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Topic # 171974 7-May-2015 13:40
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It seems to me that Auckland ratepayers have been duped!

For as long as I can remember, the justification for collecting Local Body Rates was so that the elected Council could provide core infrastructure that was required for the town/city in question to function.  Commonly given examples of this infrastructure are things like; Water supply, Sewerage handling, Refuse collection, Roading & Transport, etc.

Today Aucklanders have received news that despite long-term rate increases outstripping inflation by an order of magnitude (or more) the monies collected by the council are being spent on nothing of the sort.

Water supply: Nope, you'll need to pay for that separately - Watercare Services will send you a bill.
Sewerage: Nope, as above.
Refuse: Nope*, you'll need to either buy pre-paid plastic bags or hook up with a private provider - Waste Management will send you a bill.
Roads & Transport: Nope, you'll need to pay an extra levy before we can do anything for you there.

All of which begs the question...   What the hell is the $3.5bn collected by Auckland Council spent on??? 
At what point do we drop the pretence, and just acknowledge that we're living in a "User Pays" city?

* I'm speaking as a North Shore Resident...  I am aware that not all parts of the "Super" City are treated equally.



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  Reply # 1299852 7-May-2015 13:48
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Len Brown's new train set?




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  Reply # 1299853 7-May-2015 13:54
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It's a question I have often thought about and particualrly recently given the lastest roading and transport funding schemes. It's my understanding that we already pay an extra levy on our fuel in Auckland for raoding. What exactly are the council doing?
I keep thinking of things like this - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11405490 everytime I have to fork out more for something else.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1299855 7-May-2015 13:59
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DarthKermit: Len Brown's new train set?


Don't forget his secret bedroom!




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  Reply # 1299856 7-May-2015 14:00
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An old article, but it would appear that over 1700 Auckland council staff earn over $100K p.a.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11324634

Surely, you don't join the local government sector to get rich? I'd think maybe "job security" or drudgery would be the main drivers. 

The article in question states that the annual wage bill for Auckland Council is around $700M. 

I know it costs money to run a company, but really? 

It irks me that there will be a rates rise again soon in order to pay for Len's plaything (the train set), which as a fellow North shore resident, will have no immediate benefit whatsoever. 

It also irks me that voting for the local body elections is so difficult. A postal ballot in this day and age is unlikely to get massive buy-in (probably the main reason it still exists - less opposition) and there's no digital vote or physical polling booth other than a single office in the City. 

Len Brown? Pffft....






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  Reply # 1299858 7-May-2015 14:01
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Surely they provide a set of accounts. detailing income and expenditure?

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  Reply # 1299860 7-May-2015 14:03
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tdgeek: Surely they provide a set of accounts. detailing income and expenditure?

Yes they do, but there is precious little that the public can do other than cry loudly in public. 




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  Reply # 1299861 7-May-2015 14:06
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This is why I maintain and have so for a looooong time, local body Government and administration is way over due for a review and overhaul. I believe Councils be they normal or super city be abolished and the management of cities and towns done by Central Government.




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Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  Reply # 1299864 7-May-2015 14:07
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Handsomedan: An old article, but it would appear that over 1700 Auckland council staff earn over $100K p.a.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11324634

Surely, you don't join the local government sector to get rich?


I don't think having some arbitrary 'X people earn more than $Y' is especially useful. If you can pay one person $150K and they save the council $1M compared to two people on $75K each, then clearly the $150K person is better. I'm pretty highly paid ... but I easily save the company 10x what they pay me doing work they would otherwise have to pay vendors to do at consultancy rates. But of course $100K is a nice round number that makes for an easy outrage-inducing headline with no real analysis needed about who those people are and what they do at the council.




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  Reply # 1299867 7-May-2015 14:14
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I really don't like getting into political discussions, but this time I will comment.

Yes, as a resident of South Auckland (waaay down south), I must agree!

For us, all of the above (Water, sewerage, refuse and roads/transport) are also extras, over and above our Rates. 



This may be the same/similar throughout the country, however I'm not privy to the Rates and fees situations in other parts of the country.




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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  Reply # 1299869 7-May-2015 14:19
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Handsomedan:
tdgeek: Surely they provide a set of accounts. detailing income and expenditure?

Yes they do, but there is precious little that the public can do other than cry loudly in public. 


So has anyone actually looked at these and attempted to show what it is spent on?

I would be interested in some analysis of data, not just general assumptions and complaints without facts.

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  Reply # 1299871 7-May-2015 14:20
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I believe Auckland rate payers are currently paying $1 million per day in interest only. Maybe its time to rename the place Athens.

Edit: Actually scratch that idea, you are still paying so a difference.

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  Reply # 1299873 7-May-2015 14:23
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kiwitrc: I believe Auckland rate payers are currently paying $1 million per day in interest only. Maybe its time to rename the place Athens.

Edit: Actually scratch that idea, you are still paying so a difference.


Hutt City is heading that way and if we get raked into the compost heap called a super city we will definitely be in that situation.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  Reply # 1299874 7-May-2015 14:25
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I am a member of the business association that received 6 figures of grants from the Auckland council to hire a "consultant" (a friend and insider of the council people group) to run a survey that got like 40 responses. Yes we shouldn't have hired her and I feel embarrassed about what happened but the rate payers ended up paying for it...





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  Reply # 1299876 7-May-2015 14:30
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This won't be one off rate rise, few years later he will say his train set cost rising, need more money.
More rate rise to come....

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  Reply # 1299877 7-May-2015 14:30
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MikeB4:
kiwitrc: I believe Auckland rate payers are currently paying $1 million per day in interest only. Maybe its time to rename the place Athens.

Edit: Actually scratch that idea, you are still paying so a difference.


Hutt City is heading that way and if we get raked into the compost heap called a super city we will definitely be in that situation.



Sadly the average Joe Schmuck doesnt give a rats arsehole about local body politics.

Hence we get what we don't vote for. Although to be fair the choice is akin to "Which testicle would you like to be kicked in"


"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

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