Waterfront Company Review Proposed

1 December 2010

Wellington City Council is to consider a recommendation from the Board of Wellington Waterfront Ltd (WWL) that the company be reviewed next year in light of the effect of the global financial crisis on property development.

A report on the proposed review is to be considered by the Council on 15 December.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she was thoroughly briefed on the impact of the economic downturn on WWL after taking office in October and supports the proposed review taking place.

WWL's Board Chair, Robert Gray, says that, if approved, the review would look at a range of options for the company - from the status quo, to downsizing and moving its operations 'in-house' within the City Council itself. The review would be conducted by Council staff in conjunction with WWL. The company's staff and Wellingtonians in general would be consulted as part of the process.

WWL is charged with developing the waterfront in accordance with the Wellington Waterfront Framework. It has seven full-time staff.

Mr Gray says WWL has "done great things" for the waterfront since 2001. "We all know the waterfront is a place that Wellingtonians are very proud of. 

"However the waterfront has suffered the consequences of the global financial crisis. This has resulted in a reduced appetite by property developers to undertake new developments."

Development of the parks and other public spaces and facilities on the waterfront currently depends on finance from commercial development on areas specified within the framework.

Mr Gray says cashflow from commercial activity has fallen significantly. This has led to a much reduced work plan for the company in the foreseeable future.