Manukau city’s rates are proposed to increase by 3.8 per cent, following yesterday’s special council meeting to finalise the draft Long Term Council Community Plan (10-year plan).
Another 1 per cent increase for 2009/10 is required to fund the levy for Auckland regional facilities, which is imposed by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008.
Mayor Len Brown says the increase aims to achieve the fine balance between what is affordable for both the council and the community, providing the right services at the right level, and sustainability.
“We are acutely aware of the need for financial prudence and restraint, to keep in mind that our ratepayers are facing difficult times in this economic climate,” Mr Brown says.
“But as a council, we are sending a strong and clear message to our businesses and community that we are hugely confident in our city.
“In making our decisions over the past few weeks, and today, we have removed items from the proposed budgets, reduced spending on other projects, as well as deferring major spending.
“We also have to take care that we don’t move costs arbitrarily for future generations to meet.
“In my view, we want to achieve a good balance, minimising the impact on ratepayers and maximising the opportunities to invest in our community in difficult times.
“Every community will benefit through the proposals in this draft plan. In Otara, we’re planning to renew the swimming pool. In Manurewa, the netball courts will be upgraded. We are committing $185 million over the 10 years to AMETI and another $20 million for the transport hub associated with the Manukau CBD.
“In Mangere, there will be a new arts centre and in Papatoetoe we are planning upgrades to the town centre streets. In Howick, we are proposing that the Uxbridge Creative Centre be upgraded, with construction beginning in 2012.
“At the same time, we are doing everything we can to drive down costs. In the previous 10-year plan, the average rate rise was at 5.9 per cent. We have that down to 3.8 per cent.
“I believe we have achieved the balance. In April, the residents of Manukau will have the opportunity to tell us whether they believe we have achieved that balance, when the draft plan goes out for consultation.”
The plan will be available in April on the web, on www.tellusyourmanukau.govt.nz, and in print from all Manukau Libraries and the Customer Centre in Manukau City Centre. A summary will go out to all mailboxes in 19 April edition of Manukau Matters.