May 29, 2023
Airport shares hostage to budget battle
A Manurewa Local Board member says the sale of Auckland Council’s shares in Auckland International Airport could be preferable to a double-digit rate rise.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown will release his final budget proposal on Wednesday, with councillors meeting on June 8 to make decisions.
Manurewa board deputy chair Matt Winiata says it appears Mayor Brown has dropped plans to ax council support for Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Southern Initiative and the Sport and Recreation Facilities Investment Fund.
But the council’s $375 million dollar budget hole needs to be covered, and selling the $2.3 billion airport stake might be the best option.
“I’m in two minds about the shares being up on the chopping block. But, you know, we’re either looking at shares being sold and rates being kept down. Or we’re looking at double-digit rate increases. And I know Manurewa, our residents, can’t afford any more rate increases,” he says.
Mr Winiata says Manurewa has a high percentage of Maori and Pasifika residents.
Indications from last week’s confidential workshop with councillors is that Mayor Brown still does not have the votes to sell the shares.