In the run-up to October's local body elections, the Herald will be holding candidates to account with a "Fact versus Fiction" ruler.
We begin with statements made by the two main Auckland Mayoral candidates, Phil Goff and John Tamihere.
At the Herald-Newstalk ZB debate on Wednesday, John Tamihere pulled out his rates bill and accused Goff of introducing four of the eight taxes on Aucklanders' rates bill.
The Herald asked Tamihere what the four taxes were?
He said the number of taxes is correct, two on the rates bill - the environment and water-quality targeted rates - but you have to add the regional petrol tax and the bed tax (which apply to motorists and accommodation providers and are not included in rates bills).
"In the heat of the debate I did not get that in," he said.
Throughout the campaign Goff has repeatedly linked his water-quality targeted rate to reducing wastewater overflows by up to 90 per cent and allowing the council to do in 10 years what would have taken 30 years.
The Herald asked Goff how he could say this when a new $1.2 billion giant sewer tunnel planned well before his time and funded by water bills was the main reason for reducing wastewater overflows?
Goff said the sewer tunnel, called the Central Interceptor, is a significant project that will make an enormous difference to water quality but achieving a 90 per cent reduction in overflows is only possible through the combination of this project and projects funded by the targeted rate, which raises $450m over 10 years.
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"The Central Interceptor alone would not deliver the 'swimmability' outcomes that Aucklanders want, which the water quality targeted rate ensures within 10 years," he said.
Goff has exaggerated the impact of the targeted rate, which has a relatively small impact on reducing wastewater overflows compared to the Central Interceptor.