The Super City has been costly for residents of the former
Auckland City Council who have been hammered by a new single
rating system designed to put everyone on the same footing.
Figures compiled by the Herald show residents of Mt Albert,
Mt Eden, Mr Roskill and the wealthy eastern suburbs have seen
household rates rise by an average of 20 per cent or more
over the past three years.
Many residents in these suburbs are among the 57,000
ratepayers who have faced the maximum annual increase of 10
per cent a year over a three-year transition to a single
rating system. They include people like Angela Salter and her
husband, Geoff Andrew, whose cumulative rates increase of 33
per cent has them struggling to find $580 every three months
on their modest home in Mt Roskill.
On the flipside, residents in West Auckland, Papakura and
Rodney have seen their rates fall over the same three-year
period, down between 0.2 per cent in Rodney to 7.2 per cent
in Henderson- Massey. Under their former councils, residents
in these areas paid high rates relative to the value of their
The reasons for lower rates are twofold. The move to a rating
system based on capital (land plus housing) value has
resulted in property values reducing relative to other areas.
They have also benefited from a lower uniform annual charge.
Other suburbs hit with increases larger than the 9 per cent
city average over the past three years include Royal Oak,
Onehunga, Howick, Devonport, Takapuna, the East Coast Bays
and Waiheke Island.
Suburbs with increases less than 9 per cent average include
Manurewa, Avondale, Mangere, Otahuhu, Otara, Papatoetoe,
Pukekohe and Great Barrier Island.
The figures highlight the winners and losers from the move to
a single rating system for the Super City.
The rocky ride continues today when Mayor Len Brown unveils
the first draft of a new 10-year budget containing cuts of
hundreds of millions of dollars a year in running costs and
capital investment in order to contain rates.
Vanessa Neeson, who chairs the Henderson-Massey Local Board,
said residents of the former Waitakere City Council area were
paying high rates because, unlike Auckland City, theirs was a
smaller city with a small business rating base.
"Where I live here in Helensville, our property was about a
quarter of the value of [a property in] Paritai Drive [in
Orakei] but we paid the same rates," she said.
Mrs Neeson said West Aucklanders were still paying $14
million too much in rates. That was because not all
ratepayers have moved to their new rates at the end of the
three-year transition period that capped annual increases at
10 per cent and phased in decreases of up to 5.6 per cent.
The number of residential ratepayers still facing hefty rises
runs into the thousands, some of whose rates will rise by
more than 30 per cent before a single, regionwide rating
system is fully in place.
Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer said ratepayers in wards
such as his had been patient but that patience was running
"The best [way] to ensure greater fairness is to introduce a
higher uniform annual charge. A higher fixed component of
rates would better reflect the fact that every Aucklander has
equal access to council's amenities, infrastructure, and
services regardless of their property value."
Mr Brown said the council would be considering the rating
policy in October, including the uniform annual charge.