News | 28 October 2021
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Pōneke Promise gains momentum in making the city safer

Wellington City Council is continuing the good mahi supporting the Pōneke Promise with numerous projects, campaigns and initiatives being rolled out to keep our community safe and sound.

Bollards in CBD with Know Your City Limits advertising
Know Your City Limit bollards in CBD

Young people are being consulted on a new Youth Hub. Expressions of interest are open for a partner to operate a Community Centre in the city, Know Your City Limit and Don’t Guess the Yes campaigns are being launched in the coming weeks, and static cameras are set to start monitoring infringements at the Courtenay Place bus stop.

The Pōneke Promise was launched in March 2021 as a collaborative social contract in response to the community’s concerns around safety in the central city – and it’s making good progress, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“The foundations are in place, now we are building on these. Places for diverse members of the community to socialise, play and stay, plus have a sense of ownership and belonging are one of the key outcomes of the Pōneke Promise.

“Te Wāhi Āwhina is fully operational and being utilised by 30 service providers and organisations using it as a base to provide information or services including housing, food and welfare provisions. A new Community Centre and Youth Hub in the city are also in the development stage.”

Recently, businesses across the Cuba and Manners Street area came together by Zoom, to hear from partners in the Pōneke Promise – including NZ Police, DCM and Wellington City Council. The session was developed with the support of partner, First Retail Group – who have been working collaboratively with customer-facing sectors across the CBD.

Owners and Managers were keen to understand how they can help improve safety and support the welfare work that joint agencies are delivering in the area as part of the programme. Almost 100 businesses participated, including a number of international retailers and hospitality operators that are represented in the precincts, says First Retail Managing Director, Chris Wilkinson.

"We have been delighted by the participation from stakeholders and the opportunity to deliver a consistent message in what's underway to address issues in these precincts.

"People came away more confident, and jointly we have made a commitment together with Pōneke Promise partners to increase resources and support for the area, as we head into the busy summer months."

Some recent initiatives and status:

  • Youth Hub – consultation process in progress
  • Pōneke Promise initiatives
  • Know Your City Limit – liquor ban area campaign in progress, bright signage and bollard wraps on Courtenay Place and Cuba
  • Don’t Guess the Yes – campaign to change attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol consumption and sexual consent in progress
  • Brighter LED lights in Courtenay Place – installation has begun and should be finished in three weeks, weather permitting.

Also, as part of Council’s wider programme of work towards making our city safer, the Council has installed three static cameras in the bus stops on Courtenay Place between Cambridge Terrace and Allen Street.

These cameras will allow the Council to infringe vehicles that park in these bus stops 24 hours, seven days a week. From Monday 8 November through to Sunday 21 November, there will be a two-week warning period, with infringement notices being issued from Monday 22 November onwards. The Council are committed to supporting transport in this area of our city, and to creating an environment where traffic is able to flow without congestion.

These initiatives alongside others in the planning stage will hugely contribute to the main outcomes of the Pōneke Promise: improving public spaces, creating more community spaces, and reducing harm in all spaces, says Councillor Jill Day.

“Our Local Hosts are also being relaunched as Hāpai Ake, as guardians for the city and key agents of delivery for the Pōneke Promise.

“Together we are working collectively with the Police, local business owners and other members of the Pōneke Promise to ensure our city is safe for everyone to live, work and play.”

The launch of Hāpai Ake sees a number of new staff joining the team to once again bring the capable guardians to our central city streets.

Hāpai Ake have been connecting with retailers, bar and restaurant staff and our street community to support them with their safety concerns. They work closely with our CCTV team and our partners including the Police in ensuring harm reduction and crime prevention is always a priority.