Climate change inequality and finances Auckland's main challenges council

Climate change, inequality and finances have been named the biggest challenges for the next Auckland Council.
Climate change, inequality and finances have been named the biggest challenges for the next Auckland Council. Photo credit: Getty Images


Auckland Council pre-election report pitches climate change, inequality and finances as the city's main challenges

The council has released its pre-election report today ahead of local body elections in October.

Written by council staff and chief executive Jim Stabback, it aims to give the next council insight into the hurdles it is likely to face.

Climate change

Climate change tops the list and the next council will have its work cut out if it wants to reach the city's climate goals.

The report stated if urgent action was not taken to significantly reduce Auckland's greenhouse gas emissions, they were expected to increase by around 19 percent by 2050.

The city's goal is to halve its emissions by 2030 and have net zero emissions by 2050.

In order to do this, there needs to be:

A 65 percent decrease in stationary energy (such as building heating) emissions

A 64 percent decrease in transport emissions

A 24 percent decrease in waste emissions

A 15 percent decrease in agriculture emissions.

The report reiterated a rates increase is needed to ensure the council has enough money to reach its goals.

A Natural Environment Targeted Rate has been proposed in the 2022/2023 Annual Budget, which is expected to create a $311 million fund over 10 years.

This is in addition to the Climate Action Targeted Rate, which has also been proposed in the budget and will create $574m in a decade, to increase the number of buses, ferries, cycling and walking options in the city.

Together, these would see a 5 percent annual rates increase across the city.


The report also warned the current annual rates cap may have to be reconsidered.

Last year the council agreed to only put up annual rates by 3.5 percent for the next 10 years, but increased rates by 5 percent this year to account for Covid-19.

The report stated the money coming in did not match how much the council had to spend.

The council has already proposed another five percent increase in the 2022/2023 financial year and more is needed.

It also proposes a $15m cost reduction through efficiency measures, such as recruitment controls, in the 2023/2024 financial year, which would grow to $30m per annum from 2024/2025 onwards.


The report said more of the council's policies and investments needed to be prioritised for the communities that were the most vulnerable.

More targeted climate change funding and pandemic recovery measures could also be allocated based on a priority scheme, it said.

With Auckland house prices now around 10 times the average income, and the fourth most unaffordable in the world, the council should also look at increasing access to employment within each community.