Part B: Summary of
Our 10-Year Plan

Challenges that have informed our approach to this plan

By many standards, our city is doing well. Wellingtonians enjoy a quality of life that’s among the highest in New Zealand, and the capital consistently places among the world’s top cities in international studies that measure liveability and quality of life. In 2017, a Deutsche Bank study of 47 cities around the world rated Wellington number one for liveability. This result was repeated in their 2018 study.

We have low deprivation levels compared to other cities in New Zealand. Nationally, we also have the highest percentage of people with a tertiary education, and the highest average household incomes.

The Council’s overall financial position is also healthy. This is reflected in our AA credit rating with Standard & Poor’s, the highest for a public sector entity in New Zealand. Our services also provide good value for money. In 2018/19, it will cost residents about $6.51 per day for us to deliver all Council services.

While there is much to celebrate, as with all cities, there are also challenges.

Wellington has some very specific challenges that we have decided to prioritise in this plan.

Managing the demands of growth. More people want to live here and our population is growing steadily. Up to 280,000 people are expected to call Wellington home by 2043. This will put pressure on transport, infrastructure and housing – particularly in the inner city. The city will need up to 30,000 more housing units, along with investment in transport infrastructure, and higher capacity in water and wastewater infrastructure.

Making the city more resilient. In November 2016, we experienced a significant earthquake. Wellington responded well, but there is more work to do. The climate is also changing and we need to find ways of living with a higher frequency of extreme weather events. We also need to factor in rising sea levels. In this plan, one of the main priorities is to improve the city’s resilience, which is why we’re investing more in Council buildings and core infrastructure.

Developing areas where we have a competitive advantage. We’ve invested extensively in the arts over many decades and our city has an enviable reputation as a centre of culture. That didn’t happen by accident: we, along with central government and others, have been supporting and investing in the sector for years. But other cities are also investing in these areas, and we need to make sure investment levels are high enough to support a thriving arts and culture sector in the city. In this plan, we’re proposing to invest in earthquake strengthening cultural facilities, such as the Town Hall and the St James Theatre, and to increase funding support for the city’s arts and cultural activities.

Maintaining economic growth. Wellington offers a high quality of life, provides a good range of services and facilities, and looks after its people and the environment. All of this requires a healthy and strong economy. Our economy generally performs very well, but in terms of GDP growth it still lags behind the New Zealand average and other major cities. Our challenge is to maintain the current growth and support the diversification of our economy so that growth is sustainable. As a result, this plan includes investment in an indoor arena and a Movie Museum and Convention Centre.