August 03, 2016

First round of candidates sign Ratepayer Protection Pledge


The first round of candidates have confirmed their intention to sign the "Ratepayer Protection Pledge" guaranteeing that they will not vote for any rate or levy hikes exceeding 2% per year in the next Council term.

As of today (3 August), signed pledges or commitments to sign have been received from the following candidates:

  • Mark Thomas (Mayoral candidate)
  • John Palino (Mayoral candidate)
  • John Watson (Albany)
  • Christine Fletcher (Albert-Eden-Roskill)
  • Sharon Stewart (Howick)
  • John Riddell (Waitākere)
  • Mike Lee (Waitematā and Gulf)
  • Bill Ralston (Waitematā and Gulf)
  • Anne Degia-Pala (Whau)

Unsurprisingly many of the ‘terrible ten’ – those who waved through Len Brown’s 9.9% rates hike last year – have not signed the Ratepayer Protection Pledge. They will be featuring in How to Vote guides which will be delivered throughout Auckland in the lead up to voting along with those who have signed the Pledge.

This campaign is designed to help Aucklanders identify who stands for more Council waste and empire building, and who stands for reasonable rates and sensible spending. Too often politicians get away with talking the talk, but not walking the walk when it comes to living within their means and keeping rates reasonable.

So where is Auckland Future?

So far candidates standing under the National Party-aligned Auckland Future brand have been obfuscating when we ask about their position on rates. Representatives from the group said their existing policy and ‘pledge’ is entirely consistent with the Ratepayer Protection Pledge, but nevertheless are unwilling to sign up to it.

Auckland Future are either all talk and no trousers, or do not really intend to stand up for ratepayers once they are elected. Either way, they should get on board, sign the pledge, and demonstrate to Aucklanders that they really mean what they say about cutting waste out of the Super City.

About the Pledge

The Ratepayer Protection Pledge reads:

“I [candidate’s name] pledge to all Aucklanders that I will not vote for any measures which increase the total average burden of rates, levies, and other compulsory Council charges, more than 2% per annum.”

If you are a candidate and would like to sign the pledge, download it here, and return it to us by scanning it to email [ enquiries (at) ] or sending a signed hard copy to PO Box 133099, Eastridge, Auckland 1146 so that it reaches us before 5pm 20 August 2016.