Auckland Council’s 10-year budget (long-term plan)
sets out the activities, services, and investments for the next decade. We publish a new 10-year budget every three years.
Ensuring that the investment priorities outlined in the 10-year budget, align with the actions that priorities set out within this plan, will be critical to the successful implementation of the plan.
Funding climate activities
While it is acknowledged that any new investment set out within the 10-year budget needs to consider funding requirements for existing services such as parks, libraries and waste collection, it is important to recognise that each of these services will be impacted by climate change and will also have the potential to positively or negatively impact on our emissions reduction ambitions.
In addition to ensuring that Auckland Council focuses its investment in low carbon, climate-resilient assets, activities and services, it is also important to consider where our funds are sourced from and using those mechanisms to support the transition to a more sustainable and climate-focused financial system.
Reprioritisation of existing spend will be as important as identifying funding streams for new climate-specific activities.
How we fund our expenditure
We fund our expenditure from different sources depending on the nature of the cost.
Our best-known source of funding is general rates, charged to homes and businesses. However, more than half of our operating revenue comes from other sources, including:
- water charges
- public transport fares
- consenting fees
- central government subsidies
- contributions from developers.
We also borrow, when appropriate, for much of our investment in infrastructure roads, footpaths, pipes, and libraries. These are long life assets and by using borrowings, we spread the cost over the generations that use them.
Embedding sustainability into funding
We have already started to embed sustainability considerations into these funding streams. In 2017, we refreshed our Responsible Investment Policy and divested from investments associated with:
- the production of fossil fuels
- the manufacturing or development of controversial weapons
- the manufacturing of tobacco
- generating revenue from the operation of gambling.
Following this divestment from fossil fuels, we sought to embed environmental and climate outcomes in our borrowing activities through the development of a green bond programme aligned with the Climate Bond Initiative and Green Bond Principles.
This led to the issue of two green bonds in 2018 and 2019 totaling NZ$350 million.
Further green bond issuances are being planned to incorporate a wider range of green assets.