25 Feb 2017

Chch council defends higher rates increase

6:55 pm on 25 February 2017

Christchurch's leaders are defending a higher-than-expected rates rise, despite plans to spend less on the city's infrastructure.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Long-term plans show rates could rise 5 percent this year, but the city's draft budget released yesterday calls for a rates increase of 5.5 percent.

In total, rates will rise 46 percent over the next eight years.

The city will also reduce capital spending on major projects, by $160 million including the Metro Sports Facility and the Sumner-Lyttelton Road.

Andrew Turner

Andrew Turner Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The city's deputy mayor, Andrew Turner, said the city had to be realistic about how much it could afford to do at once.

"We've tried to keep as close to the signalled 5 percent as we possibly can.

"Yes, we would have liked the rates increase to be lower than the 5.5, but that would have involved looking at changes to levels of service and reductions in the capital programme that I think wouldn't have been palatable to the community."

Mr Turner said the council remained committed to an unprecedented amount of capital works.

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