News | 16 May 2018

Big turnout of younger Wellingtonians having say on city’s future

Wellington City Council’s focus on digital engagement has paid off, with younger residents making up the biggest cohort of submitters to its 10-Year Plan consultation.

Woman dancing with flowers in her hair.

Consultation on the 10-Year Plan started 15 April and closed last night with more than 2000 submissions received so far, up significantly from the 1017 submissions on the previous plan in 2015.

Mayor Justin Lester says it’s heartening to see so many young people having their say on Wellington’s direction. 

“Our 10-Year Plan is about our city’s future, so it’s especially valuable to hear from younger Wellingtonians.

“Whilst 19-30 year olds make up 19 percent of Wellington’s population, they accounted for a very healthy 25 percent of submissions on our 10-Year Plan,” he says.

To reach more Wellingtonians, particularly younger residents, the Council created an easy-to-use website, geared up social media promotions including a virtual forum connecting the community and councillors. The Council also ran a creative campaign to project provocative messages onto city buildings to gain attention and promote the hashtag #WgtnPlan as a way to give feedback.

More than 90 percent of submissions on this year’s plan so far were made online compared to 23 percent in 2015, an indication of the digital campaign’s success.

Alongside providing their views on the future of the city, the submitters were asked to rank the Council’s priority areas. Ranked in order, respondents rated resilience and environment as the most important area for the Council to focus on at 24 per cent; transport (22 percent), housing (21 percent), arts and culture (17 percent), and sustainable growth (17 percent).

Three quarters (74 percent) of people who made submissions also said they were in favour of spending more on these five priority areas.

Councillor Diane Calvert, who holds the Council’s Community Engagement portfolio, says the Council wanted to hear feedback from not only more people but a wider range of the public that better represent Wellington’s diversity.

“The positive public feedback is a great result. It shows our plans for Wellington reflect what people are looking for — protecting our future while ensuring our city remains a vibrant cultural capital.

“As a city we have some big challenges: planning for natural disasters, developing infrastructure and housing for population growth, mitigating the effects of climate change and more. Investing in these areas will mean a better future for the city,” she says. 

Public submissions on the Council’s draft 10-Year Plan closed on Tuesday 15 May. The Council will hear people speak to their submissions next week. The Council and Councillors will consider all public submissions before making amendments to the draft plan and passing it on 28 June.

The number of submissions mentioned above is expected to increase after all posted hard copy submissions have been received.