INDEPENDENT NEWS

Revealed: New Zealand’s most (and least) indebted councils

Published: Thu 19 Sep 2019 10:36 AM
19 SEPTEMBER 2019
This year’s Ratepayers’ Report, local government league tables released yesterday, reveals which local councils owe the most and which owe the least.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “When Councils are indebted, it means a portion of ratepayer funds disappear into interest payments, rather than being used for core services. And ultimately, high debt today means higher rates tomorrow.”
“Sometimes debt is taken for good reasons, such as to build up infrastructure or recover from a setback, but too often debt is used to fob off daily costs onto future ratepayers.”
To accurately compare debt levels, Ratepayers’ Report compared council liabilities per household.
This year, Christchurch ranked highest for liabilities per household, with each household owing the equivalent of $25,402 on behalf of the council. “This is perhaps unsurprising, with Christchurch City Council still rebuilding after its earthquakes,” says Mr Houlbrooke.
“What is more concerning is that Auckland, our most populated city, has $21,941 in liabilities per household. With Council debt so high, ratepayers should expect cutbacks in spending. However, we have instead seen day-to-day spending rise, as seen in bloated staff numbers and salaries. Auckland ratepayers need to be aware that their Council’s largesse means the equivalent of an invisible $22,000 bill in their letterbox. Dunedin ratepayers should have similar concerns.”
“Some Councils have financial books in far better shape. We congratulate Central Otago District Council for having the lowest liabilities per household out of the 67 councils we compared. Put into perspective, the average household in New Zealand bears $13,000 in Council debt, while households in territories like Central Otago, South Waikato, and Rangitikei bear Council debt well below $1,000.”
Detailed figures are as follows (including CCO liabilities):
Average liabilities per household: $13,071
Total liabilities nationwide: $23,785,877,000
Most liabilities per household:
1. Christchurch City Council: $25,402
2. Auckland Council: $21,941
3. Dunedin City Council: $16,399
4. Queenstown-Lakes District Council: $14,058
5. Waitomo District Council: $13,426
6. South Taranaki District Council: $12,088
7. Taupo District Council: $12,039
8. Tauranga City Council: $10,021
9. Kapiti Coast District Council: $9,836
10. Wellington City Council: $9,571
Least liabilities per household:
1. Central Otago District Council: $670
2. South Waikato District Council: $748
3. Rangitikei District Council: $840
4. Southland District Council: $879
5. Napier City Council: $898
6. Clutha District Council: $1,157
7. Waimate District Council: $1,330
8. Kawerau District Council: $1,356
9. Waipa District Council: $1,502
10. Waitaki District Council: $1,688
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the farming sector’s persecution complex
By: Gordon Campbell
Independent review of prisoner mail management released
By: Department Of Corrections
IPCA releases reports on the unlawful detention of teenager
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
New safety measures for modified pistols
By: New Zealand Government
Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
By: New Zealand Government
Budget investigation shut down and new inquirer appointed
By: State Services Commission
Mysterious foundation loaning New Zealand First money
By: RNZ
Criminal Cases Review Commission established
By: New Zealand Government
National backs farmers marching against Govt policies
By: New Zealand National Party
Ag Proud NZ encourage positive not provocative actions
By: Ag Proud
March on Parliament deliberately created confusion
By: NZ Forest Owners' Association
Who will pick up Essential Freshwater’s $80b price tag?
By: DairyNZ
DairyNZ claim of economic ruin "misleading"
By: Fish and Game New Zealand
New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef launched
By: Beef And Lamb NZ
Personality important in farmer anxiety
By: Lincoln University
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media