Wellington Scoop

Mayor welcomes budget funding for homeless, and for metro rail

News from WCC
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester has welcomed the Government’s move to spend more on social housing, and its programme aimed at helping the long-term homeless.

Budget 2018 has allocated an additional $1 billion for housing, including $369 million in capital funding. It means an additional 6400 state houses over four years – or 1600 a year.

Funding has also been made available for insulation grants for low income owner-occupied homes. An extra $142.5 million is available for insulation.

The Wellington City Council wants 750 affordable and social homes built in the capital over the next 10 years and has budgeted $27.5 million to assist that.

“The Government has recognised there is a need for more housing for those less well-off, and help for those who struggle to find homes,” Mayor Lester says. “Any money they spend in those areas will complement and boost our own efforts.”

Wellington is among the centres where an additional 550 places will be made available in the Housing First programme, which aims to house and support the long-term homeless. It has been piloted in Auckland and Hamilton, and will now expand to Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch.

The Council is planning, with government agencies, to set up Te Whare Okioki, the country’s first home for homeless people who suffer from chronic addictions.

“It’s fantastic that Housing First will come to Wellington, and there will be more support for the homeless,” says Mayor Lester.

The Mayor also welcomed the Government allocating $50 million for metro rail projects in Wellington. The money is “catch up” investment which will enable sustainable operation of the network.

“Thousands of Wellingtonians rely on trains to get to work and to get around the region. Having a reliable train service is absolutely crucial to the health of the capital,” the Mayor adds.


  1. Andy Mellon, 17. May 2018, 20:18

    Any detail on what this $50m for metro rail will be spent on? Double tracking through Upper Hutt on the agenda? [We’ve tried to find more details, but have found nothing so far.]

  2. Keith Flinders, 18. May 2018, 2:32

    The Wellington Mayor welcomes the $50 million allocated to suburban rail, yet stood idly by allowing the removal of pollution-free public transport in his city, as did all the other 2013 elected WCC councillors. Two of the 2016 WCC councillors tried to reverse the trolley removal but received no support from the others.

    In the past few years, over $600 million has been spent on suburban rail, yet Wellington City where nearly double the number of passengers are carried on buses, compared to rail, have seen their services reduced and pollution-free replaced by old diesel vehicles. This whilst paying about double per km travelled to that rail commuters pay.

  3. greenwelly, 18. May 2018, 9:41

    @Andy, it’s not new money, or new projects. Its a re-announcement of the $98 million package from last year to replace wooden poles .

    In 2017 $ 98 million was appropriated over 4 years,
    2017/18 $24.6m 18/19 $41m 19/20 $28m and 20/21 $4.8m

    But in 2017/18 they only spent $15.6 million of this, so they have taken the unspent $9 million and added it to the $41 million already announced last year to be spent in 2018/19. This is confirmed by this spending not being included in the “New Policy Initiatives” in the transport budget.

  4. Snowball, 18. May 2018, 11:45

    Yes Keith, if only our trolley buses had had steel wheels they could have had billions showered on them. ‘Napoleon’ Twyford’s condensation of the seven commandments of public transport into “steel wheels good, rubber wheels bad” leaves little for Wellington after $6 billion is spent on two new Auckland tram routes.

  5. michael, 18. May 2018, 12:06

    @ Keith Flinders: Well said! I have had enough of listening to the WCC go on about reducing cars and putting in more cycle lanes. There is no point to any of this until they actively do something about bringing Wellington’s public transport into the 21st century. Until we have a decent and effective transport system, people will continue to use cars. And no matter what those who cycle claim about biking it is unlikely to become a huge part of the public transport system in Wellington.

  6. greenwelly, 18. May 2018, 13:39

    @Michael. The biggest problem with the Council’s cycle lane developments is that they aren’t complete and they lead cyclists into tight and congested streets with no protection,
    i.e Island Bay runs from Shortland Park to Dee street. What are cyclists supposed to do when they are navigating Adelaide Road? And the Hutt Road cycleway turns into something along Thorndon Quay that fails to meet guidelines and is seen as unsafe by many,

  7. Roy Kutel, 18. May 2018, 13:59

    @Greenwelly, the ‘best’ result was that the WCC never completed their Island Bay cycleway. The only better result would have been never to start it in the first place, as the road is wide enough and kids can cycle on the pavement. All that’s needed is sensible traffic calming.

  8. michael, 18. May 2018, 15:06

    @ greenwelly, the point I was trying to make is while cycle-ways may be a part of public transport, they are never going to be a solution for the vast majority of the public. Because of this, the council should be concentrating on ensuring the city has an effective 21st century transport system to get people out of cars and on to light rail/electric buses. And, as part of this, cycle-ways should be considered in the overall plan, not piecemeal as they are doing now. Let’s face it: once they have established how a new public transport system should operate, it may mean that current cycle-ways need to be re-routed.

  9. luke, 18. May 2018, 15:14

    the island bay cycleway will be a lot more popular when it eventually reaches somewhere. As will the Hutt Rd one once it goes into town. At the moment only the very brave can use the cycleways as getting to and from them is dangerous.

  10. Andrew, 18. May 2018, 18:17

    Funny thing is Luke, I felt safer getting to the IBCW than I did once I got onto it. Trying to look over your shoulder past a row of parked cars at the intersections makes things more difficult than they need to be.

  11. luke, 18. May 2018, 22:40

    I did not feel comfortable until I was on the cycleway.