Pandemic Response & Recovery

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Te papātanga o te mate Korona - The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

We are experiencing an unprecedented event. Working together and learning from each other will be crucial to Wellington remaining connected and is fit for the future.

Wellington’s businesses, people and communities are facing hardship. The city is restarting as we move through the different pandemic response levels. However it will take time to get fully up to speed. The Council also has lost significant income, and continues to focus its resources to support the city's pandemic response and recovery.

The Council's Pandemic Response and Recovery Plan is about:

  • what we can do now to soften the pandemic impacts on our most vulnerable residents, business and communities, and
  • how we support economic, social and cultural recovery post lock-down.

There are six action areas to the plan which includes community wellbeing, social support and community funding, economic recovery and Council financial support. We are focused on staying connected to the community so that our response can be refined and added to, as circumstances change.

Helping Wellington to build back better:

We are also implementing a package of new initiatives called Tupu Toa: Build Back Better to support the economy, create jobs and ensure Wellington is more resilient to future challenges e.g.

  • Investment in the arts through the city recovery fund, business case for resource recover centre
  • Additional money for home energy audits, build heritage incentive fund, weed & pest control.

See the tabs below for details on the Pandemic Response Plan and Tipu Toa.

Te papātanga o te mate Korona - The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

We are experiencing an unprecedented event. Working together and learning from each other will be crucial to Wellington remaining connected and is fit for the future.

Wellington’s businesses, people and communities are facing hardship. The city is restarting as we move through the different pandemic response levels. However it will take time to get fully up to speed. The Council also has lost significant income, and continues to focus its resources to support the city's pandemic response and recovery.

The Council's Pandemic Response and Recovery Plan is about:

  • what we can do now to soften the pandemic impacts on our most vulnerable residents, business and communities, and
  • how we support economic, social and cultural recovery post lock-down.

There are six action areas to the plan which includes community wellbeing, social support and community funding, economic recovery and Council financial support. We are focused on staying connected to the community so that our response can be refined and added to, as circumstances change.

Helping Wellington to build back better:

We are also implementing a package of new initiatives called Tupu Toa: Build Back Better to support the economy, create jobs and ensure Wellington is more resilient to future challenges e.g.

  • Investment in the arts through the city recovery fund, business case for resource recover centre
  • Additional money for home energy audits, build heritage incentive fund, weed & pest control.

See the tabs below for details on the Pandemic Response Plan and Tipu Toa.

  • Response and Recovery Plan

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    2 months ago

    1. Council Financial Support

    With the Covid-19 lock-down in place, some businesses and households are facing significant financial hardship. The government is providing a range of support mechanisms as are banks. Council will be:

    • providing support to businesses and commercial ratepayers by providing the ability to defer fourth quarter rates without penalty for 6 months
    • providing a variety of rent relief or rent payment plans for the balance of 2019/20 to organisations, businesses and clubs that use council facilities
    • reducing the time frames for payments to suppliers who provide goods and services to Council from 20 to 7 days to help with cash-flow.

    2. Council services

    Council services are important for community wellbeing. While many are temporarily on hold, essential services continue to be delivered and others are being delivered in a different way. Council services will play an important part of the recovery phase, and Council costs also impact many businesses. Council is:

    • reducing many fees such as alcohol and food licence fees to support the hospitality sector
    • providing a rebate for pavement licence holders for the equivalent of the fourth quarter of 2019/20
    • providing ongoing support through Council grants to Wellington community groups
    • freezing pool and council gym membership costs for the duration of the lock down.

    3. Community Wellbeing

    There are communities in Wellington that are disadvantaged and this stream of work is focused on looking after the city’s most vulnerable during the pandemic. This includes:

    • Additional community grant funding – additional grant funding of $1.5m to support community groups
    • Support homeless – accommodation support for the city’s vulnerable homeless community (with City Mission)
    • Support for vulnerable – delivery of food to people in need, this includes food banks and meals on wheels
    • Outreach – coordinate with outreach teams and support groups to look after the vulnerable members of the City
    • Get people active – provide discounted or free entry to facilities like the Zoo, Zealandia and Council pools for a period of time to encourage people

    4. Economic Recovery

    Businesses pay 45% of the total rates in the city, and provide jobs for Wellingtonians as well many others in the region. It is important that businesses are supported through the lock-down so they can be at the forefront of the economic recovery. Actions include:

    • Business support – WellingtonNZ operating a business advice line and running a series of webinars and online workshops for the business community
    • City Recovery Fund – a fund of up to $8m to support and boost the economic recovery including support for the creative and innovative sectors
    • City Recovery Plan – the development of a comprehensive recovery plan with key stakeholders that encompasses the economy but also the cultural and recreational dynamics of the city

    5. Absolutely Positively Wellington

    Wellington has a strong sense of community and is no stranger to a crisis. As shown with the earthquake in 2016, Wellingtonians are resilient and look after each other in times of need. This area of focus is about maintaining pride in the city, looking after each other, and looking after everything local. There are two main aspects:

    • Buy local – The #LoveLocal programme will be geared up to encourage Wellingtonians to buy from and support local Wellington businesses and those across the region
    • Pride in the city – a range of initiatives will be undertaken to encourage the Absolutely Positively Wellington pride in our city, foster Wellingtonians’ caring spirit and find new ways in which we can support each other

    6. Regional & Central Government Collaboration

    As part of the recovery phase it will be important that economic stimulus projects are strongly aligned with central government efforts to ensure benefits are maximised. The key areas of focus are:

    • Preparing a package of 10 ‘shovel ready’ projects to support economic growth and job creation in the region
    • Partnering with Wellington stakeholders and our CCOs on a future programme of work to assist city recovery
    • Working alongside mana whenua towards a strong recovery for our city, whānau and hapori
    • Advocate to central government for funding and other support to assist with the recovery of Wellington, a capital city fit for the future

    1. Council Financial Support

    With the Covid-19 lock-down in place, some businesses and households are facing significant financial hardship. The government is providing a range of support mechanisms as are banks. Council will be:

    • providing support to businesses and commercial ratepayers by providing the ability to defer fourth quarter rates without penalty for 6 months
    • providing a variety of rent relief or rent payment plans for the balance of 2019/20 to organisations, businesses and clubs that use council facilities
    • reducing the time frames for payments to suppliers who provide goods and services to Council from 20 to 7 days to help with cash-flow.

    2. Council services

    Council services are important for community wellbeing. While many are temporarily on hold, essential services continue to be delivered and others are being delivered in a different way. Council services will play an important part of the recovery phase, and Council costs also impact many businesses. Council is:

    • reducing many fees such as alcohol and food licence fees to support the hospitality sector
    • providing a rebate for pavement licence holders for the equivalent of the fourth quarter of 2019/20
    • providing ongoing support through Council grants to Wellington community groups
    • freezing pool and council gym membership costs for the duration of the lock down.

    3. Community Wellbeing

    There are communities in Wellington that are disadvantaged and this stream of work is focused on looking after the city’s most vulnerable during the pandemic. This includes:

    • Additional community grant funding – additional grant funding of $1.5m to support community groups
    • Support homeless – accommodation support for the city’s vulnerable homeless community (with City Mission)
    • Support for vulnerable – delivery of food to people in need, this includes food banks and meals on wheels
    • Outreach – coordinate with outreach teams and support groups to look after the vulnerable members of the City
    • Get people active – provide discounted or free entry to facilities like the Zoo, Zealandia and Council pools for a period of time to encourage people

    4. Economic Recovery

    Businesses pay 45% of the total rates in the city, and provide jobs for Wellingtonians as well many others in the region. It is important that businesses are supported through the lock-down so they can be at the forefront of the economic recovery. Actions include:

    • Business support – WellingtonNZ operating a business advice line and running a series of webinars and online workshops for the business community
    • City Recovery Fund – a fund of up to $8m to support and boost the economic recovery including support for the creative and innovative sectors
    • City Recovery Plan – the development of a comprehensive recovery plan with key stakeholders that encompasses the economy but also the cultural and recreational dynamics of the city

    5. Absolutely Positively Wellington

    Wellington has a strong sense of community and is no stranger to a crisis. As shown with the earthquake in 2016, Wellingtonians are resilient and look after each other in times of need. This area of focus is about maintaining pride in the city, looking after each other, and looking after everything local. There are two main aspects:

    • Buy local – The #LoveLocal programme will be geared up to encourage Wellingtonians to buy from and support local Wellington businesses and those across the region
    • Pride in the city – a range of initiatives will be undertaken to encourage the Absolutely Positively Wellington pride in our city, foster Wellingtonians’ caring spirit and find new ways in which we can support each other

    6. Regional & Central Government Collaboration

    As part of the recovery phase it will be important that economic stimulus projects are strongly aligned with central government efforts to ensure benefits are maximised. The key areas of focus are:

    • Preparing a package of 10 ‘shovel ready’ projects to support economic growth and job creation in the region
    • Partnering with Wellington stakeholders and our CCOs on a future programme of work to assist city recovery
    • Working alongside mana whenua towards a strong recovery for our city, whānau and hapori
    • Advocate to central government for funding and other support to assist with the recovery of Wellington, a capital city fit for the future
  • Tupu Toa: Build Back Better

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    2 months ago

    Supporting the economy, create jobs and ensure Wellington is more resilient to future challenges.

    • a commitment to a business case for a resource recovery centre
    • investment in the arts through the City Recovery Fund
    • a $150k increase in funding for Home Energy Audits to improve the energy performance of Wellington houses a commitment to progress a green infrastructure stormwater demonstration project
    • an additional $100k in funding for the Built Heritage Incentive Fund
    • an additional $200k in funding for the protection of biodiversity through an expanded weed management programme
    • investigations of minor roading improvements that are designed to make walking safer, more child friendly, and more accessible.


    Supporting the economy, create jobs and ensure Wellington is more resilient to future challenges.

    • a commitment to a business case for a resource recovery centre
    • investment in the arts through the City Recovery Fund
    • a $150k increase in funding for Home Energy Audits to improve the energy performance of Wellington houses a commitment to progress a green infrastructure stormwater demonstration project
    • an additional $100k in funding for the Built Heritage Incentive Fund
    • an additional $200k in funding for the protection of biodiversity through an expanded weed management programme
    • investigations of minor roading improvements that are designed to make walking safer, more child friendly, and more accessible.


  • Council approves City Recovery Fund

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    about 2 months ago

    Wellington City Council has adopted a framework to manage the new Tipu Toa: Build back better, City Recovery Fund.

    The Fund was established at the Council Meeting of 9 April 2020 as part of the Pandemic Response Plan. Its purpose is to support initiatives that will contribute to Wellington's post Covid-19 economic recovery.

    Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says $7.6 million is available from now until June 2021 to support and boost the economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

    “We have had many discussions with key sectors that have been hit by this pandemic and know they have innovative ideas to get Wellington back up on its feet. We welcome conversations with those sectors to bring those ideas to life.

    “We expect this fund to support events, initiatives and partnerships that will revitalise the City; re-create, create or retain jobs; support and invigorate the arts, culture and hospitality sectors; present Wellington as a strong domestic tourist destination; and positively contribute to Wellington's economy.

    “Employment will be a key factor in Wellington’s recovery so proposals for funding which support job re-creation, and protection of jobs will be an important factor in allocating the funds.

    “Given there is likely to be a number of stages in the City’s recovery, the funding will be managed to respond to quickly changing circumstances. We are seeking to support well considered and strong projects or initiatives that will help Wellington get back up on its feet,” says the Mayor.

    Council also has commitments totalling an additional $2.6m for a series of events, programmes and initiatives that form the platform to support the economic recovery.

    More information on the fund can be found at wellington.govt.nz/recoveryfund

    Wellington City Council has adopted a framework to manage the new Tipu Toa: Build back better, City Recovery Fund.

    The Fund was established at the Council Meeting of 9 April 2020 as part of the Pandemic Response Plan. Its purpose is to support initiatives that will contribute to Wellington's post Covid-19 economic recovery.

    Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says $7.6 million is available from now until June 2021 to support and boost the economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

    “We have had many discussions with key sectors that have been hit by this pandemic and know they have innovative ideas to get Wellington back up on its feet. We welcome conversations with those sectors to bring those ideas to life.

    “We expect this fund to support events, initiatives and partnerships that will revitalise the City; re-create, create or retain jobs; support and invigorate the arts, culture and hospitality sectors; present Wellington as a strong domestic tourist destination; and positively contribute to Wellington's economy.

    “Employment will be a key factor in Wellington’s recovery so proposals for funding which support job re-creation, and protection of jobs will be an important factor in allocating the funds.

    “Given there is likely to be a number of stages in the City’s recovery, the funding will be managed to respond to quickly changing circumstances. We are seeking to support well considered and strong projects or initiatives that will help Wellington get back up on its feet,” says the Mayor.

    Council also has commitments totalling an additional $2.6m for a series of events, programmes and initiatives that form the platform to support the economic recovery.

    More information on the fund can be found at wellington.govt.nz/recoveryfund

  • Free ground and venue hire for sport and recreation groups

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    about 2 months ago

    Use of Wellington City Council facilities will be free for sports clubs until the end of June 2020, and there will be an extended winter season for sportsfields.

    The move will see no charges for sportsfields, courts or lane bookings at Council swimming pools, the ASB Sports Centre and outdoor courts – but in pool access charges will apply.

    Normal fees will apply from Wednesday 1 July, and seasonal fees will be reduced for winter sports due to the winter season being shorter than usual.

    Mayor Andy Foster says the move is to help lessen the impact of the Covid-19...

    Use of Wellington City Council facilities will be free for sports clubs until the end of June 2020, and there will be an extended winter season for sportsfields.

    The move will see no charges for sportsfields, courts or lane bookings at Council swimming pools, the ASB Sports Centre and outdoor courts – but in pool access charges will apply.

    Normal fees will apply from Wednesday 1 July, and seasonal fees will be reduced for winter sports due to the winter season being shorter than usual.

    Mayor Andy Foster says the move is to help lessen the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the City’s sports clubs.

    "We are particularly thinking of our local sports clubs who have not been able to use the Council’s facilities during the lockdown period. Many of them will have lost their main sources of income as they were not able to operate during Alert Levels 3 and 4.

    “In addition to charging no fees until 1 July, we’re also proposing not to increase fees and charges for community sport in 2020/21 in our Annual Plan, which is currently out for consultation. We want to ensure we are doing all we can to help community organisations to recover as we know many of them are suffering financial hardship.”

    Council Sport and Recreation Portfolio Holder Councillor Simon Woolf says to be eligible for paying no fees until the end of June, groups will need to be affiliated to a national or regional sporting body, or be an incorporated society or trust whose primary purpose is the delivery of community sport.

    “We want to see people back training and playing sport again, and this is to help support sports with what will be a gradual start to a disrupted season. Normally our winter season for sportsfields would end around August to enable competitions to be played – this will now be extended until the end of September,” says Councillor Woolf.

    The no charges policy will not include private bookings or commercial sports leagues.

  • Response & Recovery News - boost for community support groups

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    2 months ago

    Thursday 7 May - Million dollar boost for community support groups

    In response to the current crisis, Wellington City Council has committed an additional $1 million immediately to support social and community agencies providing services and meeting additional demand as a result of COVID-19.

    Applications are now being welcomed from groups and organisations that provide programmes, projects and services that benefit Wellingtonians during COVID-19, says Community Services Manager, Jenny Rains.

    “As well as additional funding we have redirected the Social and Recreation Fund, as our priority is to provide financial support and resources to those responding to increased and emerging...

    Thursday 7 May - Million dollar boost for community support groups

    In response to the current crisis, Wellington City Council has committed an additional $1 million immediately to support social and community agencies providing services and meeting additional demand as a result of COVID-19.

    Applications are now being welcomed from groups and organisations that provide programmes, projects and services that benefit Wellingtonians during COVID-19, says Community Services Manager, Jenny Rains.

    “As well as additional funding we have redirected the Social and Recreation Fund, as our priority is to provide financial support and resources to those responding to increased and emerging needs in Wellington City – and which address a number of issues including family and domestic violence, food security, homelessness, and mental health.

    “We work with many frontline organisations that care for our more vulnerable communities, and they’re really doing it tough now as that community has grown so much during the Alert Level lockdowns.

    “This funding is for specific areas of work which reflect the welfare needs our Community Welfare team has been dealing with throughout the crisis and as we look ahead to recovery the coming months,” adds Jenny.

    The additional funding was approved at the Council meeting on 9 April as part of a Pandemic Response Plan that includes a range of actions to support those facing hardship in the community, says Community Well-being portfolio lead and Chair of Grants subcommittee, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons.

    “Improved community resilience, wellbeing and promoting neighbourhood connections is more important now than it has ever been – as is supporting the agencies that are making such a difference in these difficult times.

    “Our Pandemic Response Plan includes a range of actions that can be delivered immediately, and others are in development and focused on the recovery phase. These grants will contribute to the on-going support of our communities, the organisations that provide that support, and the future recovery of our city.”

    There are also additional grants available for arts, sport and recreation clubs and organisations to access funding initiatives that encourage participants back into arts, and into sport and physical activity once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, says Mayor Andy Foster. “This funding will enable organisations, groups and clubs to get up and running again, so they can provide accessible opportunities and activities for participation for all.

    “These grants will give them a good kick-start to help communities get creative, get active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, while also removing barriers to taking part – many of which have been in place due to the COVID-19 Alert Level lockdown situation.”

    For more information about these funding opportunities please visit our funding section on the Council website.

    wellington.govt.nz/funding

  • Response & Recovery News - contact tracing

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    2 months ago

    Wellington City Council partners with Rippl for city-wide contact tracing

    Wellington City Council is making it easier for people and businesses to get back to work and play under Alert Levels 1 and 2 by using a secure, easy-to-use contact tracing app, called Rippl.

    “With many Council services reopening under Alert Level 2 we needed a secure tool for contact tracing which was easy to set up and use, which protected peoples’ information and privacy,” says Mayor Andy Foster. “We have partnered with Wellington software developers, PaperKite, to use Rippl across most Council services.

    “Wellington City Council has also secured...

    Wellington City Council partners with Rippl for city-wide contact tracing

    Wellington City Council is making it easier for people and businesses to get back to work and play under Alert Levels 1 and 2 by using a secure, easy-to-use contact tracing app, called Rippl.

    “With many Council services reopening under Alert Level 2 we needed a secure tool for contact tracing which was easy to set up and use, which protected peoples’ information and privacy,” says Mayor Andy Foster. “We have partnered with Wellington software developers, PaperKite, to use Rippl across most Council services.

    “Wellington City Council has also secured a number of three month licences which we are offering to Council Controlled Organisations and Wellington’s cultural, sporting, recreation, business and community organisations. We are doing this to help make it easier for people moving around the city by using the same processes for managing contact tracing,” says the Mayor.

    Client Success Director at PaperKite, Antony Dixon says: “With Rippl we’ve created a smart, simple solution for contact tracing which protects everyone’s privacy.

    “Rippl is simple to set up and use. Once an organisation registers online they receive a unique QR Code on a poster to print off and display it at their entrances. People with the Rippl app on their smartphone can scan the QR code as they enter, and check out on their phone when they leave.”

    Rippl does not request any personal contact details, nor use location services or GPS data. The only data it holds about where a person has been is the data they scanned into it when they check in and out of a place. It enables health services to send an alert direct to their phone should they need to advise them of any possible contact with Covid-19 and what to do.

    Rippl will be used at all Council sites alongside membership (such as the Envibe system used at the pools) and paper-based sign-in systems for people who don’t have smartphones, or prefer not to use apps.

    People can download the free Rippl app to their smartphone from the Apple iOS App or Google Play App stores now.

    Wellington businesses can take up the Wellington City Council offer for a free three-month licence by registering from 9 am Wednesday 13 May on the PaperKite website.

    Organisations will need to register a licence for every location which is open to the public.

    This offer is only available to cultural, recreation, business and community organisations in and across Wellington city wards and suburbs.

    Rippl is currently available at $35 per licence.

    More details about how Wellington City Council plans to use Rippl across most of its sites is available on the Council website at wellington.govt.nz/tracing for help and support.

    Info for Businesses - wellington.govt.nz/rippl and wellington.govt.nz/ripple

  • Response and recovery news - Wellington Water Taskforce

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    2 months ago

    Wellington Water Taskforce back in full swing

    Mayor Andy Foster chaired the second meeting of his Taskforce into water, sewage and stormwater (three waters) yesterday.

    “We pressed pause to focus on Covid-19 for seven weeks, but throughout that period there was never any suggestion that we would shy away from grasping this nettle,” says Mayor Foster

    “The taskforce is looking into the state of Wellington’s three waters assets, the level of historical investment, and what is going to be needed in the future. This is likely to affect both public and private networks. The first part of our work is...

    Wellington Water Taskforce back in full swing

    Mayor Andy Foster chaired the second meeting of his Taskforce into water, sewage and stormwater (three waters) yesterday.

    “We pressed pause to focus on Covid-19 for seven weeks, but throughout that period there was never any suggestion that we would shy away from grasping this nettle,” says Mayor Foster

    “The taskforce is looking into the state of Wellington’s three waters assets, the level of historical investment, and what is going to be needed in the future. This is likely to affect both public and private networks. The first part of our work is very much on information gathering.

    “Recommendations will ultimately flow through into Council’s Asset Management Plan and the Long Term Plan next year.

    “Yesterday we heard from the Department of Internal Affairs, who said Wellington’s challenges are replicated across all of New Zealand. While that’s not good news nationally, we’re not alone here and there is a national conversation about how we are going to invest in and fund a three-waters system that matches our rising community expectations,” Mayor Foster says.

    Discussion covered how water assets are managed in the city and region, some of the associated challenges and how models worked in other jurisdictions such as Auckland and Scotland.

    Wellington Water officers updated the taskforce on several high-profile projects in the City; the renewal of the Willis Street/Dixon Street sewer pipe, the Mount Albert sludge pipes, Moa Point interceptor and the Omāroro water reservoir. They also gave an overview of wastewater overflows, measuring water losses and leakages and the role of water meters in providing more accurate information about water leakage.

    “We also had a Whaitua overview from the co-chairs. The Te Whanganui a Tara Whaitua is the collaborative discussion on the future of the streams, rivers, and coastal waters in the Hutt-Wellington area, the water that connects us, the land and our communities, and how we manage and protect natural resources. We were told we can expect a report similar to the one that was created for Porirua: Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua Implementation Programme.

    “We will continue to build that information over the coming months, in preparation for the Wellington City Council’s Long Term Plan and Infrastructure Strategy which will be consulted on in early 2021. The Mayoral Taskforce will continue to report back to you after each meeting via press release and via our dedicated web page https://wellington.govt.nz/services/environment-and-waste/water/mayoral-water-taskforce. You will be able to find a copy of the presentations we received on that page.”

    The next meeting of the Taskforce is scheduled for 26 May.

    Taskforce members are Mayor Foster (Chair), Councillor Jenny Condie, Councillor Sean Rush, Geoff Dangerfield (Board, Wellington Water), John Milford (CEO, Wellington Chamber of Commerce), David Bassett (Chair, Wellington Water Committee), Kara Puketapu-Dentice (Taranaki Whanui), Eugene Doyle (community representative), Carl Blanchard (independent subject matter expert, PWC), Peter Leslie (independent subject matter expert, PDL Consulting), Martyn Dunne (independent subject matter expert), Hikitia Ropata (Ngati Toa) and Stu Farrant (community representative).