In June 2022 several local sporting codes came together with College Sport Wellington to form the Affordable Sports for Greater Wellington group. The group lobbied candidates in the local body elections to commit to a review of sport fees across five Wellington territorial authorities.
The group was concerned about the affordability of sport, particularly for children and families and was seeking a review of user’s fees and charges for sports codes. In May 2023, a Notice of Motion was moved by Councillor Abdurahman seeking to conduct an independent review into the Council’s sport field and facilities fees and charges.
It was agreed that a collaborative approach working with key stakeholders and participating Councils to develop a regional approach to this project was the most appropriate way forward. The working group consists members of the sporting community, council and Nuku Ora and is chaired by an independent consultant Alan Isaac.
What the review will cover
The review will cover the following aspects of Council's, across the Wellington region, sport facility fees and charges:
- The current fee structure and pricing model for fees and charges.
- How capital expenditure and operational expenditure are decided and funded for new projects and renewals.
- Levels of provision and services provided by councils.
- The level of cost recovery achieved by councils on different activities and services.
- Benchmarking of fees and charges, levels of services, cost recovery and provision of facilities against similar councils across New Zealand.
- A particular focus on benchmarking across the region’s councils.
- Alternative models to be explored and reported on including comparisons from other TA’s.
- The feasibility and trade-offs of any recommended changes to the fees and charges.
- Options for aligning fees and charges across the region.
- Consultation with stakeholders on terms of reference
June 2023 – Complete
- Working Group membership formed
June 2023 – Complete
- Recruitment of Independent Chair
July 2023 – Complete
- Recruitment of independent consultant
October 2023 – Complete
- Analysis, benchmarking, and consultation
November 2023 – January 2024
- Finalisation and presentation of recommendations
Determining public costs for sports fields
The Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) requires Councils to adopt a Revenue and Financing Policy that provides detail on the funding of operational and capital expenditure. This policy illustrates which parts of the community contribute to paying for Council’s activities.
The Council uses the following mechanisms to fund operational expenditure requirements:
- General rates
- Targeted rates
- Fees and charges
- Grants and subsidies
- Other sources of funding
In the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan the Council agreed that up to 15% of the total cost of sports fields would be covered by fees and charges with the remaining 85% to be covered by general rates recognising the important role sport plays community wide.
All information can be found on the 2021-2031 WCC Long Term Plan - Financial Policies document (1.4MB PDF)
All councils involved in this review have a R&F Policy and can be accessed through their websites.