Auckland councillors have voted 15-7 for a new rate that could take household rates increases to 9.9 per cent from July.

The governing body, meeting as the budget committee, voted for a 4.4 per cent targeted rate to top up spending on transport.

They have still to vote for a 2.5 per cent general rates rise.

That will bring the overall rates rise to 6.9 per cent.


Because of revaluations and a plan to lower business rates, the average increase for households will be 9.9 per cent.

Mayor Len Brown, deputy mayor Penny Hulse, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Chris Fletcher, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and Glen Wilcox voted for the increase.

Cameron Brewer, Ross Clow, Denise Krum, Dick Quax, Sharon Stewart, John Watson and George Wood voted against the increase.

The 9.9 per cent household annual increase works out at $205 for a $750,000 house, $230 for a $1 million house and $280 for a $1.5 million house.

The targeted rate is $114 for households and $183 for businesses.


Earlier, the Council released the full details of rates rises.

The details show the impact of a flat targeted rate to top up spending on transport will hit the poorest suburbs in Auckland hard.


The suburbs of Otara and Papatoetoe will pay an average 16.9 per cent rates increase, Beach Haven, and Glenfield 16.1 per cent and New Lynn and Avondale 15.7 per cent.

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Mayor Len Brown said today was a day for tough decisions.

"This is a not a celebratory day - 'Ye-ha, we are going to ask the community for a transport levy (targeted rate)'," he said.

Mr Brown said to impose a levy now was not something he did with a huge amount of enthusiasm.

The mayor said he had promised to hold rates to 2.5 per cent this term, which was a hugely important commitment as leader of the city to keep.

Right-leaning councillor Chris Fletcher said the targeted rate was a game-changer for Auckland "and I'm going to give it my total support".

It allowed for much work to be undertaken and the way to be serious about public transport and infrastructure.

"This is only way we can proceed for that growth and infrastructure," she said.

Councillor Denise Krum said she could not support the targeted transport rate.

"There is definitely raw impact on residents with this suggestion," she said.

Ms Krum said two options were worked up - tolls or a fuel tax and higher rates - and councillors were told that the public heavily favoured tolls.

"But what we are choosing is closer to the fuel tax and rates option, which was rejected by the public," she said.

The final transition to a single rates system for the Super City will result in some previously highly rated areas, such as Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands and Rodney, getting a rates decrease.

Whau ward councillor Ross Clow put forward an alternative to the targeted rate to reduce rates.

It would involve increasing the general rates rise from 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent with the extra 1 per cent dedicated to transport. A reduction in business rates would also be slowed as part of the alternative.

This would reduce household rates increases from 11.5 per cent to 8.9 per cent for a $500,000 house, from 9.5 per cent to 7.9 per cent for a $750,00 house, 8.4 per cent to 7.4 per cent for a $1 million house and 7.1 per cent to 6.7 per cent for a $1.5 million house.

Mr Clow said he could not support the mayor's targeted rate because it was too regressive and hurt the poor.

Howick councillor Dick Quax said Mr Brown had said the people of Auckland were prepared to put their hands in their pockets and pay more for transport.

"That maybe true if it comes to a fuel tax or toll. What we consulted on was a voluntary exchange for getting something of a service but not a coercive tax. We didn't consult on that,"he said.

Mr Quax said the council knew the Government would not allow roads paid for by taxpayers to be tolled or impose a fuel tax.

He has submitted an amendment directing the chief executive to find savings within the proposed 2.5 per cent general rates increase.

The amendments by Mr Quax and Mr Clow were lost.

Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer said there were "other ways to skin the cat".

He said savings of 2 per cent in the $3 billion operating budget would raise $60 million to fund the extra transport needs.

It was like taking two packets of chocolate biscuits out of a $300 shopping trolley, Mr Brewer said.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said the council could not wait for the Government to allow a tolling option.

The council's pound of flesh, she said, was the transport levy (targeted rate).

Youth organisation, Generation Zero, welcomed the extra spending in the 10-year budget, specifically the focus on essential cycling, walking and public transport projects.

Spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh said: "This budget prioritises the essential public transport, walking and cycling projects that Aucklanders have called for, and is another step in the right direction for our city."

"Aucklanders have called for greater transport choices and the council has responded with this budget. We now call on the government to get on board with Auckland's agenda and to begin funding the City Rail Link in this year's budget," he said.

Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance Spokesperson, Jo Holmes, said: "The poorer areas of Auckland will be hit the hardest with the new targeted transport rates. These people, who overwhelmingly supported Mr Brown and his affordable agenda, are the ones who will be hit hardest under this plan."

"Len Brown promised Aucklanders that rates increases would be capped at 2.5% under his watch. This is a betrayal by Len Brown to those who voted for him."

Rates rises by local board

Albert-Eden 14.9%
Devonport-Takapuna 7.9%
Franklin 4.4%
Great Barrier -13%
Henderson-Massey 11.6%
Hibiscus and Bays 6.3%
Howick 9.9%
Kaipatiki 16.1%
Mangere-Otahuhu 16.9%
Manurewa 9.5%
Maungakiekie-Tamaki 14.9%
Orakei 8.5%
Otara-Papatoetoe 12.2%
Papakura 3.3%
Puketepapa 14.5%
Rodney -1.4%
Upper Harbour 9.9%
Waiheke -2.8%
Waitakere Ranges 5.4%
Waitemata 7.7%
Whau 15.7%
Average 9.9%
Average for business 3.3%