9 May 2015

Auckland Council sets 10-year budget

12:32 pm on 9 May 2015

The Auckland Council has agreed on its 10-year budget, finalising several changes to the rating system.

Auckland City Council meeting. Mayor Len Brown

Auckland Mayor Len Brown at yesterday's meeting to discuss the council's 10-year budget. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The biggest addition is a transport levy to fund key projects.

The council will also set up a new agency to focus on the city's development, with the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency and Auckland Council Property merging to become Development Auckland.

Development Auckland will have an annual operating expenditure of $70 million a year and $75 million revenue.

It will also manage a capital budget of $430 million during the 10 years.

A $10 million fund for local boards has been established and almost $500,000 will go towards emergency housing and helping tackle homelessness.

The budget also means that, after July, people throughout the city who own houses worth about the same amount will pay the same rates.

Libraries saved from budget chop

The council rejected a cost-cutting plan for libraries, which was expected to save more than $1 million.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said yesterday's vote demonstrated councillors had listened to the public's concerns.

Instead, library hours will be set more fairly around the city.

That will see increased hours at 27 libraries, with hours at 24 reduced and three kept the same.

Several libraries will also go from operating six days a week to seven.