Make a complaint

The Council is committed to resolving issues or complaints you have about its policies and service delivery.

Our commitment to you

We value our relationship with you and want to ensure that you have a positive experience with us.

All complaints will be taken seriously and will be handled in a timely and professional manner. We will work with you with the aim of reaching a resolution that reasonably satisfies all parties and use any complaints as an opportunity to learn and where appropriate, improve our services.

Thank you for taking the time to engage with us, we look forward to working with you.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when you are dissatisfied with the way we have gone about our work. This can include, but is not limited to: 

  • a decision we have made
  • an action we have taken (or a lack of action being taken)
  • the way we have treated you
  • the standard of service we have provided you with. 

There will also be times where your comments will not be considered a complaint; in this instance you will be referred to the appropriate team or relevant information.

Complaints principles

There are a number of principles that we will apply when responding to a complaint. These are broken down into four key themes:

We aim to be accessible and responsive

  • It will be easy for you to make a complaint if you wish to do so
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within three days and keep you updated on the progress of your complaint process
  • We will consider your complaint as efficiently as possible
  • We will communicate in a way that is easy for you to understand.

We aim to be open and fair

  • We will treat you with respect at all times
  • Complaints are dealt with in a clear and objective way
  • We will work to see things from your perspective, to understand and address what you think is wrong
  • We will ensure that information provided to you is accurate and up-to-date.

We aim to constantly improve

  • We will ensure that any issues brought to our attention will be assessed on their own merits
  • We will use complaints as an opportunity to improve the way we operate
  • We will acknowledge where we have made a mistake and strive to put things right for you
  • We will continue to work with our staff to ensure they understand good processes and procedures for resolving complaints.

Your information will remain confidential

  • Any personal information provided as part of your complaint will be treated as confidential
  • We will work with you if someone seeks access to identifying personal information about your complaint.

Types of complaints

Wellington City Council manages different types of complaints based on how they enter the Council. These can be handled by:

  • frontline staff
  • the manager of a business unit
  • the Assurance team
  • an external party.

Complaint handled by frontline staff

The first time that a complaint is raised with the Council it will follow a standard complaints management process with the appropriate area.

Make a complaint directly to the appropriate team:

Complaint handled by the manager of a business unit

If the complaint you have raised has not resulted in an appropriate resolution or you have concerns about the way the council has dealt with you, you can ask for a manager to look into your complaint.

Complaint handled by the Assurance team

A complaint could be handled by the Assurance team for the following reasons:

  • a review of a complaint has been requested
  • the complaint is complex or has significant risk attached to it
  • the number of complaints received for that reason is significant
  • a Council employee (or former employee) wants to report wrongdoing to ensure integrity and accountability within the organisation. The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 (or “Whistle blowers” Act) protects employees who make such disclosures.

These complaints are managed on a case by case basis. See how the Assurance team can help you.

Complaint handled by an external party

There are occasionally situations where the Wellington City Council does not provide a solution that a complainant is wanting. In this instance if you wish to pursue the matter further there are a number of options available to you. 

This could include:

  • contacting the Office of the Ombudsman who supports the community in its dealings with government agencies
  • seeking independent legal advice.

More information

If you need further information, email complaints@wcc.govt.nz.