Why is it important to have your say?
Auckland Council’s 10 year budget sets out the activities, services and investments planned for the next 10 years and how they will be paid for. This year’s iteration is an important one, as the Council has suffered revenue loss and needs to prioritise its spending.
There is an organised lobby to use this feedback process to limit Council spending which would cut back climate and environmental action and we need to be organised to give a different view. It is important that people submit in support of the focus on Climate Change, while pushing for Council to do more in the region of carbon emission reduction, community investment and building locally.
How to Submit:
Go to https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/the-10-year-budget-2021-2031-long-term-plan-consultation/Pages/default.aspx
Click “have your say now”
You may find it worthwhile to read through each of the “key issues” which are described here, as well as the full budget consultation document. This will enable you to have a better understanding of what is being proposed.
If you are in a rush, click the ‘have your say now’ button and fill out the form. We have provided some suggested responses below. Please feel free to add your own thoughts and comments as you work your way through the form.
Questions with suggested answers:
What is your opinion on the proposed 10-year budget?
Comment: It is vital that Council continues to invest in core services and to avoid falling into an austerity mindset.
What is your opinion on this proposal to invest more in responding to climate change?
Support the proposed increased investment
Comment: I support this increase as the best option given but do not believe that this level of spending will be sufficient to reach our vision of a zero carbon economy. There needs to be more of an emphasis on realigning the existing budget to shift spending towards climate action and away from carbon emissions. Auckland Council and its Council Controlled Organisations need to examine the spending they have locked in for the future and analyse the effects these have on climate change emissions. Building more carbon intensive infrastructure, such as Mill Road, will lead to an increase in car dependency.
Add specific ideas about kinds of transitions we need that may be achievable with Option 2’s $320m: eg accelerate change to a zero emissions bus fleet , dramatically accelerate enabling Aucklanders walking and cycling, diverting more waste from landfill, more protection and better restoration for Hauraki Gulf, more tree planting
- Water quality targeted rate What is your view on this proposal?
Support the extension and the increase. The health of both the Waitemata and Manukau Harbour have decreased drastically over the past century and in recent years. The need for investment in these areas as well as the Tāmaki River is well overdue.
Biodiversity in our water is crucial to supporting all other flora and fauna (as well as endangered species that are living in them). With lots more people moving to and living in Tāmaki Makaurau we need to fund more protection and remediation of our awa.
- Community Investment What is your opinion on this proposal?
Why: Local Boards should have the final say on facilities in their area and the support they require.
- Rating Policy:
a)Extending the Natural Environment Targeted Rate until June 2031 to invest further in measures such as addressing the spread of kauri dieback, and predator and weed control
Support - having this money ring-fenced has been invaluable in the face of the effects of Covid. While other council investment was cut back, the Environment spending was maintained. The projects named include...
- b) Extending the Urban Rating Area so land that has an operative urban zoning, or which has resource consent to be developed for urban use now (except for Warkworth), pays the same urban rates as nearby properties have access to a similar level of service
Qualified support. We support subject to tougher assessment of the services available to the communities concerned, plus plans to deliver services where there are deficits.
- c) Charging farm and lifestyle properties in the Urban Rating Area residential rates so they pay the same urban rates as nearby properties have access to a similar level of service.
Same as above.
- d) Extending the City Centre Targeted Rate until June 2031 to maintain our investment in upgrading the city centre:
Support, allows for lots of projects in the City Centre to continue (527 on the doc)
- e) Comment on proposed changes to rates and fees:
- Support Introducing the Electricity Network Resilience Targeted Rate: Support
- Accommodation provider targeted rate: Option 1 (?)
iii.Support removing late return fees at the library: “Auckland Libraries charges late return fines on library books and other items. Annual revenue from fines net of administration costs is around $1.2 million. Fines are a barrier to library use, particularly among low income groups. Each year 35,000 library members stop using our services because they owe us more than $10. Auckland Libraries charge the highest late return fines in the world.
- The Upper Harbour Local Board are proposing a new bus service between Paremoremo and Albany, funded by a targeted rate.
We recommend not answering this unless you live in the area. If you do, Option 2 spreads the cost fairly.
- Question 6:
Local board priorities
Read your Local Board priorities and decide if they do enough.
If not, potential things you could write generally or about specfic sites in your area:
“Focus on active transport improvements in our area such as cycling infrastructure and improving walkability and building more street trees and water fountains.”
“More investment in environmental protection and improvement”
“Ensure local communities are involved in Council decisions including vulnerable communities
Question 7: Anything important to you:
Add what you think is important. Climate change, density, regional public transport eg to regional parks, etc
Tree canopy cover and green space protected in urban city to align with projected growth. Look to what has been developed in the past and respect it. 10 years ago the pocket parks that dot the city were installed as a mitigation to projected urban growth and to bring birds back to the city. This worked. Yet now in a response to covid funding shortages, the same council is selling all of these land holdings to make space for more built environment. Climate action needs resilience counted as a tangible asset - our cities must be green too.