The growth challenge
Auckland is the fastest-growing region in New Zealand because more people want to live and work here than anywhere else in the country. In 2015 Auckland’s GDP grew by 2.8 per cent and 23,000 new jobs were created.
Last year, Auckland grew by an additional 117 people every day and is projected to grow by 736,000 people over the next 30 years. If the highest growth forecasts prove correct, we could see population growth of one million people over that period. This means up to 400,000 new dwellings and 277,000 additional jobs could be needed.
To help support this growth, we need services, infrastructure and facilities that can cope with the added demand. This includes increased new transport, water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to ensure we can connect newly built homes, and new community facilities for Auckland’s expanding suburbs. The cost of meeting this demand is substantial. Despite significant funding streams from central government and potential opportunities to partner with the private sector, funding for Auckland infrastructure is constrained.
Funding is currently a combination of rates, user charges, borrowing and central government subsidies. These are carefully balanced to ensure we operate in a fiscally sound and prudent manner. However, we are operating in an environment where ratepayers have expressed their preference for low debt and minimal rate increases and we are reaching the ceiling of what we can responsibly borrow to fund new infrastructure investment...