Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wellington-first Citizens Assembly to play part in city forward planning

Wellington City Council has announced it will establish a Citizens’ Assembly to inform the development of the 2024-34 Long-term Plan – the Council’s budget for the next decade.

Council says the Assembly will be asked to give a collective view about which city services should be prioritised over the next 10 years.

From today, invitations to join the Assembly will be sent to around 10,000 randomly-selected Wellingtonians. Those who express an interest in joining will then be asked to complete a short survey. From these, 30-40 people will be selected who represent Wellington’s population in terms of age (16+), gender, ethnicity, education levels, and home ownership.

Council says the Citizens’ Assembly will meet over four sessions in September and October. The Assembly will then present their findings to the Mayor and Councillors, who will consider them when making decisions about the 2024-34 Long-term Plan.

Mayor Tory Whanau says diverse community input was critical to shape the Long-term Plan.

“Councils across New Zealand are facing major challenges, and Wellington City Council is no exception,” she said.

“We need to make some hard decisions, while protecting and supporting what Wellingtonians love most about our city. Meaningful and extensive engagement with the community will help us get it right.”

Councillor Rebecca Matthews, Chair of the Kōrau Tōtōpū Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee says, “While citizens’ assemblies are increasingly used overseas, we’ve never done one in Wellington before. We want to be innovative and active in breaking down barriers to participation in Council decision-making, and reach a wide range of people, including those we don’t usually hear from.

“It’s about creating an environment where people are supported to discuss and deliberate with other Wellingtonians with a variety of perspectives and insights. It’s also a chance for them to deepen their understanding of what the Council does, knowing the value of their time and input is recognised.

“If you receive an invitation, and are able to participate, please do – it’s a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the future of our city,” she said.

The Citizens’ Assembly is one of five phases of engagement on Council’s 2024-34 Long-term Plan.

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