Last month, Auckland Council released the results of an independent Colmar Brunton survey, which asked more than 4000 Aucklanders about our proposed 10-year budget.
The survey found 46 percent support for Council’s overall proposed 10-year budget, with 37 percent opposed. Six percent supported the ‘other’ option, while 11 percent said they didn’t know.
The survey was part of Council’s consultation on its 10-year budget. It also asked whether respondents supported increased investment in climate change action. The survey revealed strong support for this – 60 percent support, 26 percent opposed.
Council’s own consultation also asked these questions, as well as questions on other topics. A similar level of support was seen for increased investment in climate change in Council’s consultation – 61 percent support, 27 percent opposed.
Forty-five percent of respondents to the council’s consultation supported both an extension of, and an increase to, the water quality targeted rate.
Generally, when you ask ratepayers whether or not they want a rates increase, you would expect the answer to be no.
However, the Colmar Brunton survey shows that Aucklanders understand the need for the city to invest in its future and they don’t want to see in Auckland the major failures in areas like water infrastructure that have occurred recently in other New Zealand cities.
It suggests people also understand that, even in the face of the up to $1 billion loss of income caused to Council by Covid-19, we need to increase expenditure on infrastructure so that we can continue to deliver critical transport services, as well as the services needed for new housing development and for sustaining our environment.
The strength of the Colmar Brunton survey is that it is carried out independently and reflects a demographically representative outcome from a cross-section of people. It’s the best indicator of what Aucklanders want for their city, reflecting the views of the wider community, not just the loudest voices. And what the wider community wants is to invest in the critical housing, water, transport and environmental infrastructure our city needs for today and for future generations.
In submissions to Auckland Council’s consultation (rather than the results of the independent Colmar Brunton survey), views on the overall budget were evenly split. Excluding pro forma submissions, 42 percent of respondents were in favour of the overall proposed budget, with 43 percent opposed.
Following consideration of feedback and deliberation by councillors, the 10-year Budget is to be adopted in June.