World cup could get more later

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

Leav­ing the way open to put more money into the Rugby World Cup has been la­belled a flip-flop by some Auck­land city coun­cil­lors.

The coun­cil has left some wrig­gle-room in its ear­lier de­ci­sion to cut $5 mil­lion in fund­ing be­cause of the global eco­nomic cri­sis.

Projects could be re­in­stated by di­vert­ing sur­plus and in­creas­ing a tar­geted rate, ac­cord­ing to a de­ci­sion at Tues­day’s long-term plan di­rec­tion­meet­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey said the move shows the orig­i­nal bud­get cut was a sham.

“I am sure that if Mr Banks had told ratepay­ers that their fi­nal bill was go­ing to be $66 mil­lion, they would never have let him back into the may­oral chains,” she said.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Doug Arm­strong said be­fore the meet­ing the ex­tra $5m prob­a­bly needs to be spent.

But the coun­cil will look for other sources of fund­ing.

“We’re go­ing to put heat on our­selves to try to fi­nance it in al­ter­na­tive ways,” he said.

Mr Arm­strong said with the world cup three years away, there is time for the projects to be re­con­sid­ered later.

Plans for cap­i­tal projects in the Eden Park precinct and ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the cup so far to­tal more than $60m.

The coun­cil pro­poses to fund the plans us­ing coun­cil’s $11m sur­plus, re­al­lo­cat­ing $6.8m in ex­ist­ing bud­gets, $4 from ex­ter­nal sources, and a tar­geted rate.

The rate would ap­ply in 2011-2012 only, and raise $6.9m.

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