Responding to reports on Hamilton City Council’s cost-cutting measures ahead of threats of massive rates rises, with notable reductions to spending on road maintenance, landscaping and storm water drain cleaning, Connor Molloy, Campaigns Manager at the Taxpayers’ Union, says:
“It is commendable to see a council which, faced with rising costs and threats of massive rates hikes, has bitten the bullet and cut spending to avoid passing the pain onto its ratepayers. There is a serious lack of ambition to stand up for ratepayers across New Zealand during this cost-of-living crisis, and the fact that Hamilton City Council is willing to slash its spending by over $200 million over the last two years should be celebrated.
“However, Paula Southgate should take a walk around the council’s back offices if she wants to consider where spending could be prioritised. According to the 2023 Ratepayers’ Report, nearly one in four employees are paid more than $100,000 a year, and managerial staff are paid on average more than $117,000 each. This unimaginable cost for back-office administration should be an easy target for spending reductions and let public-facing staff get on with their jobs. We encourage Hamilton City Council, and Hamilton ratepayers, to consider staffing levels when taking submissions on the budget next year.”