NZ Herald 16 July 2015
Some of the poorest people in Auckland are being hit the hardest with big rates rises this year.
Households in the suburbs of Mangere and Otahuhu face an average rates rise of 16.9 per cent this year, or more than $300.
The average household rates rise is 9.9 per cent, or $214 for each household.
Other suburbs copping big household increases are Avondale and New Lynn (15.7 per cent) and Beach Haven and Glenfield (16.1 per cent).
The well-to-do inner city suburbs of Mt Eden and Albert are facing an average household increase of 14.9 per cent.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said in the absence of a review of Auckland Council’s costs, the rates bills going online beg the question: “Are the levels of increase necessary?”
“Ratepayers deserve to know how well the council is performing and whether they are getting good value from the average 9.9 per cent increase in their rates.
“The only way to determine this is to carry out a transparent line-by-line review of council costs and plans for capital expenditure.”
“Without such a review Auckland ratepayers will struggle to accept the need for the increases,” Mr Barnett said. Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said an increase in rates will put many families under huge pressure.
“Families throughout New Zealand have, over the past years, had to make sacrifices and look for specials and discounts as they cope with increasing prices.
“They have not had the luxury of raising their income by 10 per cent with a simple vote.
“It’s time that local councils including the Auckland Council took the same approach.
They should not pass on out-of-control spending to families. It’s time that they too tightened their belt,” he said.