Auckland Council is deeply divided on how to implement big rates rises next year.

Mayor Len Brown today backed down on a 'cold turkey' option to introduce rates rises up to 40 per cent or more next year in one hit.

Faced with a revolt around the council table, Mr Brown agreed to give Aucklanders more options that could see rates capped at 10 per cent or 20 per cent next year.

A majority of councillors wanted Mr Brown to ask the Government to allow rates increases to be capped at 10 per cent and decreases at minus 2.1 per cent - something he believed was doomed to fail.


The Government has allowed the council to cap rates increases at 10 per cent for three years as part of a move to a new single rating system for the Super City.

The transition ends this year, but many ratepayers have not fully moved to the new system and new property valuations have left these ratepayers facing rates increases of up to 40 per cent or more.

The overall rates increase next year is 3.5 per cent, but for households the average increase is 5.6 per cent.

Several councillors urged Mr Brown to provide a buffer for ratepayers facing significant rates increases.

Councillor Denise Krum said it was not just households in Remuera, Kohimarama and St Heliers facing big rates hikes but those in Mt Wellington, Panmure and Glen Innes.

Councillor Dick Quax said there was anger and concern at high rates increases and the broken promise by Mr Brown to hold rates at 2.5 per cent this term.

But Rodney councillor Penny Webster, whose ward faces an average decrease of 6.17 per cent, said: "What about those people who should have had a bigger decrease."

Councillor Mike Lee said the issue was proving to be divisive and urged Mr Brown to seek some form of consensus.


After a short break, Mr Brown introduced a motion to consult on implementing the rates in one hit next year and include other options, which was narrowly passed by 11 votes to 10.

A total of 3738 households face rates increases of 40 per cent or more.

About 126,000 households face increases of more than 10 per cent and about 160,000 ratepayers will receive a rates decreases.

The council says 85 per cent of ratepayers' bills will increase or fall by an average of less than $7 a week, or $364 a year.