The initial proposed level of Wellington City Council investment in the city over the next 10 years, to be used to develop a draft budget for public consultation, was unanimously passed today by the Council’s Kōrau Tōtōpū Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee.
The proposals, which will inform the 2024-34 Long-term Plan (LTP), now sit with Council officers who will rigorously investigate costs before bringing a draft budget back to the committee on 12 December.
Important decisions today by a majority of elected members include agreement to consult the public on:
– Investment to bring nature back into the city centre, by beginning the rollout of the Green Network Plan
– An acceleration of the Courtenay Place Precinct Plan, to bring vibrancy to the city centre
– Deferring and rephasing some of the Council’s capital works programme so it is more evenly spread over 10 years
– Delivering on our full cycling network more cost effectively, after lessons learnt during the rollout so far
– A more affordable approach to the redevelopment of Te Ngākau Civic Square, with the option to demolish parts of the square on the table
– Funding for the Grenada North Sports Hub to begin works in year two, to reflect our commitment in the last annual plan
– The establishment of a Climate Resilience Fund so communities can adapt to climate change.
Developing the LTP is a complex process that takes about 18 months and the Council is now about mid-way through that process. Once the draft LTP is completed, it will go to public consultation in April 2024.
Mayor Tory Whanau says like all councils around the motu, Wellington is facing external pressures of inflation, rising interest rates and rampant insurance costs as outlined in the Chief Executive’s 2022 pre-election report.
“We’ve got some tough decisions to make to respond to external economic conditions that are bearing down on us, but I am also committed to continued invest to help keep the city growing, vibrant and attractive.
“Today we saw excellent collaboration – councillors reaching across the political aisle in both directions to make amendments and sculpt the key priorities into a package that reflects what we hope Wellington wants and needs. I’m really proud of how we navigated this decision today.
Committee Chair Councillor Rebecca Matthews encourages public engagement with the LTP in coming months.
“I urge Wellingtonians to think about the city they’d like to see for the next decade and make their views known when the formal consultation period starts.
“It is critical that we keep front of mind how we can continue to have a resilient balance sheet that respects rates paid by our citizens, while also delivering ongoing improvements to Poneke”.
2024-34 Long Term Plan – background
A Long-term Plan (LTP) sets out a council’s priorities, including spending proposals, over 10-year periods. All councils are required by legislation to finalise a LTP every three years.
The LTP includes detailed information on the activities, services and projects that councils intend to deliver, and what the proposed financial situation, including rates and debt, will be for the coming decade.
The three-year cycle of an LTP ensures it takes account of changing economic and external factors.
Work on the 2024-34 LTP started in 2022 and involved Strategy and Policy and finance staff and senior specialist staff from across the Council. Their work included a review of the previous LTP and discussions centring on community expectations and the Council’s own priorities.
The Council’s elected members have been involved in the 2024-34 LTP process since November 2022. They have participated in 23 workshops, Q&A sessions and briefings in which their own priorities and the priorities of their wards and constituents were discussed.
For the first time, the Council has started the LTP public engagement process by involving a Citizens’ Assembly. The Assembly reported back to the Council’s LTP, Finance and Performance Committee today (9 November).
Following today’s meeting, senior Council staff will analyse the proposals voted on at the meeting and model costings and other advice on how the proposals will impact on Council rates requirements, debt levels, city affordability and other relevant issues over the next 10 years. They are expected to report back to elected members at a public workshop on 12 December.
In February/March next year, further public engagement will be held, culminating in a full community consultation period in April. Elected members will examine the results of the public consultation before they hold final deliberations and vote on the LTP in June.