Rates hikes frustrate Maungakiekie-Tamaki residents
Frustration towards Auckland Council is the sentiment expressed by many in the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board area in response to the latest rates hike.
Come July, the average residential household increase in rates for the area will be 14.9 per cent, with 6.7 per cent of this being for the transport levy.
Megan Darrowbought her Ellerslie house with her husband eight years ago.
She says while the council asks for public consultation ‘‘it always just seems to be smoke and mirrors’’.
‘‘They ask for our consultation, we give them submissions and our opinions, and then it seems they just ignore it. I wrote a four-page submission on the regional transport plan. It seems as though they are just not listening to be honest,’’ Darrow says.
Maree Lovell recently started renting in the Maungakiekie area and says ‘‘the ability to live and work in Auckland is becoming for those who have higher than average incomes’’.
‘‘After dropping my child off at school the other morning, heading back along Ayr St and Shore Rd was a long line of traffic.
‘‘I can honestly say, and I was purposely looking, that every car had one person in it. These are the people who need to be taxed, not every household,’’ Lovell says.
Gary Holmes, manager of the Glen Innes Business Association, says the organisation supports the transport levy.
‘‘From a business perspective we support it, but it is a little different to what the council initially put up for consultation,’’ Holmes says.
Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward councillor Denise Krum tabled an amendment on May 8 to cap Auckland’s rates rises at a maximum of 20 per cent.
The amendment was lost eight votes to 15.
‘‘Average incomes do not match the rates increase, so I tried to remind my colleagues what the rates rise will do for suburbs that have historically struggled.
‘‘I realise that this cap would not have represented a silver bullet and would have had some impact on other ratepayers but it’s the least we could have done in this environment to address the rod we’ve created for ratepayers’ backs,’’ Krum says.
Mayor Len Brown says: ‘‘We could do nothing and stick with the basic transport package or we could support a stand-alone transport levy in line with what the community encouraged us to do.’’
Megan Darrow of Ellerslie says the Auckland Council is not listening to the community.
Maungakiekie-Tamaki councillor Denise Krum voted against the target rates hikes.
Gary Holmes says the transport levy will help local businesses.