Transformational work programmes mark big year for regional council
Major programmes of work, undertaken by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and affecting public transport, flood protection and environmental management and resilience, will transform the greater Wellington region.
Full details of these programmes and achievements are contained in the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) Annual Report for 2014/15, has just been adopted by the council. GWRC Chair Chris Laidlaw said effective stewardship of the environment, forward-thinking planning for enhanced public transport and flood protection and focused management of water resources were key features of a busy year in which GWRC both led the community and listened closely to what people want for the region.
"It's been a year in which we've engaged with our communities and heard what they've had to say on a wide range of issues," said Cr Laidlaw. "Summing it up, it's clear our communities want reassurance that our infrastructure is resilient and the quality of our environment is protected.
"In public transport, we are concentrating on growing patronage and giving customers value for money. Much of the initial groundwork has been done, and we can expect to see transformation change over the next few years."
Cr Laidlaw said the importance of offering a listening ear cannot be overstated and extensive consultation underpinned much of what GWRC did during the year.
"We actively promoted our Long Term Plan, which set out our priorities and spending over the next 10 years. We received great public feedback which has helped build the foundation for a decade of development aimed at future proofing our region's infrastructure and natural assets."
Preparations were also made for consultation on the ground-breaking Natural Resources Plan that sets out objectives, rules and guidelines for protecting and sustainably using natural resources in the region.
Planning also progressed toward consultation on a number of flood protection proposals in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa designed to protect communities from the ever-present threat of flooding.
The Regional Land Transport Plan, the blueprint for efficient and effective public transport services, was also signed off during the year. The plan signals investment in roading and freight networks to help unlock the region's growth potential and support new cycleways and better public transport.
"All of these are long term initiatives on which we must engage with communities and which, for their success, need their understanding and co-operation. I'm pleased to say that's what we achieved," said Cr Laidlaw.
"It was also a year of action in which the floods of 14 May once again proved the worth of our investment in infrastructure and business critical processes.
"Despite record rainfalls our river flood protection systems held throughout the region. The Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office jumped into the fray and helped co-ordinate an emergency response that saw everyone eventually find their way home in very difficult circumstances."
Cr Laidlaw also acknowledged the work and commitment of Cr Fran Wilde, who resigned as chair during the year after almost eight years in the role.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council Annual Plan 2014/15 will be available from GWRC's website from 30 October.
For more information: GWRC mediaphone 021 914-266
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