Wellington Scoop

WCC confirms 13.5% rates increase, aims to fix infrastructure and minimise sludge

News from WCC
Wellington City Councillors adopted the Tō Mātou Mahere Ngahuru Tau/Long-term Plan at a full Council meeting today. The plan is focussed on fixing the city’s aging infrastructure, response to climate change, minimising sewage sludge and waste, and cycleway networks.

This plan will see an average 13.5 percent rates increase in the coming year or an average 5.5 percent rates increase per year over the ten years of the plan.

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says this is a transformative Long-term Plan that will see real change within the next 10 years.

“It has been one of the most difficult budgets we have ever had to balance, but I think we now have the right plan for the city. We face a significant number of major challenges all at once – COVID-19, water, infrastructure, Let’s Get Wellington Moving, sludge minimisation, restoring / replacing several significant buildings – our community has overwhelmingly endorsed the need to invest significantly in our city, noting that it comes at a cost, and it is a complex and ambitious budget.

“We ran a comprehensive community engagement programme and received nearly 2,000 submissions, held 180 oral hearings, three public forums and conducted a representative survey.

“Feedback from the public has helped us make our decisions, including selecting the higher investment option for our cycle network, and increasing our investment in central city safety and support for youth, arts and culture in the city.

“From the beginning of this process Council said it did not want to cut services. This plan means we can continue to provide our existing services to our communities with no changes, but we do need to increase fees and user charges.

“Most fees and charges were not increased last year to assist with the COVID-19 recovery, so there is a degree of a catch-up with some.”

After feedback, the Council made the decision to defer the increase of parking fees to 5 July – this includes all types of paid parking including parking on the waterfront. From that date people will need to pay up to $5 per hour during the week and $3 per hour in the weekend for parking from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week. This is a 50 cent increase across all parking rates.

In the coming months we will be extending operating hours on a Friday and Sat to require people to pay for parking up to 10pm. We will also be extending the numbers of hours you can park in any metered park to four hours on a Friday and Saturday a night between 6 and 10pm.

Fee and user charges to increase effective 1 July

Most fees and user charges will increase, effective 1 July. The fee increases are in the following areas:

Botanic Gardens
Waterfront Public Spaces
Sewerage Collection and Disposal Network
Arts Partnerships
Swimming Pools
Recreation Centres
Municipal Golf Course
Community Centres & Halls
Burials and Cremations
Building Control & Facilitation
Public Health Regulations
Development Control & Facilitation
Network-wide control & Management
Waste minimisation, disposal and recycling management
Parking (from 5 July)

There are several variables that impact on how fees and charges are set. These vary from activity to activity, and generally can be attributed to growing costs associated with services.

The full list of proposed changes to fees and charges can be found here.