I said this can only translate into future higher rates and charges, either as residential rates increases or increased tolls, fees and levies.
Newshub issued a media release last might showing the extent of the problem. They gave Council’s interim unaudited figures showing overall debt rose by 4.1% to $7.6 billion.
Auckland Council's debt rose 4.1 per cent to $7.6 billion in the year ended June
30, as New Zealand's biggest city steps up investment to try to manage the rapid
rise in its population.
The city's unaudited financial statements show $1.4b was invested in the latest
year on renewing and expanding assets such as public transport interchanges,
public parks, and the City Rail link project. That includes $349 million spent
on roads and footpaths, $202m on public transport improvements and $111m on
parks and sporting facilities.
Auckland Council chief financial officer Sue Tindal said debt would continue to
rise over coming years.
Most of the $1.4 billion Council has spent on infrastructure has been spent on the City Rail Link ($738 million). It has literally been used to create the big black hole under Britomart Transport Centre. The escalating costs of the project are a real cause for concern as is the Council’s reckless commitment to new, very risky projects like Skypath.
If it all turns to worms it is the ratepayers who will end up footing the bill. With debt already over $20,000 per household many will be forced to sell their major asset in order to repay the loans a fiscally irresponsible Council has incurred on their behalf. With Goff (Len Brown on steroids) as the likely new mayor things can only go from bad to worse.