Auckland Council has signed off on a 3.5 per cent overall rates hike, despite majority of the public
Households will pay 4.4 percent more and businesses slightly less as the Council tries to plug a 750 million dollar financial hole caused by the Covid crisis- and the region's drought.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff told Heather du Plessis-Allan they want to be part of the solution post Covid-19.
"Getting that construction industry going, getting the work on public transport done and housing infrastructure and environment infrastructure so we're creating jobs and stimulating recovery."
He says that the Employers and Manufacturers Association was supportive a 3.5% rates rise, as the last thing that people want is to stop investing money.
Goff says that the reason why they did not listen to feedback from consultations, where two thirds of respondents asked for a 2.5% rates increase, was that they learnt they need to build new infrastructure to deal with the water crisis.
"That's going to add another $224 million in capital and $15 million in operating costs."
If they hadn't done the increase, then the water crisis would have drastically impacted on the city.
"I guarantee if we consulted with people and said 'do we need this infrastructure or do we have to close industry down to three days a week over summer and severely limit your household water', people would have said to us, I'm sure, 'go ahead, build the infrastructure'."