Wellington city proves to be a centre of attraction

21 December 2015

A recent survey shows inner-city living is becoming more popular, and Wellington City Council is on the right track with planning and investment as it focuses on growth in the area.

In the Council-led survey of central city residents, 85% are happy living there, while 90% would recommend it to a friend.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says these results are a good sign. “The Wellington Urban Growth Plan, which was adopted in June, identified the central city as a key residential growth area. With more than 7,000 households already there, and set to double over the next three decades, it’s positive news that our existing residents are already satisfied.

“With the survey results we can put the Wellington Urban Growth Plan into effect, and continue to make the central city an attractive and popular place to live. We can really focus on the infrastructure, facilities and planning with an eye on now and the future,” adds the Mayor.

The Council wanted to find out what was and what wasn’t working in the central city. The survey, sent to central city residents, asked for information about their motivation for living there, their use of facilities and parks, and their transport habits.

The results show that residents are finding the convenience of living in the city the biggest advantage. Being close to work or education, shops and services, and restaurants, cafes and bars all rated as the highest reasons for residents choosing to live there. Other things such as a good walking environment and quality public spaces were also highlighted.

Central City Projects Portfolio Leader Councillor Nicola Young says it’s terrific to live in the city centre. She loves the vitality, plus it’s easy to walk around and highly convenient.

“Wellington has over 70 lanes connecting the city and the Council has started transforming them to ensure they’re attractive, safe and fun. We’ve just completed Eva and Leeds streets and – my favourite, to date – Masons Lane,” says Councillor Young.

“We will use the survey’s information to improve the quality of life in the inner city; that’s important when it’s the fastest growing residential area in Wellington – and possibly New Zealand. After all, when I moved to Te Aro in 2002, people thought I was crazy, now they envy my decision!”

The survey on the Council’s website also shows more people are living in the central city for longer. A 2008 survey showed 26% of residents had been there for more than four years, this number increased to 34% in 2015.

Residents also expressed dislikes, the most common being one in three mentioning a lack of useable private outdoor space.

Other important issues include noise, a lack of storage, the overall cost of living centrally, and parking constraints.

The survey was administered by Nielsen on behalf of the Council.