Wellington Scoop

“A better tomorrow:” Wellington’s annual plan will increase our rates by 3.9 per cent

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council has released its 2019-20 draft Annual Plan, which outlines continued spending on resilience and the environment, housing, transport, sustainable growth and arts and culture. The draft plan will be available on the Council website from today.

“It includes spending on some crucial projects that will ensure we remain one of the world’s most liveable cities despite our continued growth,” says Mayor Justin Lester.

“It’s the second year of our 10-Year Plan and continues to lay the groundwork for where we want to head in the next 50 years,” he says. “We have identified crucial projects that will help future-proof the capital as well as help it grow and thrive. We have been judged the world’s most liveable city two years running but we cannot rest on that.”

Wellington’s population is predicted to increase to 280,000 in the next 25 years.

“Wellington is growing and that is putting pressure on all aspects of the city, including the three waters, housing and streets. There are competing demands for the services we provide: bus lanes, parking, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.”

The Mayor says the 10-Year Plan received strong backing for its spending priorities: resilience and the environment, housing, transport, sustainable growth and arts and culture.

“We are proposing a rates increase of 3.9 percent in 2019-20 to account for our investments,” he says.

“It is important we keep stimulating our economy and this year construction of the Convention and Exhibition Centre opposite Te Papa will begin. The Centre will spark a transformation of the surrounding area and I look forward to a new, vibrant quarter emerging.

“We are also taking steps to preserve our current treasures, such as the strengthening work on the Town Hall and St James Theatre.

“We’re investing in the city’s future, laying the foundations now for a better tomorrow. We have work to do, but we’re on the right track.”


14 March – Annual Plan Committee meets to begin engagement

1 April – 29 April – consultation

9 April – Virtual Forum

3 June – Final draft goes to Annual Plan Committee

26 June – Final plan adopted

26 July – Final plan printed.


  1. Ian Apperley, 8. March 2019, 12:11

    Good to see they are kicking off consultation on April Fools.

  2. Traveller, 8. March 2019, 12:54

    Rates increases every year do not create “a better tomorrow” for those of us on fixed incomes.

  3. Benny, 8. March 2019, 13:19

    From the WCC LTP web site: “Most placed resilience and environment as the priority they would tackle first”.

    For the record: some people did read all the submissions for the “environment priority area” during the LTP submission period (I did). The majority asked for a greater focus on preventing climate change and then mitigating it (although mitigation was important too).

    Following the process, the LTP was endorsed as it was presented with two minor changes:
    – Bringing forward the sewage sludge project from year 6 to year 4, with $1million allocated in year 3 for planning and design.
    – Bringing forward $10.9million in flood reduction work in Tawa from year 7 to year 4.
    The rest of the LTP remained unchanged. Is that how Mr Lester came to the conclusion that it received strong backing?

    Fast forward, about the Convention and Exhibition Centre that Mr Lester is excited about: after environment was chosen as the most important priority area, WCC, in its wisdom, voted to spend $150m on the centre (which will increase car and air emissions, push for more roads, etc), and raises rates by 3.9% to pay for it. That would make sense only if bigger environmental projects were taking place.So unless the cycleways cost more than this price tag, we are probably not listened to.

    In conclusion: with such a crystal clear message (“Most placed resilience and environment as the priority they would tackle first”), how can WCC still spend more money in other areas? Shouldn’t we expect to see resilience and environment take the biggest share of the budget? Shouldn’t resilience and environment projects be accelerated, moved forward?

  4. Paul Clutterbuck, 8. March 2019, 21:59

    @Benny: mitigation is about prevention of climate change; adaptation is what you do to *adapt* to climate events as they happen in the future. That might have confused some submitters. I know it confused me when I first came across the two terms.