Our feedback form guide to the Auckland Council budget 2023-24

This guide is intended to help you complete the feedback form on the Auckland City Council Budget 2023. 

It summarises some of the issues, and suggests responses and ideas for what you might say. 

Our position is that some budget cuts are unfortunately inevitable and that funding cuts should be made in areas which can most easily be reinstated or where efficiencies can be made. Funding should not be cut to initiatives which protect our most vulnerable, build a vibrant creative and inclusive city, enhance sustainability and environmental protections, culture and the arts, and build strong connected communities. 

Read our suggested responses below to help you complete the feedback form.  Please write your responses in your own words.

If the council form often doesn’t load properly refresh the page.  Do windows ctrl R or on a Mac (⌘)-R. 


Questions on the Auckland Council Feedback form and suggested responses in your own words:

1. What is your preference on the proposed operating cost reductions?

This is the most important question on the feedback form as it is about the proposed Operating Spending Reductions. 

Important dates and events

list goes here

What are the proposed budget cuts?

Proposes cuts of $125 million to operating costs: This will come from about $40 million across council, $21 million reduction in public transport, 27.5 million from Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, $21 million from regional services, $16 million from Local board funding, $3 million from contestable grants, and$1 million from early childhood education services

Specifically this cuts funding to the following Art galleries, Theatre and music – events, shows and projects, the Auckland Zoo, Community centres, Music in the parks, Library hours, Pasifika, homelessness support, Maori wardens, river protection projects, environmental projects, community support projects, Water Quality and Natural Environment Targeted rates,  Citizen Advice Bureau, Rape Prevention Education Whakatu Mauri Trust, YMCA North, Charlotte Museum, Vision West Community Trust, Whau River Catchment Trust, and Avondale Community Action, and lots more.

Tell us why and which reductions you would not proceed with:

Suggested response to protect everything except council efficiencies:

  • Do not reduce funding to Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Regional services, Local Boards, contestable grants and early childhood education as these will cause widespread harm across Auckland Communities.  The proposed budget cuts are massive and many people from many sectors of society will be negatively impacted. They will send the local economy and people’s well being backwards, and cost more in the long run.
  • Make efficiencies in council

Support continued funding for the things that are most important to you (suggested comments below)

Arts, culture and music focus
Do not reduce money for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited – thousands of creatives, producers, directors, technicians etc depend on council support to help fund projects, shows and events and this contributes to the vibrancy in our city as the arts, theatre and music create. Bars and restaurants will suffer, jobs will be lost and tourism will also be negatively impacted.

Environment focus
Do not reduce funding for sustainability and environmental projects. These projects are critical for our resilience and the future protection against weather events associated with the climate emergency that the council recognises. They also engage lots of volunteers so are an efficient use of council money.

Contestable grants
Do not reduce regional contestable grants – these grants support important community empowerment and environmental projects, as well as projects supporting Maori and Pacifica communities. They also foster good ideas and support people creating better systems which benefit everyone.

Community Focus
Do not increase rent on community centres as this will make them unviable and communities will become even more disconnected. Once communities become disconnected it is difficult to bring people back together. Community is important for our well being.
Do not cut funding for projects which support people . Supporting each other and building connections helps build resilience and this is critical right now.

Local board
Do not reduce local board funding as this engages people in the community to create local projects and build local strengths, connect people around often fun activities, and facilitates connections within our communities.
Do not reduce local board funding as they are in a good position to identify and support the projects which best serve their community.

Regional services (support to homeless, youth activities and education)
Do not reduce regional services such as community,youth and education programmes, arts and culture programs, regional events, economic development. Many of these services give access to resources, make learning and participation in society possible for manypeople who are isolated and disadvantaged.

Do not reducing funding for Early childhood education services until clarity around how to support these children is known.

Question 2 Amending Auckland International Airport Limited Shareholding Policy

The council propose to sell all their shares in Auckland Airport which is 18%.  This will deduce debt and save 87 million in interest payments. 

No suggestions for this question.  How you answer this depends on how you value this asset and if the airport should remain in public hands.  It’s not a good time to sell and it doesn’t solve the underlying issues going forward.

Possible things you might write: 

  •  The airport is an asset and can earn us millions of dollars for the council
  • It’s a bad time to sell airport shares when share prices are low due to the pandemic and dividends are expected to increase
  • Airport shares should only be sold if central government is willing to buy them, to keep them in public hands

Question 3 – Managing rates and debt

The budget currently proposes a 4.6% rates increase and this will cost $154 a year or $3 per week for the average household. And $75 million of additional debt. 

What we know is: 

  • the council has relatively low debt and can use debt to prevent such extreme cuts.  
  • that a 1% rise in rates brings in 20 million dollars.  

I suggest a mixture of small rate increases and an increase in debt.  This isn’t an option so I selected other

 Possible things you might write: 

  • Council has a responsibility to support communities and the environment as this helps well-being.  Rates is a good way to do this.
  • Rates can support the vibrancy of our city and contribute to a fairer Auckland
  • Rates are an investment in a well-functioning city and in Aucklanders’ well-being

Question 4 – Storm response

Question 4 – Storm response

There will be more storms ahead so proceed with the 20 million preparedness budget. 

Possible things you might write: 

  • Being prepared means working with communities to build resilience. 
  • Work with communities on solutions like “sponge cities”
  • I support a $20 million increase and would support a further increase if it becomes necessary
  • Investing in preparedness avoids much greater costs and impacts down the track

Question 5 – Local board priorities

Click on your local board.  Then to stop the cuts you need to complete that you support all or most of the prioritises of your local board.  

Albert-Eden cuts will mean a cut to community events like Sandringham Festival or Dominion road Food Festival,

ensure Gribblehirst Hub lease costs do not go up.

The next part you check 3 boxes to what matters to you most. We see the most important as being community development and support, community climate action and sustainablity and community leasing charges. 

Question 6 – Changes to other rates and fees and charges

Do what you feel here.  Here is our position:

Possible things you might write: 

  • Cutting back on bus services funded by the Climate Action Targeted Rate reduces the benefits to the climate from that rate
  • Don’t cut buses or put bus fares up.  but ok to reduce the service to save 10 million.  When possible increase this service. 
  • It would be good to support local composting as this is a resource for the community.

Question 7 – What else is important to you?

Add further feedback here.