When I was interviewed last night, as spokesperson for the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance, by TV One for the main 6 o’clock news I felt a growing outrage of my own. It became obvious from the questioning that Len Brown and Council were trying to blame the government and rising house prices for the massive increases 99 times the annual rate of inflation.
It wasn’t the Government that imposed a 4% transport levy. It wasn’t the Government who went on a ‘spend, spend, spend’ rampage with ratepayers’ money. It wasn’t the Government who voted to hike rates by nearly 10%. Goddamit, the Government hasn’t even totally committed to the one project that is causing all this pain for Aucklanders, the City Rail Link.
Don’t you just hate a Mayor and Council that hasn’t got the balls to front up to the public for the decisions which they, and they alone, are responsible.
Here is a selection of comments from today’s article by Bernard Orsman in the Herald.
"Originally we were promised a 2.5 per cent rates increase. Then a 3.5 per cent increase, then up to 9.9 per cent and now I've got the bill and it's 44.4 per cent.
“The final figures showed the number of households getting a rates cut is down from 118,000 to 51,000 - many in West Auckland, Rodney and the Gulf Islands.”
Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive, is demanding a review of Council spending.
"Ratepayers deserve to know how well the council is performing and whether they are getting good value from the average 9.9 per cent increase in their rates.
"The only way to determine this is to carry out a transparent line-by-line review of council costs and plans for capital expenditure."
If you haven’t already joined the resistance to demand reasonable rates and sensible spending then do so NOW. Join the Ratepayers’ Alliance. It will cost you nothing.