Auckland Councillor John Watson disagrees with Mayor Phil Goff’s view that the recent Council-commissioned Colmar Brunton poll shows public endorsement for its 10-year budget proposals.
The Mayor’s views are stated in Viewpoint.
Cr Watson says the poll, which cost ratepayers $110,000, was flawed in that it mentioned only the average five percent increase in general rates, but not a raft of other charges including the proposed Watercare rates increase of seven percent for two years (9.5 percent for six years after that). The proposed sale of $210m of public assets was also not included.
Cr Watson says breaking down the poll figures also reveals that most residents of the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area did not support the budget, although it was close – 47 percent opposed, and 44 percent in support. Region-wide it was 37 percent opposed and 46 percent in support.
The Council’s own consultation showed even less support for the budget proposals by Hibiscus & Bays residents – 53 percent opposed and 34 percent in support.
“The fact that all the information was presented to Aucklanders in the Council’s consultation, makes those results much more reliable,” Cr Watson says.
He says Colmar Brunton’s figures also reveal that support for this budget was higher amongst non-ratepayers and youth, which were included in the poll in good numbers.
“It could be that, with declining levels of home ownership, there are increasing numbers who think rate increases don’t apply to them,” Cr Watson says. “They do of course, as landlords invariably pass on those increases to tenants.”