Climate change action and urban development feature in Capital's draft Annual Plan

4 March 2016

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 development’s economy are key features in Wellington City’s plans for the year ahead.

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 a high-quality development economy are key features in Wellington City’s plans for the year ahead.

They join other initiatives to go before the Wellington City Council next week when councillors discuss new initiatives for 2016/17 fiscal year, supporting the Capital’s growth strategy enshrined in the 10-year Long-term Plan (LTP).

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says next week’s discussions are a crucial component of developing the Annual Plan, where Council agrees initiatives to be included in the consultation document.

“Wellington has enjoyed a successful implementation on the 2015-2025 Long-term Plan and this year’s Annual Plan is an extension of the work that is already committed,” says the Mayor.

“We’ve been encouraged by the progress made in this past year on several significant projects aimed at growing Wellington and sharing the benefits of economic gains; the recently-announced Movie Museum and Convention Centre is a good example of the journey our ideas are taking toward reality.”

There are six 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 are:

  • Draft Low Carbon Capital Plan – this is Council’s new action plan to reduce the City’s and Council’s emission profile. 
  • Urban Development Agency – this proposal is to create an Urban Development Agency for the City as a tool to help deliver the Wellington Urban Growth Plan and regenerate key parts of the city. 
  • Food Act fee changes – changing the fee structure from that outlined in LTP.
  • 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 that was not identified in LTP. 

“We’ll be examining the proposed formation of a self-funding Urban Development Agency, with a capability to support urban growth and economic development policies,” says the Mayor.

“We have laid the foundation in the past few years to be a low carbon capital and we have joined with cities around the world to reduce carbon emissions. We’ll build on recent progress to ‘green our growth’, transform our transport and build resilience into our city.

“As part of Wellington City’s commitment to the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) programme, we’ll continue to lead our citizens and our city partners to make resilience a high priority. Seismic strengthening, economic growth initiatives, better transport choice, Neighbours' Day and coastal planting and infrastructure all help make the Capital more resilient.”

The proposed activities in the 2016/17 Annual Plan include 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. 

Next steps

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 on the Wellington City Council website and in the consultation document, 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 hearings 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. Council is sticking to 3.6% increase as agreed in LTP.