News | 16 February 2024
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Council confirms Long-term Plan options for community feedback

At the Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance Committee meeting on 15 February Mayor Tory Whanau and Wellington City Councillors confirmed proposals to go forward for formal consultation with the community.

An elevated view of the Wellington harbour at golden hour.

Consultation on the 2024-34 Long-term Plan opens on 12 April and closes on 12 May. It is a key opportunity for Wellingtonians to have their say on the city’s 10-year plan and budget.  

Major consultation items will be:  

  • Three-waters investment options, with a recommended option to provide $1.8 billion to Wellington Water for investment in three waters.
  • Waste collection services – including options to introduce wheelie bins and organics collection, funded by a new targeted rate for waste (a flat fee for all households that can receive the service).
  • Options for establishing a Perpetual Investment Fund by selling City Council ground leases and the Council’s shares in Wellington Airport, to address natural disaster and insurance risks.   

The draft Long-term Plan will include changes to the capital programme, to allow as much investment as possible in three waters within Council financial parameters. This includes: 

  • Delaying starting construction of Kilbirnie Skate Park from 2024/25 to 2025/26. 
  • Closing Khandallah Pool and landscaping the site to restore the stream channel, improve flooding mitigation and create a new entranceway into Khandallah Park. 
  • Not progressing the Hutt Road portion of the Thorndon Quay/Hutt Road transport improvements (part of the former Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme). The Aotea Quay roundabout and Thorndon Quay portions would continue. 
  • Rephasing work on the Golden Mile to deliver the Courtenay Place improvements first, and delay the Lambton Quay, Manners and Willis Street work.  

The draft plan will also include reductions in some services to help reduce operating spend and rates, including: 

  • Stopping composting hub trials. 
  • Decreasing heritage advisory services. 
  • Stopping the printing and delivery of the quarterly Our Wellington magazine. 
  • Reducing the graffiti cleaning budget. 
  • Closing the Arapaki library and service centre. 
  • Selling Wadestown Community Centre. 
  • Alternative funding sources for CCTV cameras. 
  • Stopping the annual mid-year fireworks display. 

Options for reducing hours at selected libraries and pools and discontinuing the New Year’s Eve waterfront event were not supported by Council and will not progress to community consultation. 

The introduction of suburban centre parking fees in areas such as Tawa, Johnsonville, Newlands, Khandallah, Northland, Karori, Aro Valley, Kelburn, Newtown, Berhampore, Island Bay, Kilbirnie, Miramar and Rongotai, and the introduction of motorcycle parking fees, would be included in the consultation document for community feedback. 

The Council also voted to: 

  • Investigate options to commercially rate accommodation providers such as AirBnB properties 
  • Investigate congestion charges. 
  • Include $2.8 million in the capital expenditure programme for wastewater upgrades for a trunk sewer in the Kaiwharawhara stream in Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush. 
  • Get advice on options for introducing water meters, with a view to consulting with the community in 2025/26 and starting implementation in 2026/27. 

Committee papers and the live-streamed Council meeting are available on our website

Chair of the Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance Committee Rebecca Matthews says, “I would like to acknowledge councillors, community, and staff for their contribution to the on-going development of this Long-term Plan. I think what we are proposing is a balanced plan that will deliver for Wellington.”  

Mayor Tory Whanau says, “The tough economic environment has made this a difficult budget to put together. Like other councils around the country, we are facing external pressures of inflation, rising interest rates, rampant insurance costs and aging water infrastructure.    

“The proposals we have before us today deliver the investment needed to make Wellington a thriving, resilient city while balancing the economic constraint.  

“I have made it clear that water is a priority for the council in this Long-term Plan. We have significantly increased our funding in water, over the 10 years of this proposal one in every four dollars we spend on capital will go to the three waters.   

“This not only funds Wellington Water to fix and replace our drinking water infrastructure, but also the roll-out of water meters.  

“This is a record investment in water and ratepayers are right to expect a reduction in leaks for their money.  I will be working with other councils to get the changes to ensure Wellington Water can deliver efficiently.  

“But, I want to be crystal clear that funding water should not be coming at the expense of delivering better public transport, revitalisation of our city, housing and climate initiatives.   

“These are the key priorities, and history has taught us that if we don’t invest in these pressing issues now, they will become a bigger problem down the track.  Over the next 30 years 50,000 more people will be living in Wellington. It is possible to invest in both within our constraints.  

“I want to acknowledge that this has required all of us around the Council table to dig deep and reprioritise funding.  

“After listening to community feedback in recent days I put forward an amendment today that removes reductions to opening hours of pools and libraries from the draft plan. 

“We will be continuing to consult with you, the community, about what you want the final Long-Term Plan to look like,” says Mayor Whanau.  

The Council has been developing the 2024-34 Long-term Plan over the past 18 months, including working with the community to identify key outcomes and priorities for the city, such as water infrastructure resilience and climate change adaptation, and holding a Citizens Assembly, whose advice included investigating alternative revenue streams and reviewing capital expenditure.   

The draft plan includes a significant level of investment in core infrastructure and services identified as a priority by the community, and in maintaining a broad range of Council services, while offering options for savings including significant rephasing and reprioritising of capital spending.  

More information is available at