The big picture

People walking along waterfront with Chaffers Marina in the background.

Working towards a Smart Capital

In 2011 we unveiled our blueprint for the future: Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital. The four goals of this vision are for Wellington to become a:

  • people-centred city
  • connected city
  • eco-city
  • dynamic central city.

The Council’s work is all about realising this vision.

Making our vision a reality

Every 3 years we publish a long-term plan for the decade ahead. 

The objectives of our Long-term Plan 2015–25 were to:

  • make the city more resilient and more able to cope with environmental shocks
  • invest to grow the city, through a programme of major projects that support the economy and deliver returns on investment
  • invest to maintain and improve services
  • increase the use of our existing assets and improve the way we manage those assets
  • achieve ongoing efficiencies from shared services and improved customer service.

The Mayor and councillors' 3-year work programme will form the starting point for our next Long-term Plan, for 2018–28.

Changes in priorities

Many of the larger capital projects contained in the Long-term Plan involved collaborative partnerships and co-investment from external stakeholders. Because of this, the timing of these projects has needed to be flexible. As well as this, the November 2016 earthquake has led to an increased focus on improving the city’s resilience. These two factors have triggered a re-phasing of a number of Long-term Plan projects and therefore the Council’s capital investment programme.

Re-phased projects

The re-phasing of projects has meant there is $115 million less capital required in 2017/18. This will reduce interest and depreciation expenses. It also means the Council is forecast to have less overall debt – $80 million less – than was forecast in the Long-term Plan. Details of these projects are contained in the Annual Plan 2017/18 supporting information document.

Lower costs and improved efficiency

As well as re-phasing our capital expenditure, we have also looked closely at our spending to ensure it is focussed where it can do the most good, lower costs and improve efficiency.

The earthquake has undermined the usability of some of the Council’s buildings, which means we have had to assess how we use available space. The result is a better utilisation of Council buildings and lowered costs. We have also achieved efficiencies through improved procurement processes, the better use of energy, and increases in Council revenue.

Lower costs, rephased projects, and improved efficiency have allowed the Council to achieve a total savings for 2017/18 of $11 million without affecting service levels.