The place of the possible
Our growth agenda
This year, Wellingtonians elected a new Council, which is action-oriented and responding to the issues facing Wellington.
Wellington can be a world-class city where talent wants to live
We have all the ingredients to be a world-class city – people, location and lifestyle – but we are not doing as well as we could. In recent years, our economy hasn’t performed as strongly as some other cities and we rely heavily on the government sector to keep the economy afloat.
The Council has made significant investments in assets and programmes that have lifted the city’s quality of life, eg sports and recreation facilities, infrastructure upgrades and social housing.
We need to grow our income and we have the capacity to do soTop
To become a city that is sustainable, dynamic, connected and people-centred, we need a stronger economy and a growing ratepayer base. The stronger the economy, the faster the ratepayer base grows. The faster the ratepayer base grows, the more we can invest in the city.
The Council’s financial position is strong and we have the opportunity and resources to do more, if we choose to. We have an AA credit rating with Standard and Poors, our rates are not as high as many of our neighbours and we have relatively low debt.
We have committed to a growth agendaTop
Our role is to support and enable the city’s entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and workers to succeed. We have committed to:
- being open for business – we will remove red tape, make regulations clear and be customer-focussed
- doing our core jobs well – we will deliver our services as efficiently and effectively as possible
- bringing people together – we will enable people and organisations to connect so they can create jobs and business opportunities
- investing for growth – we will invest in projects that make a real difference to the local economy and people.
We’ve already made a startTop
We have already made a start on projects that will achieve our goals, including:
- establishing, with other councils, the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency
- joining up back-office and IT services with other councils in the region
- contributing $1 million to the airport runway extension consent application cost
- establishing the Wellington Economic Initiative Development (WEID) Fund and investing in Destination Wellington
- reducing development contributions.
And we’re committed to our 8 Big IdeasTop
Our future programme includes projects aimed at growing the local economy, including:
- a convention centre and hotel opposite Te Papa
- a film museum to celebrate Wellington’s film sector and attract international tourists
- international air connections to provide direct flights to Asia and beyond
- a CBD tech precinct to connect people in high-tech industries
- a development framework for Miramar as New Zealand’s creative industries hotspot
- providing better transport choices
- being open for business
- being a liveable city that sustains what makes Wellington a great place to live
We deliver value for moneyTop
- This year, the services we delivered cost $5.82 per resident per day.
- Our AA credit rating with Standard and Poors provides us a reduced cost of borrowing.
- We kept rates increases affordable by limiting the 2013/14 rates increase to 2.5%.
- Our net borrowings are 84% of income, which is below our operating target of 105% and well below our prudential limit of 150%.
And in the future we will keep reducing costs by continuing our efforts to provide shared services with other councils in the Wellington region.
We are more resilientTop
- We have strengthened several Council buildings, with more to be completed by December 2014.
- We assessed the structural performance of all pre-1976 buildings in the city and found that only 13% are earthquake prone.
- We are making the water network resilient by strengthening the Maupuia and Maldive No 2 reservoirs, and installing emergency water tanks and auto shut-off valves.
- We are building retaining walls, and strengthening bridges and tunnels including the Aotea Quay bridge and Hataitai Bus Tunnel.
- We have developed programmes to support local leadership, and strengthen community and neighbourhood resilience and safety.
And in the future we will make it easier and more cost-effective for building owners by providing rates remissions for earthquake-strengthening of their buildings.
- 670,000 people attended Council supported events and 115,000 tickets were sold for the New Zealand Festival.
- 1.3 million people visited Te Papa, 600,000 visited other museums and galleries and 750,000 attended arts and cultural festivals.
- 1.2 million people visited Council swimming pools, 320,000 visited recreation centres and 600,000 visited the ASB Centre.
- 94% of residents used a local park or reserve, 95% used a beach or coastal area, and 72% used a walkway.
And in the future we will celebrate and promote increased use of our events, services and facilities by residents.
We do the basics wellTop
- We provide 350km of tracks and 40km2 of Town Belt land.
- Our infrastructure includes 1,058km of sewers, 80 water reservoirs, 33 water pumping stations, 7,300 hydrants and 1,245km of underground water pipes.
- Our visitor attractions include Wellington Zoo, Zealandia and four botanic gardens.
- Our residents regularly use the 12 libraries, seven swimming pools, seven recreation centres, 100 playgrounds and parks, 45 sportsfields and two marinas we provide.
- We have 650km of roads and 12,000 parking spaces.
- We provide 2,300 social housing homes to residents in need.
And in the future we will match our investment in social services and infrastructure to the areas where the population and demand for services is increasing.
We’ve got plans to growTop
- We agreed our 8 Big Ideas, which will bring economic growth to the city.
- We’re attracting business, talent, investment and students to the region through Destination Wellington.
- We helped establish the Business Improvement District in Miramar, which will boost the local economy.
- We developed international relationships, including leading a delegation of 30 organisations to China and Japan.
- We’re establishing the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency with other councils in the region.
And in the future we will pursue our growth agenda by investing in projects that make a real difference to the local economy.