Wednesday, 15th July, 2015

In the absence of a review of Auckland Council’s costs, the 2015/16 rates bills going online from today beg the question: Are the levels of increase necessary?

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief, Michael Barnett, said: “Ratepayers deserve to know how well the Council is performing and whether they are getting good value from the average 9.9 per cent increase in their rates.

“The only way to determine this is to carry out a transparent line-by-line review of Council costs and plans for capital expenditure.”

“Without such a review Auckland ratepayers will struggle to accept the need for the increases.”

“The Chamber has sought such a review of the Council’s operating costs including staff levels, planning and services for the past 18 months.

“The review is needed as well to show where cost savings have been made since our Supercity came into being -  Auckland’s ratepayers deserve to know if and where the Council has made useful savings, and that they are not being treated as a bottomless funding pit.

On the Transport Levy ratepayers deserve to be shown how it will assist with reducing traffic congestion on our roads and they also deserve the reassurance that the levy will not apply beyond its projected three year span.

“These issues warrant far more transparency, which a line-by-line review of Council’s services would reveal, along with a large potential for savings for ratepayers,” concluded Mr Barnett.

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.

Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.