The chair of the Kaipatiki Local Board has spoken out about the funding her board has been allocated from the Auckland Council’s Strategy and Finance meeting.
Last week Lindsay Waugh presented a cake to Mayor Len Brown and council that signified what she says is inequality between the funding allocated to the 21 Local Boards.
Ms Waugh said despite having 88,000 residents and ranking sixth in population, the Kaipaitiki Local Board on the North Shore receives the least amount of funding on a per capita basis.
Her board had requested an additional $3.3m over 10 years to cover the board’s 10-year budget, but the governing body did not approve that yesterday.
“I am very disappointed that our efforts to address the inequity in the Local Board budget allocation fell on deaf ears,” Ms Waugh says.
Despite detailed analysis of the budget shortfall apportioned to Kaipatiki, the alternative “Kaipatiki austerity” budget was adopted. She said this will force the board to defer key projects out to later years.
“Of particular regret is the need to defer the scheduled improvements for Northcote.
“We can accept that years of under investment levels for Kaipatiki is the starting point for the new Local Board budget but we cannot accept that this inequity will be entrenched for the next 10 years,” she says.
She said the Kaipatiki Board worked hard with Auckland Council officers to balance their budget and had to make some tough decisions. Despite the input of board member Kay McIntyre, an accountant, and Grant Gillon, past Chair of NSCC’s Strategy and Finance committee, council was not convinced to reconsider the board’s levels of funding.
“The Board will continue to advocate for redress at every opportunity, particularly during the annual agreement negotiations,” Ms Waugh says.
Last week the Kaipatiki Local Board asked council to:
1. Pass Kaipatiki’s budget and cover the $3.3m deficit funding. That would have allowed completion of long overdue legacy projects such as upgrades to its town centres, the cycling and walking track network, and playing fields.
2. Conduct an urgent review into the funding formula for local boards to ensure a more equitable arrangement over the next few years.
Ms Waugh says the last point is very important as there is “entrenched inequity” that shows that excluding Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitemata, the Long-term Plan budget shows that Kaipatiki gets $79.17 per person less than the average net OPEX funding per person across the remaining 18 boards, a difference of $6,966,960 per year.
Photo/s by: Supplied
Published by: The Aucklander