News | 19 February 2021
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Councillors vote on city budget

Wellington City Councillors have met to agree on the city’s direction for the next 10 years.

Wellington harbour.

Mayor Andy Foster put forward a draft budget for the Council’s consideration.

“The decisions we make on what to include in the draft budget and what to leave out are still subject to final approval,” said Mayor Foster.

“The budget outlines what we will be investing in, how much it may cost and how this will be funded. It is a budget for infrastructure and resilience and strikes the balance between what we have to do, rating affordability and a debt level that leaves headroom for both expected and unexpected future challenges.

“It provides guidance on how we will make Wellington an even better place to live, work, play and visit as we go into the future.”

A draft consultation document will be provided to the Annual Plan/Long-term Plan Committee meeting on 4 March. Councillors will give final approval to this draft document, which will then go out for public consultation in April before a final plan is adopted in June 2021.

The key decisions made at yesterday’s meeting include:

  • A significant uplift in capital spending – directed to infrastructure including for three waters.
  • Setting the Council’s debt to revenue ratio limit at 225%
  • Exploration of new funding mechanisms for city housing, the Central Library and sewerage sludge investment.

Councillors agreed to reduce the library budget for new physical items for years one and two. This will not reduce the current collection size, or the budget for buying new digital items.

They also voted to enable partnering for commercial space in the Central Library. This would see the costs for remediating the Central Library condensed into years three and four, by agreeing to make milestone payments to the developer who the Council engages to carry out the remediation work. This would allow the Council to stay within a responsible debt level while still rebuilding the library in the preferred timeframe.

Key dates:

4 March - Annual Plan/Long-term Plan Committee meeting:

  • Consultation document to approve.
  • Agreement to consult.
  • Approval of budgets.

30 March - Annual Plan/Long-term Plan Committee Meeting:

  • Draft consultation document approved.

April - Public consultation

30 June - The Long-term Plan 2021-31 is adopted.