Part D: Statements of
Service Provision

6
Tāone tupu ora
Urban development

We aim for a compact, resilient and attractive city.

In this section

This section includes, for the following groups of activities, what we do; the rationale – why we do it; the service offering; key projects and programmes; how the activities are funded and how much they cost; any significant negative effects; and the level of service we expect to provide, with performance measures that demonstrate what you can expect as part of that level of service.

The key groups of activities under this strategic area are:

6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public services development (including waterfront development)

6.2 Building and development control

What we do – an overview

Why we do it

Alignment with our long-term city outcomes

People-centred city
We seek to ensure that the city has a high-quality urban form that promotes vibrancy and adds to quality of life, while remaining affordable and resilient.

We aim to design a city that has space to enhance people’s enjoyment of the city and contributes to our ‘sense of place’.

Eco city
Wellington is a compact and dynamic city. We aim to retain and develop our compact urban form to prevent sprawl that leads to greater transport emissions.

Dynamic central city
We strive to develop a city form that promotes prosperity, allows for sustainable growth and protects our built heritage.

Alignment with the priorities in Our 10-Year Plan

Sustainable growth
We want Wellington to grow and accommodate more people in the city in a way that retains its unique ‘sense of place’ and overall liveability. The urban development initiatives will work to ensure that the growth is accommodated while retaining Wellington’s natural and built qualities that attract people to our city.

Housing
Our population has been growing steadily and more people are calling Wellington home than ever before. We want to take a more active role in the provision of housing for our growing population to avoid an Auckland-style housing crisis.

Snapshot

Our direction

Outcome indicators

We use outcome indicators to monitor progress towards our outcomes over time. This provides us with information on trends that may influence our performance, including those outside our control. As these indicators are at least partially outside of our control, we do not set targets for outcome indicators but instead we will monitor and report on trends over time.

The below is a summary of the outcomes we are monitoring over time. The full list of indicators that inform these outcomes for the urban development area are included at the end of the urban development section.

What this tells us:

These indicators, if they track in a positive direction, will give us confidence that we are living in a city that is thriving; Wellingtonians have access to affordable housing; our city is growing at a sustainable rate; we have the necessary infrastructure; and we are protecting the natural beauty and heritage of our city.

6.1 Whakamahere tāone / whakawhanake Wāhi tuku iho tūmatanui Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)

Wellington with its combination of compact urban form, heritage buildings, public art, capital city status and other features give the city a unique look and feel. With a growing population there are demands placed on our urban planning, heritage and public spaces development. Our work aims to ensure this growth happens in ways that make efficient use of land and transport, and doesn’t compromise the qualities that make Wellington special.

Activities in this group

  • 6.1.1 Urban planning and policy development
  • 6.1.2 Waterfront development
  • 6.1.3 Public spaces and centres development
  • 6.1.4 Built heritage development
  • 6.1.5 Housing development

Rationale

  • To enable smart growth/urban containment. Through these activities we ensure that the city grows in a controlled way that is environmentally sustainable, enhances community cohesion and encourages high-quality developments.
  • For open public spaces. We provide spaces where people can come together, relax and enjoy the natural environment of our city.
  • For character protection. We work to help protect and restore the city’s heritage and character assets – including buildings, trees, monuments, and sites of significance to tangata whenua. Heritage is important in telling the shared history of the city and adds to its ‘sense of place’.

Services we provide

Key projects/programmes

Planning for growth

We’ve budgeted $15.1 million of operating expenditure over the next 10 years to review the Urban Growth Plan and the District Plan, and to make changes to our consenting processes that will make us more responsive to growth issues and customer needs. There are no cost implications from streamlining consenting.

In addition, we will be undertaking a review of suburban centres, including:

Housing

The purpose of the Special Housing Vehicle is to enable us to take a more active approach towards delivering major housing capital projects, and more broadly urban regeneration projects in our city. This agency’s establishment is still under consideration. Central government is currently considering legislation relating to urban development authorities. Once this legislation is introduced, more detailed funding and operating models will be considered and consulted on with the community.

Waterfront

Upgrade projects on the waterfront are guided by the Wellington Waterfront Framework. The following work is programmed over the next 10 years:

Laneways

Heritage

Making Wellington more accessible

How it will be funded

This graphic demonstrates the balance of funding sources for the urban planning, heritage and public services development (including waterfront development) group of activities. It shows that these activities are funded completely through general rates.

What it will cost

This graphic illustrates the planned capital and operational expenditure for the urban planning, heritage and public services development (including waterfront development) group of activities. It shows regular operational expenditure with some significant capital expenditure, particularly in year 1, relating to laneways development and suburban centres upgrades, and in year 7, relating to the Frank Kitts garden redevelopment. Detail on the expenditure can be found in the projects and programmes budget tables from page 185.

The significant capital expenditure in year 1 relates to laneways developments and suburban centres upgrades, and in year 7 relates to the Frank Kitts garden redevelopment.

What you can expect from us – performance measures

We use performance measures to track how well we are delivering services against targets.

Please note the following when reading these measures.

6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development
Performance measure Previous year target (2017/18) Target 2018-28
High-quality development    
Residents (%) who agree that new buildings constructed in the city maintain or enhance the city’s attractiveness New Baseline
Residents (%) who agree that regeneration of areas of the city adds to its vibrancy (eg laneways) New Baseline
Residents (%) who agree that the public areas of their suburban centre encourage use, feel safe and are well designed 60% (lively and attractive suburban centre)*44 Baseline
Economic impact of urban regeneration projects (specific methodology to be scoped) New Baseline
Protecting heritage    
Residents (%) who agree that heritage items are adequately valued and protected in the city 65% 65%45
Number of heritage-listed buildings that are earthquake prone New Baseline46
Residents (%) who agree that the character of historic suburbs is adequately retained New 70%
Baseline targets – as some of these measures are new, the first year of the plan will be used to establish a ‘baseline,’ which will then allow us to set targets.

Key challenges and negative effects

Council activities are carried out in order to maintain or improve the wellbeing of Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington. Some of these activities may have negative effects that need to be managed or mitigated.

Activity Key challenges and/or negative effects Mitigation
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)

Up to 280,000 people are expected to call Wellington home by 2043. New housing development has been lagging behind population growth and demand in recent years, with an estimated shortfall of nearly 4000 houses over the last 10 years. House prices have also risen significantly in recent years.

Population growth and urban development, if not well managed, can have negative effects on a city’s environment and on social wellbeing. Left unchecked, growth can result in reduction of open and green spaces with consequences for recreational opportunities, amenity and even some ecosystems.

Development in the wrong areas or the wrong types of development can place a strain on infrastructure and reduce people’s ability to access services and enjoy the opportunities the city offers. Poorly-planned growth and poor development and construction of individual buildings can reduce the attractiveness and the ‘sense of place’ that people identify with and it can have a direct impact on people’s safety.

Enabling more housing supply and business development through the District Plan is important to accommodating our growing population, while also helping to improve housing affordability.

We aim to avoid or mitigate these negative effects by guiding future development into areas where the benefits are greatest and the negative effects least.

The tools we use include planning, working with landowners, direct investment in the development of public spaces and using our regulatory powers under legislation, such as the Building Act 2004 and Resource Management Act 1991.

6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)

Heritage. There are currently 565 heritage buildings in Wellington City, of which 157 require earthquake strengthening. Lack of progress by owners to strengthen their building can reduce the attractiveness of the city and the ‘sense of place’ that people identify with and it can have a direct impact on people’s safety.

The main barrier to the strengthening process is cost. This is worsened by limited access to finance from both public and private sources.

We aim to avoid the negative effects on heritage buildings by providing financial incentives for heritage building owners to undertake comprehensive earthquake strengthening.

6.2 Whakahaere hanga whare Building and development controlTop

By regulating building and developments we ensure buildings are safe and do not threaten environmental quality or public health. We also ensure developments are safe, sustainable and meet public expectations.

Activities in this group

  • 6.2.1 Building control and facilitation
  • 6.2.2 Development control and facilitation
  • 6.2.3 Earthquake risk mitigation – built environment
  • 6.2.4 Regulatory – building control and facilitation (weathertight homes)

Rationale

  • To protect public health and safety. We carry out building and development control and facilitation activities to protect public and environmental health and safety and to protect future users of land and buildings.
  • For resilience. Ensuring buildings and developments are built to withstand natural events is a critical element of our building and development control and facilitation activities. We engage in earthquake risk mitigation to protect public safety, as well as preserve the city’s heritage and the economic investment made in buildings and infrastructure.

Services we provide

Key projects/programmes

How it will be funded

This graphic demonstrates the balance of funding sources for the building and development control group of activities. It shows that these activities are funded through fees and user charges (64 percent) and general rates (36 percent).

What it will cost

This graphic illustrates the planned capital and operational expenditure for the building and development control group of activities. It shows regular operational expenditure with significant capital expenditure in years 1-3, relating to earthquake strengthening of cultural facilities. Detail on the expenditure can be found in the projects and programmes budget tables from page 185.
  The significant capital expenditure in the first 3 years under this activity relate to earthquake strengthening of the Town Hall and St James Theatre. For more information on these projects see the ‘Cultural wellbeing’ chapter.

What you can expect from us – performance measures

We use performance measures to track how well we are delivering services against targets.

Please note the following when reading these measures.

6.2 Building and development
Performance measure Previous year target (2017/18) Target 2018-28
Effective planning    
Residents’ agreement that our building and development control settings strike the right balance between allowing development and preserving the character of the city New Baseline
Timeliness    
Building consents (%) issued within 20 workings days 100% 100%
Code of compliance certificates (%) issued within 20 working days 100% 100%
Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) (%) issued within 10 working days 100% 100%
Resource consents (non-notified) (%) issued within statutory time frames 100% 100%
Resource consents (%) that are monitored within 3 months of project commencement 90% 100%
Subdivision certificates – Section 223 certificates (%) issued within statutory timeframes 100% 100%
Noise control (excessive noise) complaints (%) investigated within 1 hour 90% 90%
Customer focus    
Customers (%) who rate building control service as good or very good 70% 70%
Customers (%) who rate resource consent service as good or very good New Baseline
Compliance    
Building Consent Authority (BCA) accreditation retention Retain Retain
Baseline targets – as some of these measures are new, the first year of the plan will be used to establish a ‘baseline,’ which will then allow us to set targets.

Key challenges and negative effects

Council activities are carried out in order to maintain or improve the wellbeing of Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington. Some of these activities may have negative effects that need to be managed or mitigated.

Activity Key challenges and/or negative effects Mitigation
6.2 Building and development control

Development and construction, if not well managed, can have negative effects on a city’s environment and on social wellbeing, and on the safety of individuals.

Development in the wrong areas or the wrong types of development can place a strain on infrastructure and reduce people’s ability to access services and enjoy the opportunities the city offers.

Poorly-planned growth, and poor development and construction of individual buildings, can reduce the attractiveness of the city and the ‘sense of place’ that people identify with and it can have a direct impact on people’s safety.

The activities in this group exist to mitigate and manage risks from development, construction, weather-tight building problems and earthquakes.

Our earthquake-prone building assessment programme is focused on ensuring these buildings are strengthened to the required standards.

Outcome indicators – Urban development

We use outcome indicators to monitor progress towards our outcomes over time. This provides us with information on trends that may influence our performance, including those outside our control. As these indicators are at least partially outside of our control, we do not set targets for outcome indicators but instead we will monitor and report on trends over time.

Outcome measures Desired trend
Housing affordability and supply  
Overall housing affordability and proportion of housing stock classed as ‘affordable’ (methodology to be scoped) Increasing
Net number of new housing units Increasing
Value of residential and commercial building consents Increasing
Median house price and housing affordability Decreasing median house price
Healthy housing stock – residents who report their home is insulated (floor and ceiling); home is warm and dry Increasing
Growth and density  
Proportion of houses within 100 metres of a public transport stop Increasing
City population, central city population, and proportion of new development in the city Increasing
High-quality urban form  
Residents’ perceptions of the city centre as an easy place to get to, use and enjoy Increasing
New Zealanders’ perceptions that Wellington is an attractive destination Increasing
Residents’ positive perceptions of urban design/urban form safety issues (ie graffiti, vandalism, poorly-lit public spaces etc) Increasing
Residents’ perceptions of the attractiveness of the central city and their local suburbs Increasing
Residents’ positive perceptions of safety – feeling safe in the city at night and during the day; in home after dark; in the city centre during the day; walking alone in their neighbourhood at night; in the city centre after dark. Increasing
Heritage protection  
Residents who agree that heritage items contribute to the city and local communities’ unique character Increasing
Resilience  
Proportion of residents who feel safe in the event of a moderate earthquake at home, at workplace/place of education/other daily destination Increasing
Proportion of residents who have checked their dwelling or taken action to improve its seismic resilience in the past year Increasing
Number of earthquake-prone buildings and number strengthened – whole city and lifeline routes

Number of EQP buildings – decreasing

Number strengthened – increasing

Residents who recall receiving Wellington-specific resilience information in the past year (eg earthquake preparedness via digital, media or community channels) Increasing
Residents (%) who believe that Wellington City Council is making adequate progress on addressing building resilience-related issues in the city Increasing
Seismic resilience index (new indicator combining measures of household readiness, community connectedness, residential housing stock, commercial building stock). Increasing
What this tells us:
These indicators, if they track in a positive direction, will give us confidence that we are living in a city that is thriving; Wellingtonians have access to affordable housing; our city is growing at a sustainable rate; we have the necessary infrastructure; and we are protecting the natural beauty and heritage of our city.
44This measure has been revised – previous measure recorded residents who agree that their local suburban centre is lively and attractive
45This target represents the target for 2018/19 only, all years after that will have a target of 70%
462018/19 will be treated as a baseline for this measure, in years following 2018/19 the target will be a 10% reduction in the overall number of earthquake-prone heritage buildings