CEO urges new Council to capitalise on strong growth

29 July 2016

Wellington City Council Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lavery today released his Pre-election Report, which shows the Council has sound finances and is in a strong position to invest in projects that will transform the city.

Publication of the Pre-election Report (968KB PDF) is a requirement of the Local Government Act. The report outlines how the city is performing, the state of the Council’s finances and provides a snapshot of the challenges and opportunities expected in the coming three years.

Mr Lavery says the Council has made significant progress over the last three years to encourage growth in the city, but there is still much to be done.

“We’ve come a long way in the last three years,” says Mr Lavery.

“Projects like the new Tech Hub, transforming Victoria Street, stronger air connections with Canberra and Singapore and the proposed Movie Museum and Convention Centre will all help grow the economy, generating more revenue to spend on essential services – plus new and exciting projects that will make Wellington an even better city.

“There is an air of optimism in the city, the city’s population is growing and confidence and growth are starting to take hold. The challenge now is to maintain the momentum that we have built and capitalise on forecast growth, and the Council is in a strong position to do so. But it will require some tough decisions and an appetite for getting things done.”

The report poses a number of questions and challenges for the newly elected Council to consider:

  • What more can be done to build a stronger and more innovative economy? 
  • How can the Council adopt new technology to reduce the cost of delivering basic services?
  • Where and how should the city accommodate its growing population and new migrants?
  • How should the city deal with the growing challenge of house affordability? 

Decisions will also need to be made on growth projects such as extending the airport runway, transforming Kent and Cambridge Terraces and Adelaide Road, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment, as the Victoria Street upgrade did.

Mr Lavery says the city’s future success depends on a strong working relationship between the Council, the community, businesses, neighbouring councils and central government. A healthy relationship between council staff and elected representatives is also crucial so that Council decisions can be implemented quickly and effectively.