Rates, Rates and oh the Rural Urban Boundary

Otherwise it is all about the rates


Do I really want to talk about the issue that has people frothing at the mouth most on a beautiful Sunday morning in Auckland. Yes I do. It is about those things we call Rates – you know, the money from us that funds Council activities.

As the Council year finished on June 30 we have the new cycle under way. This means the next round of rates instalments is on their way to your letterbox (in August). It also means the next round of rates rises or decreases are on their way as we hit the second year of the transition system (which includes the cap of 10% max rise and 5.56% max decrease).

Tomorrow morning there will be a briefing and a Q&A session on the next round of rates instalments. I will endeavour to have the report and commentary up later that night on the latest for the now current Council financial cycle.

Remembering from the 2013/14 Annual Plan discussions that rate rises were averaging 2.9% – below the 4.8% forecast in the 2012-21 Long Term Plan.


Rural Urban Boundary

As mentioned earlier in the week on Wednesday the Council and Local Boards will be discussing the Rural Urban Boundary at a Unitary Plan workshop (closed session). While I am not keeping up with state of play for the north and north-west RUB, I am definitely keeping up with state of play for the Southern RUB.

As mentioned in my “Pukekohe Area Plan Maps andĀ Information” reblogged post earlier this week; Franklin Local Board has been working with their community and will be advancing their proposal for the RUB at the Wednesday workshop.

While the green-zone buffer has moved from Paerata to Drury, the “corridor” concept seems to have been stuck to and is what is being advanced. This is similar to what I believe most in Southern Auckland submitted on in general as a RUB option – including myself.

I do really hope as the most practical and “sustainable” of all the Southern RUB options that what FLB have proposed is what will be in the final Unitary Plan when it becomes operative. In saying that I can think of two spanners that can be thrown into the works that would screw the Southern RUB preferred option up:

  1. Dr Nick Smith and his Housing Accord – Special Housing Areas (unless they go inside the RUB preferred option)
  2. Karaka Collective if their option is left out and they decide to challenge it in the Environment Court


As the preferred RUB option proposed by FLB and Southern Auckland submitters staves off THAT bridge, there might be some pro-Weymouth/Karaka Bridge supports aggrieved by this situation. This will be a case of watch and see as the Southern RUB preferred option moves through the Unitary Plan processes.

Talking Auckland will be keeping a special eye on the Southern RUB as it does progress through the Unitary Plan.