Part A: Introduction

Mayor’s introduction

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

It’s an exciting time to be in the Capital. Employment is up, our hi-tech and retail economic activity is increasing, we’re making good progress for our environment and we are committed to a socially inclusive city. Events for all pockets and interests make the city buzz.

Our Annual Plan 2016/17 continues the strategic vision we set in Wellington 2040: Smart Capital of a people-centred city, connected to local communities and the world, environmentally alert with a dynamic central city at its heart.

Thank you to all the individuals and organisations who commented on our ideas, our plans and our budgets as part of the consultation process. Your submissions reinforced some ideas and challenged others to make our decision-making more robust. This Annual Plan now sets out our budget for the 2016/17 financial year, improving the Capital’s resilience while introducing fresh initiatives to ensure Wellington’s a place where local and global talent wants to live.

We have increased arts funding so our national and local cultural institutions thrive. Investment into a new outdoor events series will enliven our dynamic central city and keep Wellington in its rightful place as New Zealand’s creative Capital. Join us at exciting events like the World of WearableArt Awards Show, the British and Irish Lions matches, CubaDupa, the Cindy Sherman exhibition and other favourites including Summer City, Chinese Year of the Rooster and New Year’s Eve at Whairepo Lagoon.

Our commitment to a people-centred city sees us fund a collaboration of agencies to reduce the root causes of homelessness, welcome refugees and beautify the city. Our living wage has been extended from employees to cleaning and security contractors, encouraging productivity and loyalty.

Our environmental commitment includes the Low-Carbon Capital Plan with a pathway to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The Council’s purchase of the Zealandia visitor centre gives the Karori Wildlife Trust the long-term financial stability it needs to fulfil its 500-year vision of world-leading urban ecology and tourism.

Additional projects to ensure Wellington remains one of the most liveable cities in the world will start, including the Johnsonville Library upgrade, Arlington social housing upgrade, the new Harbour Escarpment walkway and new turfs for football and hockey.

A range of transport initiatives across all modes include improvements for pedestrians, safety initiatives to lower central city speeds, expanding our urban cycleway network, progressing Ngauranga to Airport modelling and consultation on integrated transport and urban design solutions for the 21st century.

In 2016/17 we’ll start the required strengthening of our iconic Town Hall, providing a home to a potential national school of music to boost music performance and talent development in the Capital. Construction of our new Convention Centre begins and we expect significant growth and investment from Wellington’s tourism offering. Located opposite Te Papa, the Movie Museum and Convention Centre will be a huge drawcard for visitors from across the globe. Once operational, $38 million GDP per annum will be generated and many jobs protected, providing a significant economic input for the city.

This financial year the Urban Development Agency will be established, rapidly increasing affordable housing of good design near decent facilities, rather than urban sprawl.
We’re focussing on inclusive growth with our Annual Plan, building a stronger future for our economy, our communities, and our Capital. Thank you to the public, and all the staff, volunteers, contractors and partners who will turn the plan to reality.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown signature.