This amounts to a windfall profit for Loopy Len Brown, the sole engineer of these enormous rates increases. By announcing a policy of urban intensification and restricting land supply he signalled an inevitable gold rush for land in the central areas and suburban centres that has pushed prices up with a consequent knock on effect elsewhere.
Because rates are based on CVs he can claim to be keeping rates rises low, between 2 and 4%, when in reality the actual rises have been and will continue to be 8-10% in many areas. It also allows him to continue his spin that it’s not his fault when it is abundantly clear to any thinking person that it is.
Even worse for Auckland it means Brown will be encouraged to continue bankrupting the city for the sake of his train set. The Prime Minister has told Brown he’s on his own if he wants to continue this crazy scheme.
Mr Key told TVNZ's Breakfast show today the valuations reflected what had been happening in Auckland over the past three years.
"You have seen some big increases and I think actually over the last 20 years you've seen very big increases in Auckland which are not sustainable.
"They don't need to go up that quickly - there is a way of resolving that issue and I think it is dealing with those structural issues, which is basically supply."
More land needed to be released and more houses needed to be built quickly, Mr Key said.
First home buyers also needed to look at different options for getting onto the property ladder, he said.
"Some people will have to consider going into an apartment for instance, that has been the international change.
"The real magic here is what's driving those [price] increases - it's land."
The Government should not intervene to subsidise projects such as Auckland's rail to help control rates rises, but the council did have to manage its resources "appropriately", Mr Key said.
"And that's one of the reasons why we're not looking to rush to bring forward the rail, in terms of the CBD rail link, because if we do, the other portion of that has to be borne by the rate payers."
The CRL venture is already a huge financial risk for Auckland but imagine the risk to life of being stuck underground in a train during an earthquake. Auckland has experienced a couple of nasty jolts in the last two years and the experts say Rangitoto is overdue for an explosion. Has this risk even been factored into the calculations for the CRL?
Ratepayers of Auckland have already felt too much pain from explosive rates rises and decreased services. Brown could yet redeem himself in the eyes of his constituents by uncoupling his loopy train set from the city’s transport mix. This would at least allow us all to face a more risk free future. He might even be able to announce NO rates increases. On the other hand if he continues down the track he's taken us on he faces blowing blown to bits in the next election.