The Wellington City Council has today launched formal consultation on its Annual Plan 2016-17, which implements year two of the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2015-25 and introduces a range of proposals to build on the progress so far.
At a State of the City address at the Paramount Theatre today, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said public views on the new initiatives would help guide Council’s decisions this year and the future.
"The Capital is on the up, and we’re now experiencing strong growth across a number of key indicators,” she says.
"Our population grew by 2 percent in 2015 alone - double the average rate of the previous ten years. House prices climbed nearly 7 percent, and there were 18 percent more residential building consents issued.
"Also, around 3300 new jobs were created last year, the biggest improvement since the global financial crisis. We’ve come a long way, we’re heading in the right direction and we are going to do more,” she says.
The engagement period runs for a month until 29 April 2016. Responses from the public and stakeholders will inform the final annual plan.
Deputy Mayor Justin Lester says this year’s Annual Plan builds on the foundation of sustainable growth established in the LTP.
“We have some important changes to the Long Term Plan and some new initiatives as we move forward into a new financial year,” he says.
“It’s important the public has their say on our shared future by viewing our consultation document online or at a local library.”
The Annual Plan 2016/17 supports the Capital’s growth strategy enshrined in the 10-year Long Term Plan (LTP) and introduces a number of new initiatives which followed a public call for suggestions.
A new strategy to transform Wellington as a Low Carbon Capital and the formation of an Urban Development Agency to regenerate the Capital and deliver high-quality developments are key features in Wellington City’s plans for the year ahead.
There are proposed changes that impact on the parameters of the LTP on which Wellington City Council is seeking the views of ratepayers and service users.
These changes include:
- Low Carbon Capital Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Urban Development Agency to be a catalyst for urban renewal
- Food Act fee changes in response to changes introduced by central government.
- Zealandia Governance changes - Creating a new Council-Controlled organisation (CCO) that was not specified in the LTP.
- Kilbirnie Business Improvement District - setting a new targeted rate.
“We will ensure Wellington is one of the most liveable cities in the world,” says the Mayor. “New projects include the Johnsonville Library upgrade, Arlington social housing upgrade, Harbour Escarpment walkway, starting the Town Hall strengthening and transport initiatives.”
The proposed activities in the 2016/17 Annual Plan includes in excess of 10% funding on resilience projects, spread over different areas of the budget.
In return for the commitment to the 10% Resilience Pledge, 100RC commits to make available Platform Partner goods and services worth up to USD$5 million over the next five years to support Wellington's resilience building efforts.
- The next financial year 2016/17 is year two of the 2015-25 LTP.
- A series of consultation events are planned for between 29 March and 29 April 2016. These will provide more information on the LTP and its objectives, and the proposed changes to the LTP.
- A submission form will be included in the consultation document and on the Wellington City Council website, and the public is encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed changes.
- Submitters will also have the opportunity to speak to it in front of Wellington City Councillors at a hearing process in May 2016.
- Following the hearings Councillors will make final decisions on content of the Annual Plan and agree the rate levels for 2016/17.