Wednesday, June 19, 2024

4000+ submissions received for Wellington long-term plan

More than 4,000 submissions on proposals relating to water, waste, investments, insurance, parking, community facilities and transport project spending have been received by Wellington City Council during formal consultation on the 2024-34 Long-term Plan.

The Council says the figure is more than twice the number received for the previous Long-term Plan consultation in 2021.

Along with the 4,077 submissions, nearly 300 individuals, groups and organisations spoke to their submissions at an oral hearing.

The Council also surveyed a representative sample of 500 residents reflecting the demographic characteristics of Wellington’s population.

In a statement, the Council said that in most instances, submissions and survey responses supported the Council’s preferred options.

“However, respondents opposed the introduction of parking fees in suburban shopping centre precincts – 77% of submissions were against, compared to 18% in support. This sentiment was mirrored in the representative survey, with 66% against and 22% in support,” it said. 

“As a result, Council officers have revised their advice to the Mayor, Councillors and Pou Iwi and now recommend not introducing suburban parking fees for the 2024/25 year. The forecast impact of this change is $2 million in reduced annual revenue, equating to a 0.4% increase in rates.”

The Council says 53% of submissions supported its preferred option for Three Waters investment of $676.7 million in operational funding and $1.2 billion in capital funding over 10 years – the highest affordable option.

“Eighteen percent supported the lowest option ($615.1m operational funding, $896.7m capital funding) and 12% supported the middle option ($617.5m operational funding, $1.0b capital funding). In the representative survey, 38% supported the highest option, 23% the lowest and 24% the middle.”

Fifty-seven percent of submissions favoured the introduction of an organic waste collection service, along with 53% of survey respondents. 

Feedback on the proposal to sell the Council’s airport shares and reinvest into a new perpetual investment fund to help manage insurance and investment risks was more even, with 28% of submissions in favour of selling all airport shares (the Council’s preferred option), 24% in favour of selling some airport shares, and 28% in favour of retaining the shares. 

“Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents favoured selling all shares, 36% selling some shares, and 19% retaining the shares,” Council said.

Support for the overall budget, which would result in an average rates increase of 16.4% in 2024/25 (excluding an additional 1.6% levy to fund the new sludge minimisation facility at Moa Point), was also mixed. Thirty-eight percent of submissions supported the budget and 40% opposed it; while 41% of survey respondents supported the budget and 23% opposed it.  

View the full consultation summary in the Council Paper here.

Final deliberations on the Long-term Plan will take place at the Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance Committee meeting this Thursday 30 May, after the consideration of all submissions and feedback.

Council is scheduled to adopt the final plan on Thursday 27 June.

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