11 Oct 2010

Brown aims to limit rates increases to 4 percent

3:35 pm on 11 October 2010

Auckland's new super-city mayor says he will try to keep rates increases to between 1% and 4%, but acknowledges he has yet to get a clear picture of the city's finances.

Mr Brown told Nine to Noon he hasn't had full disclosure over transition costs, and the cost of leaky homes will also have an impact.

Mr Brown says he will have three rail projects constructed in 15 years' time.

One will loop around the inner city, another will head south to the airport and a third will link the city to the North Shore.

Government 'must give super-city resources it needs'

Some of Auckland's new councillors are telling the Government it had better give the region what it wants, given the super-city now represents the whole region of 1.4 million people.

The council of 20 members is elected for the first time from across the region.

New councillor Penny Hulse, the former deputy mayor of Waitakere, says a lot of people didn't want the super city so the Government must now do what it promised and give them what they need.

She says Auckland has not been getting its fair share of resources and the region will hold the Government to account if it doesn't listen.

Councillor Christine Fletcher, a former mayor of Auckland City, says the first test may come with whether the Government supports rail in the city.

She says most councillors want rail in the city and it would be a foolish Government that didn't listen when there's such a strong consensus.

The council's youngest member, Jami-Lee Ross, says no matter what Auckland wants, the council obeys Parliament as the ultimate authority.

Transport, education key for Pacific voters

Pacific Island voters who backed the Len Brown want the new council to focus on transport and education to improve the region's economy.

Councillors and board members elected in the Manukau Ward, which includes Otara, Mangere and Otahuhu say these should be priorities if the super city is to be a success.

Alf Filipaina from the Labour team says improvements in education and transport are crucial, and if the city is freed up, the economy will improve.

Arthur Anae, a former National MP, says the new council has to liaise closely with the Government on strategies for industry development and work training.

Government must lift game - Hide

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says central Government will need to improve its performance when dealing with Auckland's new super city.

Mr Hide told Morning Report that he and other ministers will need to form a good working partnership with the mayor and councillors.

He says central Government itself is fragmented, and he wants to oversee a process whereby super city leaders can come to them and get clear and consistent messages.