Hundreds of jobs will go at Auckland Council over the next eight months, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today.
The council lost 129 staff, largely through natural attrition in the first quarter of this financial year, and hundreds of temps and contractors have been laid off, the mayor said today.
But as the council grapples with a $450 million hit from the impact of Covid-19, Goff said staff numbers will continue to reduce over the 2021 financial year that ends on June 30 next year. He put the figure in the "hundreds".
Goff said in the 2020 financial year, the number of staff within the council family grew by 277, largely within the five council-controlled organisations to meet a $2.6 billion investment programme, Goff said.
"This is up $520m on the previous year, an increase of 25 per cent, which is a superb result," he said.
Speaking to journalists at the release of the 2020 annual report this morning, Goff said the council had taken a substantial hit from Covid-19 in the final quarter that will continue beyond this year.
He gave the example of public transport, saying bus and trains journeys are down about 60 per cent, losing $18m in revenue. These costs are currently being met by the Government, but the subsidies end on December 31.
Despite the challenges of Covid, Goff said the council had decisively managed the finances in a prudent and sustainable way, kept core services intact and will continue to invest in infrastructure at historically high levels.
Goff also had a warning for private sector developers who want to build houses outside areas zoned for intensification and planned by the council.
The council has said it will oppose plans by developers Kiwi Property, Fulton Hogan and Oyster Capital to redevelop Drury unless they can reach an agreement by next year to fund a $1b shortfall for infrastructure in the area.
Oyster Capital, Fulton Hogan and Kiwi Property are seeking to rezone about 330 hectares in Drury East from future urban to a mix of residential, business and open space zones. A fourth, smaller private plan change to rezone 33.7ha for mixed use housing by Karaka and Drury Consultant Ltd was added to the public notification by council officers.
Council officers have said there remains a shortfall of more than $1bn needed to fund the infrastructure for the works to go ahead. That includes $600m for transport-related projects and a further $500m for stormwater, sewerage, parks and community facilities.
Goff said for council to fund the infrastructure at this development, it would have to come at the expense of other areas of housing growth.
He said the council had to have new revenue sources because as a high growth city it cannot afford to meet unplanned growth.
The mayor said the council is continuing investment in important transport projects like the $4.4b City Rail Link, $1.4b Eastern Busway and Puhinui station interchange and major water projects.
Finance and performance chairwoman Desley Simpson said the council had made savings of $23m in the 2020 year.