Thousands join Ratepayers’ Alliance
A recently formed group challenging Auckland Council’s rate hikes and transport levy has reached more than 5000 members.
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance was launched on April 13. The group’s website says its aim is to represent individual Aucklanders and ratepayer groups dedicated to championing prudent fiscal management.
Financial and technical support is given to the alliance by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says as of May 20 more than 6500 people had joined the group.
Williams estimates more than 1700 people living in Auckland’s inner city suburbs have registered. Carmel Claridge, the alliance’s volunteers co-ordinator, says the high registration numbers have exceeded expectations.
‘‘I envisaged the alliance reaching 10,000 members in six months, so the response has been quite overwhelming. The numbers show there is a groundswell of people who are disenfranchised with council representation,’’ Claridge says.
‘‘They show there is a disconnect between the average household rate payer and the elected council.’’
Claridge says 113 people have put their names down to be active members.
‘‘We are having our first forum on June 14 to decide how we can pull all our resources together,’’ she says.
The alliance set up the petition ‘‘Tell Len Brown to stick to his rates promise’’, which calls for the mayor to limit rate hikes to 2.5 per cent.
It has so far received 5702 signatures.