13 Feb 2012

Councillor welcomes mayor's 'flip-flop' over rates

8:59 pm on 13 February 2012

An Auckland councillor says she welcomes what she is calling the mayor's flip-flop over new rates levels set to affect nearly 200,000 properties.

The council's recent amalgamation from eight councils to one means new systems will see rates in some areas fall by more than 20% in some parts of Auckland.

However, there will be rises of 10% or more in some wealthier eastern and central suburbs.

Mayor Len Brown wants to cap residential rates rises at 10% per year, so they would take three years or more to reach their new levels.

A central government law change would be needed to do that.

Councillor Christine Fletcher told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Monday even though this is a change in Mr Brown's position, ratepayers may well fight back over the issue.

"After telling us that that was the way it was, he is doing a flip-flop and I welcome it.

"I will be very interested to see what he proposes on Wednesday with the strategy and finance committee, because I believe that most of the councillors will not want to see that level of tension in our community."