News | 12 July 2022
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State of the city report reveals key challenges

The major challenges the capital city is facing have been laid out in Wellington City Council’s Pre-Election Report for 2022.

Wellington Harbour.

The statutory report shows the Council’s progress in making the city fit for the future by investing heavily in infrastructure, managing growth, improving resilience, and tackling city safety concerns. 

It also details key governance, economic and funding challenges the city is facing, in the context of wider housing affordability issues and the lasting economic impacts of the Covid pandemic. 

City Council Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow says Wellington is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation transformation of how we live, work and play. 

“Over the past three years the Council has worked hard, through a challenging time in Aotearoa, to put plans in place to ensure that Wellington is a capital city fit for the future,” she says. 

“A planned medium to long-term programme of transformational work is underway, focused on increased investment in Wellington’s aging three waters infrastructure; a modernised transport network; earthquake strengthening our building portfolio; planning for growth and smart urban development while working to increase the supply of affordable housing; upgrading and growing our cultural/ community places and programmes to advance Wellington’s place as a leading creative city; accelerating zero-carbon and waste-free transition; and stronger relationships with mana whenua. 

“This period of transformation is taking place while we continue to deliver the 400-plus services the Council provides to Wellingtonians every day, and as we support our city’s recovery from the ongoing effects of a global pandemic.” 

Person smiling at the camera.
Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow

The Pre-Election Report is produced every three years before the local body elections. It is required under the Local Government Act 2002, with the purpose of providing information to promote public discussion about the issues facing the local authority. 

The theme of this year’s report is ‘A City in Transition, A Sector in Transition’, acknowledging the period of transformation our city and local government sector will be experiencing over the next few years. 

The report includes analysis of five key challenges Wellington is facing: 

  • Our infrastructure and planning for growth 
  • Our resilience and adaptability 
  • Our economy 
  • Our funding and resourcing 
  • Our changing local government sector. 

Ms McKerrow says the Council is improving our city’s resilience in the face of climate change, and helping the city adapt to population growth, with an influx of 50,000 to 80,000 new residents forecast over the next 30 years. 

Potential local body election candidates and residents are encouraged to read this report to gain an understanding of the big challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for the Council and the city, says Ms McKerrow. 

“Given the scale of change our city needs, it is only through bold, far-reaching transformation that Wellington will remain a vibrant, progressive and liveable city – a place where people, particularly young people, want to be. 

“For the incoming Council, the focus will be on shifting Wellington into this period of transition, delivering the plans that are now in place to transform our great Capital City. It will take time, and there are certainly big challenges ahead – but there are also major opportunities which can be realised by working better together for Wellington.” 
Candidate nominations open on 15 July, and close at 12 noon on 12 August. 

Read the Pre-Election Report

Printed copies will also be available in all Wellington City Library branches. 

Key election dates: 


30 June: enrolment update packs posted out, for checking details. 

12 August: last day to enrol to receive voting papers by mail – otherwise you’ll need to vote by special vote. 

7 October: last day to enrol and be able to vote in this election. 


15 July: candidate nominations open. 

12 August: nominations close at 12 noon.  


16 September onwards: voting documents posted out.   

8 October: voting closes at 12 noon. 


8 October: preliminary results out. 

13 – 19 October: final results out. 

For voter, candidate and Māori ward information, visit