Akl Council budget proposal ‘rips the heart’ out of city – Swarbrick

Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick has hit out at Auckland Council’s proposed budget, calling it “deficit politics” which would rip the heart out of the city and its services.


While Auckland slowly collapses in on itself as the immigration floodgates are thrown wide open to 100 000 new exploitable migrant workers all crushing onto our infrastructure that is already in groaning gridlock.

While KiwiRail goes from bad to worse, when Auckland Transport is a nightmare and rentals soaring.

As all that is happening, the Boomer King sharpens his knives for the budget privatisation agenda and seems to have convinced Richard Hill to back him in selling off the AirPort shares.

For Christ’s sake, the Airport is a monopoly asset that makes Auckland Council huge money, why the hell privatise it?

We chose like morons not to appoint anyone to the board and they screwed us!

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Former Mayor of Manukau, Sir Barry Curtis is damning...

Unfortunately, in 2015, the Auckland Council chose not to follow this practice of nominating a board member, a matter I find totally mystifying. Before Easter in 2020, the Auckland International Airport company board utilised fast track Covid-19 rules to raise $1.2 billion in capital, specifically excluding all major shareholders including the Auckland Council. This resulted in the Auckland Council’s shareholding being reduced to 18.5 percent.

..we have poorly managed this asset and now Wayne Brown and Richard Hills want to privatise it…

Entry ports to our city, both air and sea, are vital infrastructure to the Auckland and national economies and indeed, our security interests. They must not be forsaken. Only local public ownership, in part or whole, can safely secure the long-term interests of our city.

To protect Manukau’s interests the council purchased additional shares to lift its shareholding above 10 percent. This provided us with a ‘blocking share’ to protect our ownership. We participated in capital raising to protect our value and stop the diluting of our significant shareholding.

We successfully lobbied Central Government to change the rules around foreign ownership. We received regular, ongoing and substantial dividends which assisted to achieve lower rates.

The value of Airport company shares continues to grow. At the time of the Canadian Pension Fund’s first bid in 2007 the shares were listed at $2.80 per share. The offer was for $3.65 a share. Dubai Aerospace bid was slightly more. Since amalgamation, the combined value of Manukau and Auckland’s shares have more than tripled, a gain of $1.2 billion to Aucklanders. The current value is over $8 a share.

The Auckland Council has received well over half a billion dollars in dividends and a share buy-back from 2010. While no dividends have been received during the Covid pandemic, AIAL has indicated a resumption shortly.

The value of the Auckland Airport company, with its very large commercial and retail interests, will continue to grow. The Auckland Airport was built with public monies. It was owned and developed by the former Auckland Regional Authority until corporatised by central government in 1988. The Company was established with local government in Auckland owning 51 percent, but unfortunately, all but Manukau and Auckland sold their ownership interests.


Privatising our assets to cover the enormous cost of running this city is stupid beyond reason.

There needs to be a means of expanding budgets and services and if that is through City Bonds financed through the Super Fund or ACC or any number of huge Government funds, so be it!

We need big solutions not petty and self defeating budget cuts!

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