News | 27 June 2024
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Wellington City’s Long-term Plan adopted

Investment into Wellington’s future has been set with the adoption of the City Council’s 2024-34 Long-term Plan.

Wellington at sunset

The Council today officially approved and accepted the plan, which was put out for public consultation in April and May.

Mayor Tory Whanau says the decision marks the end of a comprehensive process focused on striking a responsible balance. “The decisions we have made over this process deliver the investment needed to help Pōneke continue to be a city where people and nature thrive, while balancing our economic constraints. 

“Our Long-term Plan invests $1.8b to protect one of our most important natural resources – water, delivers better transport with bus lanes and cycle lanes, tackles climate change by transforming our waste system and decarbonising our pools, provides extra funding to pay workers the Living Wage, puts $500m into upgrading social housing and invests in our community by funding city safety.

“Our communities deserve to have access to warm, dry and safe homes, with transport that gets them across the city where they can enjoy our world-class arts and culture scene where everyone is celebrated. 

“Our future can be thriving and exciting. I am proud of where we landed today and thank Wellingtonians for helping to guide us on this huge decision for our city.”

The plan outlines how nearly $5 billion of capital expenditure will be spent on improving Pōneke over the next 10 years and directs $11.6 billion towards running the city and providing services. Over 4000 people made a submission during formal consultation on the plan.

Along with the record investment in water, which was strongly backed by public submissions, the plan sees the introduction of an organic waste collection service and increased capacity for recycling collection – also strongly backed by the public.

A new Perpetual Investment Fund will also be created using proceeds from the sale of the Council’s minority shares, (34%), in Wellington Airport. A majority of public submissions favoured selling some or all of the shares.

Over $42 million will be spent on upgrading and renewing the city’s Coastal, Town Belt and Reserves infrastructure and there is $106m of funding for recreation facilities and services.

More than $325m will be spent on operational costs for social housing and nearly $593m on renewing and upgrading units.

Over $104m has been earmarked for the completion of the new Te Matapihi Central Library and $1.1b is set aside for the transport network, including $115.2m on sustainable street changes.

The final plan adopted by Councillors includes:

  • The removal of proposals to introduce suburban parking fees in selected areas;
  • Introduction of fees for motorcycle parking in the central city;
  • A one-year pause and review of plans to close Khandallah Pool by a newly established Advisory Group;
  • Sale of the Wadestown Community Centre and subsequent engagement with the community about how the proceeds of the sale are used;
  • Removal of funding for the annual mid-year fireworks display;
  • Earlier-than-scheduled closure of the Arapaki Service Centre and temporary library on Manners Street;
  • Stopping the planned upgrade of Ian Galloway Park and Waitangi Park skate facilities;
  • Scale back the Thorndon Quay and Hutt Rd projects;
  • Scale back the City Streets and Bike network projects;
  • Reprioritise funding from Creative Capital towards the National Music Centre;
  • Allocate $14m from the Climate Resilience Fund to degasify the pool network;
  • Increase social grants for safety initiatives in the CBD by $500,000 a year;
  • Consider options to reallocate any funding not spent against the Town Hall and Te Ngākau Civic Square to water capital renewal projects;
  • Focus on the delivery of City Streets projects like a Secondary bus corridor, cross-city cycle connection, Cuba St pedestrianisation and Dixon Street upgrade in the first three years of the Long-term Plan.

Following the adoption of the Plan, an average rates increase of 16.9% for the 2024/25 year has been finalised to help finance the investments. The sludge levy, which is in addition to general rates, will be introduced from 2024/25 and is a further 1.6% increase.

Alongside rates, most fees and user charges will increase, effective 1 July. Key fee increases are in the following areas:

  • Wellington Gardens
  • Waterfront Public Spaces
  • Waste Minimisation including general rubbish, green waste and rubbish bags.
  • Swimming Pools
  • Recreation Centres
  • Burials and Cremations
  • Public Health Regulations
  • Dog Registration
  • Building Control & Facilitation
  • Development Control & Facilitation
  • Network-wide control & Management
  • Marinas
  • Parking

There are several variables that impact on how fees and charges are set. These vary from activity to activity, and generally can be attributed to growing costs associated with services.

The full list of proposed changes to fees and charges can be found on the Council website here.