I am sure it was back in the eighties when we had substantial tax reforms, amongst other things, and the Labour Government brought in self-funded depreciation for councils etc.
This meant that they suddenly had to find real money to put away for the rainy day when the drains needed renewing and water systems restored. The howls of rage reverberated through the land as we were talking real money here. Normally, when a business claims depreciation it reduces their tax bill. They don’t usually save that reduction for future use. Councils, however, were required to save their depreciation for the future replacements.
So where is this money? There is a refrain at the moment that the councils (Auckland anyway) cannot even replace old and decaying infrastructure, let alone build new. But, they should have at least thirty years of saved money to do the renewal. Where is it?