Generation Zero commends Auckland Council’s decision to raise rates by 3.5%. “The Covid-19 pandemic has, and will continue to have, drastic implications on the future of Tāmaki Makaurau ,” says Generation Zero Auckland Co-convenor Bruce Kidd. “However, for the sake of future generations, we cannot be complacent with the threats of climate change. We must continue to strive for a resilient, livable and connected Tāmaki Makaurau that meets its climate obligations and supports marginalised communities”.
Auckland Council has already acknowledged the need to recognise the unique role of tangata whenua in making governance decisions, including in this emergency budget. It is vital that we continue to call for the Council to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This must be prioritised in implementing the initiatives outlined by the Emergency Budget.
Generation Zero recognises that it was inevitable that even with the rates increase, some projects would be delayed and deferred. However, this increase allows public transport concessions to continue, greater investment in walking and cycling, and much-needed infrastructure and local developments to go ahead.
The alternative rates options suggested would have resulted in council services and climate-friendly transport projects being cut, which would have disproportionately impacted marginalised communities. In comparison, the chosen 3.5% rates increase will make Tāmaki Makaurau better off in the long term.
Generation Zero will now focus on holding Auckland Council to account, committing to an equity lens when prioritising climate-related initiatives included in this Emergency Budget. “Our challenge is to strive for climate justice without widening disparities between communities in Tāmaki Makaurau where they live, work and play”.
In order to align with the science and Zero Carbon Act to be net zero by 2050, the 3.5% rates increase was the only option. We commend Auckland Council for making a decision in favour of future generations.