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The 2018 Ratepayers' Report is now available

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In partnership with our sister group, the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance, the Taxpayers' Union has just published this year's Ratepayers' Report – online local government league tables – at

With these league tables, you can easily compare your local council's performance and financial position against similarly sized councils and types.

By setting out more than two thousand data points, Ratepayers' Report provides transparency, so no-one can credibly claim cherry-picking or a political agenda. The league tables set out metrics such as Council debt, assets, spending and staff costs, all on a per-ratepayer basis.

Click here  to access the 2018 Ratepayers’ Report (log-in required).

What we found

Across the country council borrowing continues to skyrocket. On average, councils have increased the share of debt for each of their ratepayers by $244 – a 5.3 percent increase in borrowing in just a year!

The data shows why Auckland ratepayers, in particular, have cause for real concern, with Council liabilities now $19,537 per ratepayer, up more than $600 since last year. This is second only to Christchurch, and almost four times the national average of $4,876.

Other findings:

  • uckland Council pays 2,250 of its staff salaries in excess of $100,000. Auckland Council also employs more staff per ratepayer than any other unitary authority (17 staff per 1,000 ratepayers). Marlborough District Council, another unitary authority, employs 10 staff per 1,000 ratepayers. In total, across New Zealand, there are 4,850 council employees earning more than $100,000.
  • The highest average residential rates in New Zealand are in Western Bay of Plenty ($3,234 per year) with Auckland close behind in the number two spot ($3,136 per year).
  • The lowest average residential rates in New Zealand are in the Mackenzie District ($1,637 per year)

  • Source: A NZTaxpayers Union release