News | 31 December 2018

Council gets engaged

Wellington City Council has been very engaged this year with 29 public consultations, 23 public notices, on-going project work with community groups, a big shift to online submissions, and an award winning design campaign – we asked, you spoke, and we listened.

Long term plan campaign

One of the highlights this year was the input from the younger generation on our 10-Year Plan, says Councillor Diane Calvert, who holds the Council’s Community Engagement portfolio.

“The use of online tools, social media promotions, and a virtual forum connecting the community and councillors, really appealed to our young people and the number of submissions on our city’s future really reflected that. We doubled the number of submissions compared to 2015.”

More than 90 percent of submissions on this 10-Year Plan were made online compared to 23 percent in 2015, an indication of the digital campaign’s success.

Council also ran a creative campaign to project provocative messages onto city buildings to gain attention and promote the hashtag #WgtnPlan as a way to give feedback.

This campaign garnered a coveted silver award in the Environmental Graphics category at the Best Design Awards, which celebrates New Zealand’s best graphic designs each year.

Councillor Calvert says the city has some big challenges to address, and engagement ensures everyone has their say on these matters and helps shape the future direction.

“Engaging the community is an integral part of everything a council does, and we are continually looking at ways to improve how we do so.

“It’s not always smooth sailing, but we need to have the hard conversations early on to ensure the best course of action happens, and we collectively make the best decisions for the future of the city.”

The Te Reo policy, Te Tauihu, was another hugely successful online engagement campaign with the promotional social media videos reaching over 100,000 on Facebook, captivating a cross section of the community, and gaining generally positive feedback.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day says this shows Wellingtonians recognise that te reo Māori is an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand – and they value it and want to embrace it.

“We want Wellington to be the frontrunner in making te reo Māori a key part of the cultural fabric of Aotearoa. The engagement campaign showed Wellingtonians are behind our drive to incorporate it into everyday life and spaces.”

The kōrero continues next year, with more campaigns coming up including Planning for Growth where we consider our city’s future, and our local elections.

Check out our highlights from 2018 here (PDF 424KB).