will be adopted in June 2012.

A copy of the Mayor’s proposal will be available on the Auckland Council website.

Ends

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