22 Aug 2012

Angry Orakei ratepayers heckle Auckland's mayor

8:15 am on 22 August 2012

Residents of some of Auckland's wealthiest suburbs have heckled and taunted mayor Len Brown at a public meeting about big rises in their rates.

The question and answer session with Mr Brown on Tuesday night was for residents in the Orakei ward - a cluster of suburbs lining Auckland's eastern waterfront.

The average rate rise across Auckland is 3.6%, but for the Orakei suburbs it's nearly 12% - and some residents at the meeting said they had received bills with increases as high as 32%.

They reckon they are being targeted by the council to fund its projects and are paying more than their fair share.

Gordon Roger, who owns a four-bedroom house in St Heliers, says his rates have gone up 30%. "The council thinks that because this is a so-called wealthy part of the city, we pay. We're not getting any more services than what other people in other parts of the city are... Why should we pay more?"

Mr Brown told residents he understood they were hurting and angry, and said he would take it on board when the rates are revised in future.