Councillors Approve Long-term Vision for Wellington

29 September 2011

Wellington City Council has unanimously agreed to a long-term vision for the city focusing on a sustainable future and attracting smart talent and business to the city.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the framework will underpin and guide all Council strategies across economic, environmental, social, technology, transport and other key issues.

"This was a major consultation exercise for the Council. Over 6000 people came through the Storybox installations alone. I am pleased so many people took the time to be engaged in the long-term vision for the city. This strategy reflects the overwhelming response from Wellingtonians who agreed on a smart and sustainable future as the obvious way forward."

The Council has identified four goals:

People-centred city - the aim is to be healthy, vibrant, affordable, resilient, have a strong sense of identity, and strong and healthy communities.

Connected city - this is connectedness in every sense: physical, virtual or social. Strategies like the Digital Strategy fall under this.

Eco-city - this is a response to all the environmental challenges the city faces over the coming decades, and the Council is confident we can lead the country by example.

Dynamic central city - this section largely deals with urban design aspects of the central city - making sure it's still a great place to be where new ideas happen - and maintaining its role as the creative and innovative force to drive the regional economy.

The vision is based on Wellington's identified key strengths as a city - its compact form, beautiful harbour setting and connections to the natural environment, outstanding quality of life and highly skilled population with the highest incomes in the country. The next step is to ensure that we build on the momentum and that clear decisions are made during the Long Term Plan process to achieve the ambitions of the strategy. Specific proposals include:

  • An economic plan to secure direct long-haul flights to Asia by 2013
  • Ambitious plans to attract talent and business investment
  • Advancing moves to position Wellington as a digital city

One change agreed at Council was to amend the title of the document to Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital to reflect Wellington's unique status as the capital city. "Our status as the nation's capital city is one that defines the city, both nationally and internationally, and provides a platform for us to engage, debate and learn from other capitals abroad," says Mayor Wade-Brown.