The impact of COVID-19 means this was a difficult budget to put together, and we have had to make some tough decisions to ensure we are prioritising what matters most to Aucklanders.
We sought your feedback on five key areas:
- Finding the balance between how much we need to spend and how we pay for it
- Climate change action
- Supporting growth in key areas
- Community services and how we deliver them
- Protecting and enhancing our natural environment.
These areas were our focus, but you will see in the final document that your feedback contributed to decisions on a wide range of issues. We received nearly 20,000 pieces of feedback through our consultation process which helped inform our decisions.
Finding the balance
In this 10-year budget we had to make some difficult decisions to meet the demands of our region within the financial restraints created by COVID-19.
We are proud to have put together a $31.8 billion capital expenditure programme focused on addressing traffic congestion and road safety, supporting growth and housing, protecting our environment and improving water quality, and tackling climate change.
This level of investment has been made possible through:
- raising general rates by 5 per cent in year one of the 10-year budget and 3.5 per cent in subsequent years
- an increase of our debt in the short term
- a target of $70 million per annum of asset recycling for the first three years
- $90 million per annum of cost savings.
10-year budget investment highlights
Climate change action
We are committed to helping to tackle the long-term challenges of climate change. In addition to the work we’re already doing to reduce emissions, we are investing an additional $152 million on a package of initiatives in this 10-year budget, including:
- bringing forward the electrification of our bus fleet and immediately halting the purchase of new diesel buses
- planting 200ha of native forest in our regional parks
- planting 11,000 more trees in Auckland’s Urban Forest (ngahere)
- increasing our zero-waste resource recovery network.
Supporting growth in key areas
Auckland’s population continues to rapidly grow. The demand for new infrastructure is rising and we must also invest in maintaining our existing roads, water pipes, public transport, parks and community facilities.
The Development Strategy and Auckland Unitary Plan encourages a more compact city which uses infrastructure more efficiently, and these plans have informed our approach.
We have identified a few key locations to focus our limited resources. These are all joint priority areas agreed with the government and include:
- Auckland Housing Programme (Mt Roskill, Oranga, Mangere, and Northcote) and Tamaki
- North West (including Red Hills, Whenuapai and Westgate)
- Drury (a new community providing housing and employment opportunities)
- CRL Stations (Mt Eden and Karangahape).
Meeting the needs of our communities
Councils have traditionally provided community services through building community assets and delivering services through them.
This means that Auckland now has a large network of community facilities, many of which are aging and require significant renewal investment. Our population continues to grow and diversify so we must adapt to keep up with these changes.
Therefore, we have decided to make greater use of alternative ways to deliver services, such as through partnerships, digital channels and multi-use facilities, while providing additional funding to address our most pressing renewal needs in the short term.
Over time, we may sell some aging facilities that are not fit for purpose and reinvest the proceeds in facilities that better meet the needs of our communities.
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.
Specific budget items
As part of our budget decision-making, we decided to include the following specific items within the overall budget:
- Additional operational funding of $100 million over 10 years for improving public transport services, particularly ferry and new bus services.
- Additional capital funding of $182 million over 10 years to Auckland Unlimited to ensure necessary renewal of regional venues.
- Operational funding of $11 million over three years to Auckland Unlimited to support Auckland hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
- Continuation of $150 million funding to support Māori outcomes over 10 years.
- Continuation of $2.067 million in annual grant funding to Auckland Citizen Advice Bureau for the first three years.
- Continuation of $298,000 in annual operational funding to Mangere Mountain Education Trust for the first three years.
- Providing $100,000 per annum in grant funding to the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre for the first three years.
Rating policy, fees and charges
We’ve made a number of changes to our rating policy.
Urban Rating Area (URA)
As Auckland continues to grow and our urban area expands, we are changing the definition of the URA. The URA now includes all land within the Rural Urban Boundary, except land in the Future Urban Zone and Warkworth.
Farm and lifestyle properties within the URA are now rated as urban residential.
To manage the impact on affected ratepayers, these changes will be phased in over three years.
The Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate
This will be suspended until 30 June 2022 and major events expenditure on visitor attraction and major events will be reduced from $29 million to around $14.5 million.
Electricity Network Resilience Targeted Rate
This is a targeted rate of $10.5 million per year on Vector and will fund enhanced maintenance of our trees that present a risk to the Vector electricity network.
It will also enable additional investment in tree planting activity.
City Centre Targeted Rate
This targeted rate and the investment programmes it funds has been extended until 2030/2031.
Waste management rates and charges
These rates and charges are set to recover the costs of the service and have increased to reflect the additional costs of the waste management levy set by central government.
The Waitakere Rural Sewerage Targeted Rate
This has increased to reflect increased costs.
Loan repayment targeted rates
A number of targeted rates have had interest costs reinstated.
- Riverhaven Drive Targeted Rate
- Retrofit Your Home Targeted Rate
- Kumeū Huapai Riverhead Wastewater Targeted Rate
- On-site Wastewater Systems (septic tank) Upgrades Targeted Rate
- Point Wells Wastewater Targeted Rate
- Jackson Crescent Wastewater Targeted Rate.
Cost inflation will be applied to the following rates:
- Waste management targeted rates (those other than standard refuse and large refuse).
- Local board swimming pool entry targeted rates.
- Swimming/Spa Pool Compliance Targeted Rate.
- City Centre Targeted Rate.
Business Improvement District (BID) Targeted Rate
In line with a proposal from business associations, we have changed the Business Improvement District (BID) Targeted Rate to extend the boundaries for the Manurewa and Dominion Road BIDs.
Te Arai and Okahukura drainage districts
Stormwater services and management of drainage assets in the Te Arai and Okahukura drainage districts will be undertaken in a joint management arrangement with the relevant communities, and funded from a targeted rate on the benefiting properties.
Glorit drainage district
Stormwater services and management of drainage assets in the Glorit drainage district will be undertaken by a private management arrangement with the community and affected landowners, with funding provided directly by the benefiting landowners.
Fees and charges
The schedule of fees and charges has been updated to reflect cost increases.
Clevedon Wastewater and Water Connection Targeted Rate
We have removed this targeted rate.
Paremoremo Public Transport Targeted Rate
The proposed Paremoremo Public Transport Targeted Rate to fund a new bus service from Paremoremo to Albany was not implemented.
Ownership of assets
We are making changes to the ownership of some of our assets.
Transfer of ownership and a change in use for Bledisloe House through entering into a development agreement for a long-term ground lease of 125 years.
Eke Panuku Development Auckland
Eke Panuku Development Auckland plans to partner with private developers on the following development sites in the city centre waterfront precinct and will enter into long-term leases to enable those developments:
- North Wharf – site 14, Jellicoe Street – site 19, Silo 6 – site 12
- Wynyard Point – Block A and B, 44-56 Hamer Street – Sealink ferry terminal
- 101 Pakenham Street West – Lysaght Building.
We have decided to sell the following council-owned buildings:
- 2 The Strand, Takapuna
- 3 Victoria Road, Devonport.
Decisions on some important policies were made in this 10-year budget.
Some amendments were made to:
- The CCO Accountability Policy
- The Auckland Airport Shareholding Policy.
No changes were made to the Local Board Funding Policy.