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Wellington
Saturday, April 17, 2021

Wellington puts procurement strategy to the vote

Wellington City Council has unanimously voted to adopt a new Procurement Strategy.

Mayor Andy Foster says the Strategy works to ensure Council uses its purchasing power to support values-based management decisions with an emphasis on economic, social, cultural, environmental and public well-being outcomes. 

“This strategy supports the ideals of a smart city using intellectual assets and companies to deliver cost effective and socially driven purchase of goods and services,” said Mayor Foster.

“Importantly, the strategy will promote innovation and support local businesses generally and particularly the city’s tech sector in their drive to produce leading products for the local and global market.”    

Every year Wellington City Council spends over $500 million on external suppliers to help the Council run its operations and deliver its projects.

Councillor Laurie Foon, who holds the Sustainable Business portfolio, says the Strategy will enhance the city by supporting the Council’s commitments to:    

  • The Health and Safety Workplace Act 2015;
  • Māori, including under Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi;
  • Sustainability, including under Te Atakura / First to Zero;
  • Local and regional business opportunities, including under the Economic Development Strategy.

“What I am so excited to see with this new strategy is that we will be using the Council’s purchasing power for positive environmental impact and more benefits for our communities,” Cr Foon said.

“Sustainable procurement has long been the practice of businesses who are wanting to show leadership and can influence their supply chains for good,” he said.

“The resounding cry of ‘buy local’ over Covid-19 has become the life blood of our economy. It is essential for our city’s future, so I’m proud to know Wellington City Council now has this as one of the pillars of their purchasing plan.”

Councillor Rebecca Matthews, who holds the Living Wage portfolio, said the Strategy was an important next step for Council. 

“We’re continuing to be accredited as a Living Wage employer and all our contracts that come up for renewal are moving to Living Wage,” she said.

“This is about going even broader than that and using our influence with other organisations that we deal with. When there is an option for a Living Wage employer that is practical, we will support that. If there’s not, we will ask the organisation if they will consider paying the Living Wage. 

“It’s just showing our values and expanding them beyond just the Council to the wider city.”

It is estimated that every $3.4m in cost reductions achieved potentially equates to a 1% reduction in rates.

The Strategy is the result of recent reviews and audits, which found that Council would benefit from a plan based on a single set of principles consistent with those in the Procurement Policy.

There will be a staggered approach in implementing the Strategy with regular checkpoints, with a report-back on progress due in September 2021. 

A sub-working group consisting of Councillors Day, Foon, Calvert, and Matthews, is to be set up to oversee the implementation of the Strategy.

The adoption of the Strategy follows a recommendation by the Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee.

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