Thriving communities at the heart of Greater Wellington’s Long Term Plan

  • Published Date 27 Jun 2024
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  • News article topic Plans

The Greater Wellington Long Term Plan 2024-34 has been adopted, following five weeks of consultation, 740 submissions, and two days of hearings by mana whenua representatives and regional councillors, who agreed a 20.55% rates rise for financial year 2024/25.

Greater Wellington chair Daran Ponter says the plan weaves a balance between unavoidable rising costs and delivering and improving the services communities expect.

“We know ratepayers are increasingly being asked to pay more for the services that make this region a great place to live, work and play,” Cr Ponter says.

“While the Council faces significant rising costs, the public have told us that they value core services such as public transport, sustaining regional parks and enhancing life-saving flood defences.”

Savings were achieved to deliver the agreed rates increase, including delaying capital projects, leaving positions vacant, cutting operating costs and extending the length of borrowing terms.

Two key topics were proposed during consultation. Greater control of strategic bus assets, in line with Metlink’s Asset Control Strategy and becoming the sole shareholder of CentrePort by purchasing the stake held by Horizons Regional Council.

Of the 740 submissions, 343 (86%) supported the long-term acquisition and development of key bus assets like depots and chargers, including the Lambton Interchange and a depot in north Wellington.

84% were in favour of the development of a Greater Wellington owned bus depot in Lyall Bay, proposed in December 2023.

“The community supports Council having greater influence over public transport assets, which will help us keep fares affordable on our burgeoning electric bus network that protects the climate while keeping our region moving,” Cr Ponter says.

Nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) indicated they support Greater Wellington acquiring Horizons’ stake in CentrePort and becoming the sole shareholder of the port company.

Public feedback also generated additions to the Long Term Plan, including greater funding for pest management initiatives outside of Wellington city, enabling recreational access to a Wairarapa forestry block (Hiwinui) and delivering on whaitua plans through further changes to the Natural Resources Plan.

“Wellingtonians want healthy wai where they can swim and collect kai,” Cr Ponter says. “That’s why Greater Wellington has been working at pace to incorporate the National Policy Statement for Freshwater, remaining flexible to consider changes if the statement is updated.

“He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together. Our region’s city and district councils, mana whenua and residents recognise the responsibility we all share to restore and create a thriving and resilient environment with connected communities.”

Updated July 2, 2024 at 3:23 PM

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