December 09, 2020

Complaint laid against Auckland Council for misleading financial markets

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has today lodged a  complaint with the Financial Markets Authority alleging a breach of the Financial Markets Conduct Act for a deceptive media statements on the size of a proposed rate increase made by Mayor Phil Goff and referred to in an announcement to the NZ Debt Market (NZDX) on the draft 10-year budget.

The Mayor misled the NZX Debt Market when he said that Aucklanders would only be hit with a rate bump of $36. The $36 is just the 1.5% difference between a 3.5% and a 5% hike. He was being cute with his words, and the media took it hook, line and sinker.

Unfortunately for Mr Goff, being misleading or dishonest is illegal when it comes to our financial markets. What he may get away with in statements made to the media does not cut it for financial markets.

Much of the reporting has perpetuated the Mayor’s falsehood of a ‘one off rates bump of $36’. It is evidence of the Mayor’s misleading behaviour.


  • Auckland Council’s debt trades on the NZDX.
  • Under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 participants are prohibited from conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive (a similar test to the Fair Trading Act).
  • Earlier this year Auckland Council was required to correct an untrue statement in relation to claimed ‘majority support’ for an earlier proposed rates increase, following a complaint by the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance to the Research Association New Zealand (RANZ) pointing out that the opinion poll commissioned by the Council only provided participants with rate hike options.
  • Last year, Auckland Council officials presented sworn affidavit evidence that Mr Goff’s public claims that he had ‘banned’ two controversial Canadian speakers from Council venues in 2018 were untrue, in a judicial review related to that decision.