The 10-year Budget 2021-2031 - summary of decisions (HTML version)
Summary of decisions
The 10-year Budget 2021-2031 (also known as the long-term Plan) is our Recovery Budget for Auckland. The impact of COVID-19 means this was a difficult budget to put together and we have had to make some tough decisions. But we have managed to include a record $31.8 billion of investment focused on building and maintaining vital infrastructure and continuing to provide the essential services that make Auckland a great place to live, work and play. This level of spending will also provide significant stimulus to Auckland's economy and help create jobs.
There were five key areas where we sought your feedback and made our decisions:
Finding the balance
Our $31.8 billion capital expenditure programme is focused on addressing traffic congestion and road safety, supporting growth and housing, protecting our environment and improving water quality, and tackling climate change. To pay for this we had to use a combination of rates increases, raising debt in the short term, selling surplus assets and finding cost savings.
Climate change action
We are already doing a lot of work to tackle climate change and in this 10-year budget we are investing an additional $152 million on a package of initiatives, including: only purchasing electric or hydrogen powered buses from now on, planting 200 hectares of native forest in our regional parks and 11,000 more trees in Auckland's urban forest, and increasing our zero-waste resource recovery network.
Supporting growth in key areas
As our population continues to rapidly grow, the demand for new infrastructure is rising and we also have to maintain our existing roads, water pipes, public transport, parks and community facilities. The Development Strategy and Auckland Unitary Plan encourages a more compact city and in this 10-year Budget we have identified a few key locations to focus our limited resources. These are all joint priority areas agreed with the Government.
Meeting the needs of our communities
Traditionally we have provided community services through building and maintaining community assets. We now have a large network of community facilities, many of which are aging and require significant renewal investment. Because of this, and our growing and more diverse population, we are expanding the ways we deliver services—through partnerships, digital channels and multi-use facilities.
Protecting and enhancing our natural environment
In 2018 we introduced two new targeted rates to enable us to address concerns with our degrading environment and water quality in our streams and harbours. These targeted rates would have expired in 2028 so we have extended them to 2031 to enable us to maintain the strides we've already made. In addition, we have increased the Water Quality Targeted Rate in line with the general rate increase to enable major construction projects to commence six years earlier.
While these were the major issues for this 10-year budget, there were also a range of other decisions we made on rating policy (including expanding the urban rating area), changes to fees and charges and changes to ownership of some of our assets. Our Local Boards also adopted their individual Local Board agreements.