Home' East and Bays Courier : July 27th 2012 Contents www.aucklandnow.co.nz
Friday, July 27, 2012
Orakei rates bombshell
By ESTHER LAUAKI
Many locals will be shocked
at the size of their rates
increases when they open
up their mail in the next
couple of weeks.
Councillor Cameron Brewer, right
We've done all we
can with a complicated
transition and we just
ask residents for some
Mayor Len Brown, left
courier.co.nz to watch a video
that explains the changes in
MAYOR Len Brown is defending
the capital value-based rates model
and asking for understanding when
eastern bays residents get their
bills next month.
The task of amalgamating rates
across eight legacy councils is com-
plete and there will be winners and
Councillor Cameron Brewer says
despite widespread publicity that
everyone can expect rates increases
averaging 3.6 per cent, most in the
Orakei ward face an increase of
more than twice that.
Some will get a reprieve
from the hefty hike but more
than 28,000 households in the
area will pay an average 7.67
per cent more than last year.
"I m particularly worried
about the impact on those res-
idents who find themselves
asset rich but cash poor.
In the eastern suburbs we
have a lot of elderly living off
very modest fixed incomes who
are struggling to stay in the fam-
These rates increases will sadly
tip some over the edge, Mr Brewer
"For many, it could not have
come at a worse time and just adds
to a growing list of costs being
lumped on to ratepayers.
Last month it was user-pays
This month the talk s been
about toll roads and fuel taxes and
next month, it s rates increases.
Rates rises are capped at 10 per
cent and 18,310 households in Ora-
kei will pay that this year.
The majority of those households
actually face rates rises greater
than 15 per cent. What they don t
pay this year will turn up in their
rates bills over the next two years.
Mr Brewer says a higher Uni-
form Annual General Charge could
have brought rates down for higher
valued households but it was voted
against. The charge is set at $350.
Mr Brown says property valu-
ation was the best option.
When we changed rates it was
tough enough, it s never had to be
done before and we re trying to do a
few things at the same time.
Properties across Auckland of a
similar value and use will, over
time, be charged a similar amount
I support this system because it
was the least impact for the most
amount of people. We explored a
number of different ways to change
rates and this was the fairest way.
Every other option would have
meant an increase for Orakei and
this was the option that was the
Mr Brewer believes it s political
that the model sees Manukau and
Waitakere set to enjoy rates
decreases while the eastern sub-
urbs face massive increases.
Mr Brown says: I m always
going to be subject to that
accusation that I m favouring one
or the other but I m going straight
down the middle and I m pretty
sure we ve done a good job.
You re not going to satisfy
Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz to
use the rates calculator and see
how much you could pay.
Auckland Council adopted
its long-term plan last
month and here's what
Orakei will get.
Tamaki Drive, left, receives significant
investment of $35 million, recognising its
importance for transport, tourism, recreation
and the local community.
Direct local investment in town centre,
sports park upgrades and key transport
Meadowbank Community Centre, above
left, $3.2 million
Coastal walkway network $3.8 million
Sand-carpeting renewals $4.5 million
Stonefields redevelopment, above, $3.4 million
The final published version of the Long-Term Plan is available from
today. Read the Long-Term Plan in detail at Auckland Libraries or online
at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz -- click on Plans, policies and projects, Plans
and then Long-Term Plan.
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