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Council confirms Long-term Plan options for community feedback – Wellington CC

At today’s Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance Committee meeting Mayor Tory Whanau and Wellington City Councillors confirmed proposals to go forward for formal consultation with the community.

Consultation on the 2024-34 Long-term Plan (LTP) opens on 12 April and closes on 12 May. It is a key opportunity for Wellingtonians to have their say on the city’s 10-year plan and budget.

Major consultation items will be

– Three-waters investment options, with a recommended option to provide $1.8 billion dollars in investment to three waters.

– Waste collection services – including options to introduce wheelie bins and organics collection, funded by a new targeted rate for waste (a flat fee for all households that can receive the service).

– Options for establishing a Perpetual Investment Fund by selling City Council ground leases and the Council’s shares in Wellington Airport, to address natural disaster and insurance risks.

Chair of the Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance Committee Rebecca Matthews says, “I would like to acknowledge councillors, community, and staff for their contribution to the on-going development of this Long-term Plan. I think what we are proposing is a balanced plan that will deliver for Wellington.”

Mayor Tory Whanau says “the tough economic environment has made this a difficult budget to put together. Like other councils around the country, we are facing external pressures of inflation, rising interest rates, rampant insurance costs and aging water infrastructure.

“The proposals we have before us today deliver the investment needed to make Wellington a thriving, resilient city while balancing the economic constraint.

“I have made it clear that water is a priority for the council in this LTP. We have significantly increased our funding in water, over the 10 years of this proposal one in every four dollars we spend on capital will go to the three waters.

“This not only funds Wellington Water to fix and replace our drinking water infrastructure, but also the roll-out of water meters.

“This is a record investment in water and ratepayers are right to expect a reduction in leaks for their money. I will be working with other councils to get the changes to ensure Wellington Water can deliver efficiently.

“But, I want to be crystal clear that funding water should not be coming at the expense of delivering better public transport, revitalisation of our city, housing and climate initiatives.

“These are the key priorities, and history has taught us that if we don’t invest in these pressing issues now, they will become a bigger problem down the track. Over the next 30 years 50,000 more people will be living in Wellington. It is possible to invest in both within our constraints.

“I want to acknowledge that this has required all of us around the Council table to dig deep and reprioritise funding.

“After listening to community feedback in recent days I put forward an amendment today that removes reductions to opening hours of pools and libraries from the draft plan.

“We will be continuing to consult with you, the community, about what you want the final Long-Term Plan to look like,” says Mayor Whanau.

The Council has been developing the 2024-34 Long-term Plan over the past 18 months, including working with the community to identify key outcomes and priorities for the city, such as water infrastructure resilience and climate change adaptation, and holding a Citizens Assembly, whose advice included investigating alternative revenue streams and reviewing capital expenditure.

The draft plan includes a significant level of investment in core infrastructure and services identified as a priority by the community, and in maintaining a broad range of Council services, while offering options for savings including significant rephasing and reprioritising of capital spending.

More information is available at wcc.nz/ltp-2024-34


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