Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers has released further figures on Auckland Council spending, which he says underscore his claim that the Auckland Supercity is cheating Rodney ratepayers.
Although the general total rates paid by Rodney ratepayers is $68 million, Rodney receives only $12 million in capital investment back into Rodney.
“Relative to rates paid, capital investment is 200 to 300 per cent lower in Rodney than that enjoyed by our CBD counterparts. The pendulum has swung too far and a gross imbalance has appeared,” Sayers says.
“The figures reveal Rodney could afford to build a lot more infrastructure.”
Cr Sayers adds that capital expenditure, in other words money used for building things, is only half the story.
He says the amount of rates spent on the operational costs, such as running local parks, libraries and other civic services throughout Rodney, is also significantly less than the amount collected.
Cr Sayers says he independently commissioned the financial report on Council’s spending because the Council itself refused to provide the figures.
He says ratepayers have the democratic right to access such figures and, in particular, he has a right as Councillor.
Cr Sayers says he has a healthy working relationship with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, but believes the mayoral office is not being provided accurate financial information about Rodney.
“I have significant concerns over the quality of the internal advice the Mayor is receiving, which is underplaying Rodney’s immediate investment needs to purposely focus attention onto investment for the CBD,” he says.
A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office, Michael Burgess, said the Mayor had nothing further to add following earlier claims by Cr Sayers that Rodney ratepayers were being “robbed blind” by the Auckland Supercity.
Last month, Mahurangi Matters reported Cr Sayers claim that Rodney rural ratepayers are being robbed by the Auckland Supercity because of its failure to seal carcinogenic rural roads.
Cr Sayers made the claim after securing figures that showed that Rodney rural landowners pay $38 million in rates but only $1.22 million is invested back to seal Rodney’s roads.
Mayor Goff responded to the roads claim by saying that statements about Rodney missing out needed to be backed by evidence.
He cited a recent independent consultant’s assessment, the Morrison Low report, that predicted rates would rise by 48 per cent if Rodney were to go it alone and become an independent unitary authority.