Last month, the Wellington City Mayor and Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the 2022 Pandemic Response Plan, aimed at supporting struggling businesses being affected by COVID-19.
The past two years have been hard on Wellington businesses, and the Council wants to support business owners and their staff who have felt the effects of the pandemic.
Support on offer through the Pandemic Response Plan includes a reduction of licensing fees, the deferral of rates payments without penalty for six months, extension of parking time limits, and the reduction of parking fees during weekends.
From 21 March 2022 to 30 June 2022, there will be several temporary changes made to Council’s on-street parking. These include changes to fees and time limits during weekdays and the weekend.
Between the hours of 5pm to 8pm on weekdays you will be able to park for three hours without having to move your car and fees will be reduced to $1 between those times.
At all other times during the week the current hourly fees will remain between $3-5 per hour with a 2-hour parking limit.
On Saturday and Sundays, you will be able to park for three hours and the hourly fee on all our metered on-street parks will be $1 per hour between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Except for the Clifton Carpark, where the normal daily and hourly rates will apply.
Annual licensing fees
From Tuesday 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023 annual alcohol licensing fees will be $1 (plus the ARLA levy which will be between $15 and $75 depending on the risk rating of your premises).
Annual food registration fees will be $1 from Tuesday 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023.
If you are varying your alcohol licence to include an outdoor area from Tuesday 1 March onwards, your fee will be $1 plus the ARLA levy.
If you hold a pavement licence, and have already paid your annual licensing fee, you will be refunded the full amount – or you can carry that payment over to cover next year’s annual fee, which kicks in on 1 July 2022.
Businesses looking to create more outdoor space for dining or socialising are being encouraged to explore the possibility of temporarily transforming an adjacent on-street carpark or two into a parklet.
These small outdoor spaces work well in other cities in Aotearoa and overseas and were successfully trialled in Wellington last year in Newtown, and in Cuba, Allen and Marion streets. The parklets bring life and creativity to a neighbourhood and give people a bit more space to spread out and social distance. This can be a big advantage now, especially for cafes.
There’s a design guide and information online that explains how to design and apply to develop a parklet. And to help, we won't be charging any fees for the use of street space approved for parklet use until at least March 2023.
Rates and rent for hospitality and retail businesses
Another aspect of the plan is a fourth quarter rates deferral for hospitality and retail businesses who own their building.
Those qualifying businesses can defer their Quarter 4 (April to June 2022) rates without penalty for six months.
From March 2022 to May 2022, we can offer rent relief to several commercial leases in Council owned buildings with hospitality and retail businesses in the city's waterfront and in some venues.