One councillor stands up to Goff’s massive rates hikes

Daniel Newman is a good sort. He and I don’t see eye to eye on some things, but one area that that both agree on is fiscal rectitude from our elected officials.

It is just a shame that Phil Goff thinks he has cleverly socked Auckland Ratepayers with a massive rates hike, disguised by his helpful mates in government by an 11.5c hike in petrol taxes for Auckland ratepayers.

Daniel Newman gave a speech standing up to the Mayor and his crooked plans to tax the bejesus out of ratepayers, even harder than Len Brown did.

?I want to acknowledge the Mayor and I acknowledge the intent of this proposal. I say that because the Mayor campaigned with determination and transparency ? particularly around the regional fuel tax.

?The Mayor has a mandate and I respect that mandate. I too have a mandate and I have a duty of care to speak for the communities of Manurewa and Papakura.

?I grew up in Papakura ? the community that faces a 62 per cent increase in their property valuation. I speak for Papakura.

?I live in Manurewa ? a community that faces a 50 per cent increase in their property value. I speak for Manurewa.

?I thank my constituents for their mandate ? I seek to convey their aspirations and their concerns.

?The Labour government promised the means to apply a significant new tax on the motorists of Auckland. In so doing ? the application of that means a new tax on the workers of South Auckland.

?11.5 cents per litre ? 10 cents regional fuel excise plus GST on top.

?This budget ? ironically ? risks taxing those in our community who can least afford ? those in our community who have the least choice.

?Like Councillor Watson, I have a suspicion that the propensity to tax is designed to fund investment to provide choice and amenity for those who have the most.

?Blue collar workers ? the shift workers from Roscommon Road; the taxi drivers from Homai; the machine operators from Weymouth ? they have little or no choice.

?They are the first-home buyers who face a 50 per cent plus revaluation in their properties. They are the ones selected to take the full impact of the Labour fuel tax. I speak for them.

?Mister Chair, contrary to your view public transport does not adequately provide a comprehensive alternative to the car. The mother with the pram and a couple of bags of groceries in Cargill Street or the shift worker from Friedlanders Road who needs to get to the shop at 4am does not enjoy the same transport choice ? the car remains the only mode for them.

?I have no doubt Mister Chair that we will hear people from people who have built their reputation in public life around the perils of the car who in effect are going to embrace the petrol tank. And those petrol tanks are going to be targeted not necessarily for roading improvements. Rather, the funding is for public transport ? one mode cross-subsidising another.

?This 10-year plan debate will be about affording the infrastructure of Auckland.

?If the answer to the question is trams ? well I do not view trams as the infrastructure panacea for this region.

?I respect the Labour government?s right to apply its mandate and fully understand the intent of its pre-election promise to reprioritise the transport projects that Auckland needs.

?But after the East-West link is discarded, Mill Road is next.

?This budget asks the motorists of Manurewa and Papakura ? the people who face property revaluations of 50 and 60 per cent ? to pay 11.5 cents for every litre of fuel in order to fund trams for Dominion Road.

?Not Dominion Road in Keri Hill. We?re talking Dominion Road in central Auckland.

?I challenge colleagues to come into my ward.

?Come and tell my constituents that Labour?s new petrol tax will not hurt them.

?Trams won?t be coming to Manurewa nor Papakura.

?I pondered this issue ? Mister Chair ? last Saturday evening as I sat next to a blocked main sewer line in Takanini Reserve. I did this because the lid had fallen into the drain and it posed a danger to children.

?Mister Chair, in my view we have a very bad habit of treating Aucklanders differently according to their postcode.

?Regrettably I lament the lack of balance which sees the working poor of South Auckland taxed by a government that ought to be more sympathetic to their needs.

?I commend the Manurewa and the Papakura local boards for their work and their advocacy. Papakura has merely requested that we make good on an earlier commitment to deliver a park and ride.

?Manurewa has humbly requested support to renew and augment Memorial Park so we can help bridge the deficit between demand for and the availability of sports fields.

?I support those requests ? a modest financial request yet transformational in terms of the impact on those respective communities.

?I do wish to thank the Mayor for his attempt to address some of these pertinent local priorities. It is not easy ? but it is essential. Whatever we think about aspects of the budget ? the regional fuel tax for example ? we can agree on some things and I believe there will be general agreement on our local board priorities.

?I share the Mayor?s view that the cost of development needs to fall on the shoulders of those who trigger that cost. The casual relationship between development and the levy needs to be properly priced. We need to move on from the days where costs are socialised and benefits privatised ? the cost needs to be better allocated and I will support the Mayor fulsomely on that crucial policy point.

?My days are spent trying to address illegally dumped organic and inorganic rubbish, blocked sewer lines, dogs off-leash, and the legacy of poor planning decisions.

?I accept that responsibility ? it is an honour. But my community also demands that I give voice to the impact of decisions that affect it. That is what I intend to do.

?I thank you.?

What a fine speech. Clearly we need more councillors like this standing up to spendthrifts like Phil Goff, who is putting Len Brown to shame when it comes to lying to and taxing Auckland ratepayers.


-Daniel Newman, Facebook