‘Complicated’ rates reviewed
The way Auckland Council raises its money is unfair and unsustainable, mayor Len Brown says.
He and local body politicians from around the country are to spend the next six months reviewing how local government is funded.
Brown met members of Local Government New Zealand on March 20 and the decision was made to form a working group.
Auckland’s rating model is too ‘‘complicated’’, he says.
‘‘No-one can explain it simply in any public meeting.
‘‘You’ve got uniform annual general charges and fees for Africa.’’
Its lack of fairness impacts on the elderly in particular because they pay rates based on land values rather than on their ability to pay, he says.
He knows critics will argue a home owner could sell their property and downgrade to a cheaper one with more affordable rates.
‘‘But I don’t think the rating system or the tax- ation system should force the person into that decision.
‘‘Whether you are poor, middle class or richer, the same problem applies.
‘‘If someone in Otara or someone in Takapuna both have increasing property values but flatlining income it’s just relative.’’
Local Government NZ spokeswoman Helen Mexted says planning for the working group set up is still in its formative stages.
‘‘We are putting the frames of reference together,’’ she says.
‘‘The group is likely to have people from Auckland Council and other councils from the rest of the country as well as members of our organisation.’’
The work is necessary to deal with changing demographics and demands such as Auckland’s need for more infrastructure, Mexted says.
The under-19 girls from Auckland Girls Grammar competed in the 500m W6 event, including Emma-May Loretz, Jessica Moon, Leilani Fuemana, Patricia Te Whatu, Shaneice Rawiri and Sofia Kouratoras.
Three Kings School student Faith Tupuhi, 9, and Upper Harbour Primary youngster Marina Lough met Northern Mystics captain Maria Tutaia and Adelaide Thunderbirds captain Renae Hallinan before their game on March 24 through the ANZ Future Captains competition. Quick paddling: Auckland Girls’ Grammar and Kelston Boys joined forces to compete in the mixed under-16 event at waka ama nationals. Dig deep: Auckland Girls Grammar under-16 girls team including Ashley Pile, Lauryn Mehau, Rautea Mitchell, Saylor Roi, Storme Pare and Ursula Heremaia competing at 2014 waka ama nationals.
Flying solo: Auckland Grammar School’s Daniel Barke going for it in the under-19 250m heat at waka ama nationals.