Auckland’s proposed Climate Change dedicated rate
The Mayor has proposed for this year’s budget a climate change targeted rate.
The proposed increase would add $1.12 a week to the average ratepayer’s rates bill.
Council has recognised that we are in a climate emergency. Future West local board members passed a resolution declaring the same for our area. We are working on a local climate action plan and have completed our greenways plan. We have also worked on improving resilience in the area by helping local communities develop their own emergency response plans.
I was elected to Waitakere City Council in 2001 and even then it was clear that climate change was a significant issue. We were part of a regional effort to revamp and improve the rail system and the double tracking and electrification of the Western Line. I can recall happily watching the first electric train roll through Glen Eden in 2015.
The rail system has helped significantly but if we want to meet Council’s goal, a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, then much more is required.
And we are running out of time, and the scale of change required is something that has not properly entered into public debate.
The proposed targeted rate will fund improved bus services and the purchase of additional low-emission buses. The ferry fleet will be partially decarbonised. There will be extra resources for walking and cycling infrastructure. And there will be additions to the urban Ngāhere in areas that do not share Titirangi’s rate of coverage.
It is not enough of itself and much more will be required. Efeso Collins’ proposal that public transport should be free is one idea that I consider needs serious consideration.
The challenge for each of us is to work out how we can halve our greenhouse gas emissions in the next nine years. Council has a huge role to play and the proposed targeted rate is a start. But collectively we will need to do much more if we want to reach the city’s goal.