Significant projects to improve the region’s resilience and respond to climate change are highlighted in Greater Wellington’s 2022/23 annual report.
To Greater Wellington chair Daran Ponter, the report reflects a year of growth, as the regional council balanced the challenges being felt across Aotearoa with progress on key projects to benefit the Wellington Region.
“The past year brought the council’s core functions into focus, as it continued to manage the impact of COVID-19 on the capital’s public transport system,” Cr Ponter says.
“With the government’s support, we lifted wages to attract more people into the driver’s seat of Wellington’s buses. We are now very close to a full complement of bus drivers, and as a result, have been able to reinstate previously suspended services.
“Our fleet of almost 100 electric buses is helping us further reduce our carbon footprint, and the wheels are firmly in motion to bring electric trains into the future network.”
Cr Ponter acknowledges that while Greater Wellington did not meet some of the targets set out in the annual report, the Council is proud of its achievements.
“We progressed several significant environmental projects – such as vital flood defence upgrades under Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi who are delivering RiverLink in Hutt Valley and the Recloaking Papatūānuku programme in Queen Elizabeth Park.
“Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by five percent from our baseline is a fantastic achievement, as is our continued efforts to restore hectares of erosion-prone land, rebuild flood protections and revitalise ecosystems in our regional parks.
“Through Whaitua Implementation Programmes in Ruamāhanga, Te Awarua-o-Porirua, and Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Greater Wellington has joined mana whenua and territorial authorities on a journey to improve the health of our precious waterways.”
Greater Wellington chief executive Nigel Corry celebrates the work of Greater Wellington’s kaimahi over the past year, who were “driven by their dedication to our region”.
“This year we encountered environmental and economic challenges which meant we did not meet all our ambitions. However, I firmly believe in the day-to-day work of our people and the benefits for our communities and te taiao,” Mr Corry says.
“In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, we supplied trained staff to support the response and recovery, upholding our critical role in responding to emergencies.
“The hands of volunteers, community groups, tamariki and mana whenua joined us in planting thousands of native trees across land being restored to its natural state.
“We continued to strengthen our relationships with mana whenua partners this year. The Council established a Te Tiriti o Waitangi Komiti, who at their inaugural meeting recommended Greater Wellington establishes a Māori constituency with the unanimous support of mana whenua.
“We also commenced a Te Tiriti o Waitangi internal audit, which includes feedback from our partners, and continued last year’s momentum in progressing our commitment to Te Whāriki – our Māori outcomes framework.
“I want to thank our regional communities, our partners, and our kaimahi for their support this year. Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini – Success is not the work of an individual, but the work of many.”
The 2022/23 annual report will be published before 30 November 2023. View the 2022/23 annual report in today’s order paper.