News | 1 February 2017

Mayor directs Council to find $8 million worth of savings

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester is announcing he has tasked Wellington City Council with saving ratepayers at least $8 million.

“Today I am announcing I have asked our CEO to lead a thorough review of all Council spending in order to find a minimum of eight million dollars’ worth of savings,” says Justin Lester.

These savings, which equate to a 2% an efficiency target, will help keep rates increases down below the 3.9% average increase forecast in the Council’s last long-term plan.

“We have a very busy programme of work in front of us this term – investing in new social and affordable housing, moving forward on the Living Wage, and major projects to boost our local economy and increase our resilience to natural disasters,” the Mayor says.

“Having run my own business for ten years, I know we have to focus our investments where they will do the most good.”

“This review will make sure we can fund key priorities without lumping ratepayers with big rates rises. It’s about putting every dollar of ratepayer money to the best possible use. I want our services to be efficient and provide value for money, and I think we can deliver savings without having to cut services”

Council Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lavery says the organisation is well placed to deliver value for money.

“This is a welcome challenge from our city’s new Mayor and we are up for it. We are consistently looking at ways of delivering services more efficiently and will be focusing on a number of areas including shared services, procurement and operational delivery.

“This will be good for the Council, giving us the opportunity to focus our efforts and get the best return on the investments we make.

“I’m confident we can achieve a two per cent efficiencies target while still providing high quality services and making the investments in resilience we need to prepare our city for future earthquakes,” he says.

The savings identified will be incorporated into the Council’s Annual and Long Term Plans.