Message from the mayor

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Portrait photo of mayor Phil Goff.

Our proposed annual budget responds to the threat of climate change with the biggest programme of climate action in Auckland’s history, while continuing to address the challenges of COVID-19 and deliver the critical infrastructure and services our city needs.

This year’s budget is the second year in our 10-year budget which involves a record $31.8 billion investment in Auckland’s infrastructure.

Despite the budget constraints we face because of COVID-19 it is really important to continue to invest strongly in what our city needs in areas like transport and water supply.

While COVID-19 is currently a predominant concern, the longer term and even more serious threat to our city and country is global heating. 2021 was officially New Zealand’s hottest year on record and unless we work together to reduce our carbon emissions, we will be leaving a legacy of climate disaster for our children and grandchildren.

That is why I have proposed a Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR) over 10 years that will fund $574 million directly and seek to unlock a further $471 million from Government subsidies and other sources to help us meet our climate commitments.

For a ratepayer with a median-value residential property worth $1.18 million, the CATR will be a contribution of around $1.10 per week for 2022/2023. This is an important investment in our children’s future.

It will see more than $600 million invested in 10 new frequent bus routes and 69 improved bus routes, as well as 79 additional electric or hydrogen buses.

This will deliver improved services available to more than a million Aucklanders and see 170,000 more people brought within 500m of a frequent bus route. $122 million will go towards replacing ageing diesel ferries, which contribute 21 per cent of public transport emissions, with low emission ferries.

Cycling and walking will benefit from a $228 million investment in new infrastructure and improvements or extensions to existing routes, making our streets safer for our kids to walk or cycle to school. Around 15,000 native trees between 1-1.5 metres tall will be planted on streets and in parks, playgrounds and road reserves, while thousands of additional trees and plants will go to extending bush remnants.

Our planting programme will focus on low-income areas that currently have a low tree canopy and limited protection against the heat. The CATR is a small but important contribution to what we need to do to reduce our carbon emissions.

It lays the foundation for other changes, including further action from central government, to avert the crisis we will otherwise find ourselves in. In addition to creating strong infrastructure and responding to the threat of global heating, this year’s budget must also continue to respond to the major loss of revenue to council caused by COVID-19.

While coping with the loss of $900 million in forecast revenue, council also has to contend with increasing interest rates and inflation which are pushing up the cost of construction of infrastructure and our wider operating costs.

While council is continuing to find cost savings of around $90 million a year, we need to look more extensively at how we prioritise the services we provide and achieve value for money savings and efficiencies into the future.

This consultation is your opportunity to tell us what you think about our proposed programme of climate action, our investment in infrastructure and how we prioritise our expenditure and seek better ways of doing things. This budget is about Auckland and its future and we want to know your views and your priorities for building a world class city.

Hon Phil Goff
Mayor of Auckland

Portrait photo of mayor Phil Goff.

Our proposed annual budget responds to the threat of climate change with the biggest programme of climate action in Auckland’s history, while continuing to address the challenges of COVID-19 and deliver the critical infrastructure and services our city needs.

This year’s budget is the second year in our 10-year budget which involves a record $31.8 billion investment in Auckland’s infrastructure.

Despite the budget constraints we face because of COVID-19 it is really important to continue to invest strongly in what our city needs in areas like transport and water supply.

While COVID-19 is currently a predominant concern, the longer term and even more serious threat to our city and country is global heating. 2021 was officially New Zealand’s hottest year on record and unless we work together to reduce our carbon emissions, we will be leaving a legacy of climate disaster for our children and grandchildren.

That is why I have proposed a Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR) over 10 years that will fund $574 million directly and seek to unlock a further $471 million from Government subsidies and other sources to help us meet our climate commitments.

For a ratepayer with a median-value residential property worth $1.18 million, the CATR will be a contribution of around $1.10 per week for 2022/2023. This is an important investment in our children’s future.

It will see more than $600 million invested in 10 new frequent bus routes and 69 improved bus routes, as well as 79 additional electric or hydrogen buses.

This will deliver improved services available to more than a million Aucklanders and see 170,000 more people brought within 500m of a frequent bus route. $122 million will go towards replacing ageing diesel ferries, which contribute 21 per cent of public transport emissions, with low emission ferries.

Cycling and walking will benefit from a $228 million investment in new infrastructure and improvements or extensions to existing routes, making our streets safer for our kids to walk or cycle to school. Around 15,000 native trees between 1-1.5 metres tall will be planted on streets and in parks, playgrounds and road reserves, while thousands of additional trees and plants will go to extending bush remnants.

Our planting programme will focus on low-income areas that currently have a low tree canopy and limited protection against the heat. The CATR is a small but important contribution to what we need to do to reduce our carbon emissions.

It lays the foundation for other changes, including further action from central government, to avert the crisis we will otherwise find ourselves in. In addition to creating strong infrastructure and responding to the threat of global heating, this year’s budget must also continue to respond to the major loss of revenue to council caused by COVID-19.

While coping with the loss of $900 million in forecast revenue, council also has to contend with increasing interest rates and inflation which are pushing up the cost of construction of infrastructure and our wider operating costs.

While council is continuing to find cost savings of around $90 million a year, we need to look more extensively at how we prioritise the services we provide and achieve value for money savings and efficiencies into the future.

This consultation is your opportunity to tell us what you think about our proposed programme of climate action, our investment in infrastructure and how we prioritise our expenditure and seek better ways of doing things. This budget is about Auckland and its future and we want to know your views and your priorities for building a world class city.

Hon Phil Goff
Mayor of Auckland

Page last updated: 28 Mar 2022, 05:57 PM