News | 31 March 2017

Council to reduce outdoor dining fees

The capital’s café culture and its drive to become smokefree could both receive a boost with a plan to reduce outdoor dining fees, Mayor Justin Lester has announced.

Under the plan, all venues will receive a 50% reduction, with venues offering smoke free dining outdoors having their entire fee waived.

Council’s Social Development Portfolio Leader Brian Dawson says the extra reduction for smoke-free venues will be another boost for the city’s efforts to clear the air.

“We are committed to a smoke-free Wellington and we’re making good progress – Wellington currently has some of the lowest rates of smoking in the country. But there’s more we can do and this is an incentive for more of our venues to become smoke free.”

The Mayor says the move will be a boost to the city’s hospitality sector and help make Wellington a more exciting place to live and visit.

“Wellington’s vibrant bars and cafes are one of the things we all love about our city, and this is about doing more to make them even better,” says Justin Lester.

“A coffee or beer in the sun on a nice Wellington day is pretty hard to beat, so it makes sense to me that this is something we’d want to be charging businesses less for.

“It’s not a big cost for Council – less than $100,000 a year and it’ll help promote our vibrant café culture and make it easier to provide outdoor dining in the city.

Venues wanting to provide outdoor dining would still need to receive a permit to do so in order to ensure public space is protected.

The change will be introduced in the Mayor’s first draft of this year’s Annual Plan, introduced for Council consideration. If adopted, the reductions would take effect from 1 July.