Capital adopts plan for stronger communities and economic growth

29 June 2016

Wellington City Council has maintained its commitment to a thriving Capital City, with a plan to grow the economy and build stronger communities for the next financial year.

The City Council has this evening adopted its 2016/17 Annual Plan, setting the budget for the next financial year and striking the rates increase at a modest 3.6 percent – within the limit agreed by Councillors in the Long-term Plan 2015-2025.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Wellington City is amid a time of significant transformation across all sectors and is enjoying considerable growth.

“Employment is up, our hi-tech and retail economic activity is increasing, we’re making good progress for our environment and we are committed to a socially inclusive city,” says the Mayor.

“This Annual Plan now sets out our budget for the 2016/17 financial year, improving the Capital’s resilience while introducing fresh initiatives to ensure Wellington’s a place where local and global talent wants to live.

“We’re investing in Wellington’s rightful claim as New Zealand’s creative capital, increasing our arts funding and introducing a new outdoor events series to enliven our central city. 

“This financial year the Urban Development Agency will be established, rapidly increasing affordable housing of good design near decent facilities, not urban sprawl. And our environmental commitment includes the Low Carbon Capital Plan with a pathway to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.”

The Council’s Low Carbon Capital Plan focusses on greening Wellington’s growth, transforming the Capital’s transport use and for Council to lead by example, partnering with organisations to fund more sustainable and environmentally-responsive ways of operating.  

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, who oversaw the Annual Plan process as Chair of the Governance Finance and Planning Committee, says the projects for the coming financial underline the Council’s commitment to inclusive growth.

“The major investments in projects like the proposed Movie Museum and Convention Centre grab the headlines for good reason, but Wellingtonians of all interests and incomes will benefit from the Council’s activities,” says Cr Lester.

“Among many initiatives and projects, the Council is increasing its support for agencies to tackle the root causes of homelessness, we’re extending a living wage to our core cleaning and security contractors, we’re upgrading the Arlington social housing facility, constructing the new Johnsonville Library and developing more artificial turfs.

“We’ve had great feedback and input from the public during the engagement process, so I’d like to thank all Wellingtonians who took the time to have their say and help shape the Council’s work for the next year and beyond,” he says.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the after-growth rates increase, recommended to the Council on 29 June, will remain within the target of 3.6 percent.

“Councillors are committed to the approach we agreed with the Long-term Plan to invest in projects that grow the Capital’s economy, and we are committed to keeping the rates strike affordable for all Wellingtonians. 

“The Council’s Long-term Plan delivers a $5 billion, 10-year, budget with no cuts to services, with nearly $1 billion in transformative investment to grow Wellington’s economy. 

“An increase of 3.6% is a modest and manageable amount, and represents great value for all Wellingtonians. We’re continuing to invest in our fundamental infrastructure; the three waters, transport networks and community facilities.”

This coming financial year, the Council will start strengthening Town Hall and, subject to Council approval, start building the Movie Museum and Convention Centre.

In addition, the Council decided to support:

  • Lyall Bay Foreshore Resilience Plan
  • Toitu Poneke Sports Hub
  • Ngauranga to Airport transport corridor, minor capital improvements
  • Tawa Town Centre upgrade
  • Improving pedestrian and cycling safety on Middleton Road
  • Increases to community grants
  • Newtown Festival
  • Artificial playing surface at former Terawhiti Bowling Club in Karori
  • New water fountains for the central city
  • Warm Up Wellington.

Table of main expenditure (rounded to nearest million)

Activity
Operational Expenditure
Capital Expenditure
Governance 
$18m
$116,000
Environment 
$159m
$38m
Economic Development
$42m
$7m 
Cultural Wellbeing
$20m
$9m
Social and Recreation
$109m
$42m
Urban Development
$28m
$14m
Transport
$65m
$41m

For more information on this year’s plan, please visit: Annual Plan 2016/17