Wellington Scoop

We listened this year, says the city council

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council has been very engaged this year with 29 public consultations, 23 public notices, on-going project work with community groups, a big shift to online submissions, and an award winning design campaign – we asked, you spoke, and we listened.

One of the highlights this year was the input from the younger generation on our 10-Year Plan, says Councillor Diane Calvert, who holds the Council’s Community Engagement portfolio.

“The use of online tools, social media promotions, and a virtual forum connecting the community and councillors, really appealed to our young people and the number of submissions on our city’s future really reflected that. We doubled the number of submissions compared to 2015.”

More than 90 percent of submissions on this 10-Year Plan were made online compared to 23 percent in 2015, an indication of the digital campaign’s success.

Council also ran a creative campaign to project provocative messages onto city buildings to gain attention and promote the hashtag #WgtnPlan as a way to give feedback. This campaign garnered a silver award in the Environmental Graphics category at the Best Design Awards, which celebrate New Zealand’s best graphic designs each year.

Councillor Calvert says the city has some big challenges to address, and engagement ensures everyone has their say on these matters and helps shape the future direction.

“Engaging the community is an integral part of everything a council does, and we are continually looking at ways to improve how we do so. It’s not always smooth sailing, but we need to have the hard conversations early on to ensure the best course of action happens, and we collectively make the best decisions for the future of the city.”

The Te Reo policy, Te Tauihu, was another hugely successful online engagement campaign with the promotional social media videos reaching over 100,000 on Facebook, captivating a cross section of the community, and gaining generally positive feedback.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day says this shows Wellingtonians recognise that te reo Māori is an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand – and they value it and want to embrace it.

“We want Wellington to be the frontrunner in making te reo Māori a key part of the cultural fabric of Aotearoa. The engagement campaign showed Wellingtonians are behind our drive to incorporate it into everyday life and spaces.”

The kōrero continues next year, with more campaigns coming up including Planning for Growth where we consider our city’s future, and our local elections.


  1. Chris Horne, 31. December 2018, 19:02

    I urge all Wellington City Councillors to make a New Year’s resolution this evening that in 2019 they will abandon all of the changes planned for Frank Kitts Park. Our park is perfect as it is – a skilfully designed blend of public facilities open 24 hours a day, just like all our public open spaces.

    The proposed removal of the ever-popular amphitheatre and its wind-breaking wall adorned with memorial plaques, and replacement by a lawn, would be highly unpopular. The proposal to move the children’s wonderful play-ground nearer to the traffic on busy Jervois Quay would also be highly unpopular.

    The proposal to relocate MV Wahine’s mast, a fitting memorial to the people who died when she sank, would be disrespectful to the victims, and would remove what is literally and figuratively the high point of our park.

    Finally, to permit the construction of a walled garden on part of our park, from which we would be excluded from dusk to dawn by locked gates, I find unacceptable, because it would entail the loss of public open space, which by definition, is accessible 24 hours per day.

  2. Rumpole, 31. December 2018, 20:20

    Hilda and I remain shocked that the City Council would destroy Wellington’s best public amenity, Frank Kitts Park. A judicial investigation into this matter is required immediately, including the money trail!

  3. Michael Gibson, 1. January 2019, 6:52

    Regrettably the “money trail” includes the involvement of a councillor who has spoken out at an official Council Committee meeting against at least one alternative to Frank Kitts Park without mentioning that he had donated a five-figure sum to the Chinese Garden Society.

  4. Ian Apperley, 1. January 2019, 14:42

    I had to check my calendar, for a moment I thought it was April 1st…

  5. TrevorH, 2. January 2019, 8:08

    Yes, a fair summary. By their own admission all this Council has to show for its collective efforts is spin. In many ways that is a blessing. Let the spin continue until they are voted out in October – there will be less damage for an incoming Council to repair.

  6. Anabel, 2. January 2019, 15:33

    The Council didn’t listen. They like to write press releases that claim they do.

  7. Heidi P, 3. January 2019, 7:41

    Unfortunately almost all of the Council’s press releases sound like it’s April 1st. And we are the fools for voting for this over and over again (which is giving our consent to let the Council govern us.).

  8. Pauline, 3. January 2019, 8:43

    As Lindsay pointed out, the Paramount is another classic example of the council ignoring the ratepayers (and it’s still empty). Yesterday I met an English visitor who was enjoying reading the historic plaques on the Amphitheatre promenade and could not believe the plans to destroy the amphitheatre and put the plaques along the street.

  9. Sekhmet Bast Ra, 3. January 2019, 14:17

    Right you are TrevorH, marketing spin and when the halls of governance embrace that approach it becomes something far more insidious than mere marketing. However, some of what the council media team have shared borders on pythonesque surrealist comedy and we can think of no better example today than this one covering the council hiring an ecologist from Victoria University’s Biological Sciences department to scour the property listings on TradeMe searching for entries which reference native birds. As Frank Zappa once sang “Kiss my aura Dora mmm it’s real angora would y’all like some more-a right here on the flora? and how about you, Fauna?”

    All in all the council’s media releases amount to the council polishing its own aura which in a lot of cases is a little like an individual hitting the town dressed in piece of bizarre and dysfunctional high fashion. So long as they feel good about themselves is what counts and if every other person sees it for the absurdist act it is it matters not.

  10. aom, 3. January 2019, 16:27

    SBA – you do realise you are referring to a report that is almost three years old. However, it probably still has relevance in terms of the sorts of environments people chose to live in. Would you have preferred that a raging 1080 activist was engaged to find out which areas cats, hedgehogs, stoats, rats and mice proliferate in so that you could escape the ‘aura of native flora and fauna’? That aside, can anyone confirm the story that the Council has more spin doctors than the Dompost has reporters?