FAQs from Webinars
- 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
- continuing Council’s commitment to our first-home builders rates remission
- 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.
What are you doing about consulting with those who can't access the library or don't have a computer?
We are very conscious of those who don't have digital access at a time where our ability to engage face-to-face is limited.
For those that don't have access to our digital resources, they will be able to pick up a copy of the consultation document and submission form from the 7 libraries that we now have open at Level 2. These will be in the libraries as soon as possible.
We also have a dedicated phone line - 04 488 7019 - that people can ring to request a physical copy of the consultation document and form or talk to a member of staff and ask questions.
I am interested to know who gets to see our submissions and how the decision making process works.
All submissions become public record. They are available for all Councillors to view as well as the general public. The submissions are received by the Annual Plan team and Councillors are updated throughout the consultation period as they come in.
A submitter can also request that their submission be forwarded on to another team within Council for their information. EG - they may have submitted on a waste issue in the Annual Plan and want to ensure the waste team is aware of the submission.
The submissions are analysed by our Research team and the website we use also provides us with detailed independent analysis. Any submitter can also speak to their submission at an oral hearing.
This is to the full Council at a public meeting. Once the consultation closes and oral hearings have been held Councillors will use the information from the public to debate the final Annual Plan in two meetings in late June, before finalising the Plan on June 30.
Why only 10 years to pay back the extra debt from Covid-19?
The extra debt is not for assets, instead it is to cover the loss of revenue from Covid-19, which is a short term loss. Therefore 10 years is what we have assumed is a reasonable timeframe to repay balancing rates affordability and the short term nature of the loss.
What is the plan to upgrade the water and sewage pipes?
The Mayor’s Taskforce is currently considering this question prior to the 2021/31 Long Term Plan later this year. https://wellington.govt.nz/services/environment-and-waste/water/mayoral-water-taskforce
Given the climate crisis explain WCC's strategy around building seawalls?
This is a big area of concern that needs lots of community involvement. We currently look at seawalls to protect public assets like roads and climate change raises additional questions around this policy. The process by which we work out resourcing, priority areas for future protection will be part of the long term plan process. Engagement on that happens starts later this year.
Will the Wellington Water roving crews also report water leaks that they see?
Yes they will.
Why only two rate increase choices - 5.1% or 2.3% increase?
Those are the two options Council has put out for consideration. We welcome all options and ideas, so anyone can suggest an alternative when they put in a submission.
Please provide us with a detailed budget so we can provide you with feedback about cost savings.
The detailed opex and capex budgets are available to be downloaded from the document section of our Financial Summary here: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/financial-summary1
I'd like to hear more about how Council plans to "build back better" from Covid-19 - in terms of building a more equitable, inclusive, climate- and environment-friendly city
As part of our response to Covid-19, we are introducing a package of new initiatives under the called Tipu Toa: Build Back Better to support the economy, create jobs and ensure Wellington is more resilient to future challenges. This package includes:
Does the City need the Convention Centre - it has the Michael Fowler Centre. Plus various other venues, e.g. St James Theatre and the Town Hall
The rationale for investment in a new convention centre is outlined in the business case approved by Council (link above). This project is about investing in the city’s future with fit-for-purpose infrastructure able to host modern events and world class exhibitions.
Our current facilities have served Wellington well, but are simply not going to take the City forward or meet customer requirements for the next 50 years. Providing a modern venue for convention and business events enables our current facilities to be focussed on events each are best suited for - which will be predominantly in the arts and culture sector.
The business case is available here: https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/projects/files/wellington-convention-and-exhibition-centre/wellington-convention-exhibition-centre-business-case.pdf?la=en
On the planned Owhiro Bay seawalls - are we able to design something to protect both the western and eastern side of the bay?
There is no guarantee that hard defenses are always the best option for sea level rise. Responses to sea level rise need extensive and careful planning and community involvement. Without proper design, seawalls can lead to unintended consequences. Hard defenses need to be considered alongside other options, and they require extensive planning, designing and cost benefit analysis all supported by good science and engineering.
18 May - Northern Ward
What happened to the large increase in revenue from revaluing residential value?
There is no increase in rates revenue from revaluations, it just changes the way the rates are allocated across the rating base.
What is the cost of lost revenue by removing the car parks at the Michael Fowler Centre, the library basement and the car parks up Brooklyn Road?
The loss of revenue is below:
Library basement carpark:$500k pa
Michael Fowler Centre: $250k pa
There is no revenue loss from carparks on Brooklyn Hill.
Is the Newlands Park upgrade fully accessible?
The new car park for the top field will have accessible parks and access to a flat sealed circular track.
The lower field, where the playground will be located, will have accessible car parks. There will be several accessible play items within the play spaces, but we are still working through the specific equipment detailing.
Other facilities such as the toilet, the picnic and bbq area will have good accessibility.
18 May - Southern Ward
Can the proposed temporary Brooklyn cycle lane stay in place until a permanent solution is implemented in a few years?
As part of our Let’s Get Wellington Moving Programme it is proposed to improve the City to Brooklyn corridor for both buses and bikes. The detailed planning for this has not yet commenced but information from the temporary bike lane will be invaluable.
What alternatives has the council considered regarding the temporary cycle lane up Brooklyn Road?
The temporary cycleway was consulted on from May 15 to 28. Council will make a decision on the temporary measure on 11 June.
Is Sean Rush's idea of sludge-to-sea really so bad? What does the science say about how the ocean deals with this kind of organic waste (via the long outfall)?
As the organisation responsible, Wellington Water Limited (WWL) sought legal advice and undertook a brief community survey around the potential to discharge into the sea via the long outfall.
The advice states that any decision to discharge sludge into the sea would need to rely on the emergency works provisions of the RMA. WWL’s view is that a discharge to the sea is unlikely to be consistent with these provisions.
Discharge into the sea is also not culturally viable and would cause strong public reaction. The science is considered as part of the resource consent process, however it is not the sole determinant of planning decisions.
Within interest rates so low, doesn't it make more sense to borrow to fund future infrastructure repairs and spread that over the life of the asset?
We do borrow to fund upgrades to our assets or to invest in new infrastructure. We do this as it allows us to spread the cost of funding this expenditure over the multiple generations that will benefit from the investment. There is more information about our Borrowing Position, including the extra debt due to Covid here: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/financial-summary1/news_feed/borrowing-position
Historically we are now paying for other councils not doing the infrastructure upgrades back then or incrementally. Shouldn’t we bite the bullet and forget the vanity projects and work on the very unsexy infrastructure?
This will be a question for Councillors to consider when they consider final Annual Plan and also the Long Term Plan later this year.
Will Council provide safe road space for people who want to cycle through our Southern Ward and into the city, in the next 12 months?
As part of our Let’s Get Wellington Moving Programme we are looking to make some short term improvements for the route between Newtown and the City for both buses and bikes. A more significant project to connect Newtown through Berhampore and then onto Island Bay will be subject to community input later this year ahead of proposed funding in the following Long Term Plan 2021-2031
Is there any plan to make the buslanes from Newtown to CBD 24/7 so we can cycle into the CBD more safely at all times and support central city business?
As part of our Let’s Get Wellington Moving Programme we are looking to make some short term improvements for the route between Newtown and the City for both buses and bikes
Are we still doing the Island Bay cycleway design that was agreed last triennium?
We have agreed that The Parade upgrade will be part of a funding request to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for co-investment on a scheme that improves the entire route from Newtown, through Berhampore to the south coast for buses, bikes, walking and place making. The planning for this includes community input later this year ahead of proposed funding in the following Long Term Plan 2021-2024
I'd like to get some information about where the plans for the Southern Landfill Extension are at.
|Information on the Southern Landfill extension can be found here: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/southern-landfill-future|
Who independently checks the charge rates/ costs being incurred for repairs to the sewage sludge line and trucking costs?
Wellington Water Limited is responsible for these procurement decisions. WWL is reviewing the contractors’ trucking costs to ensure the City is receiving good value for money, and tested the cost of repairs against other options.
Note: The trucks have now stopped.
21 May - Lambton Ward
- Car ownership is does not equate to use, but there is correlation
- Assuming the ‘2030 commitments’ refer to CO2 reduction, then use and fuel type (i.e. uptake of EVs) are also factors.
- We are funding programmes, e.g. LGWM (includes bus priority) and Cycleways, to enable more people to move with fewer vehicles.
- No targets exist for car ownership, car use, EV fleet composition as they are not matters within the Council’s control but are largely within the control of central government policy.
If the new model of having multiple smaller libraries dotted across the CBD has higher footfall than the old central library does this suggest the new small libaries should be kept, and the old Athfield building should be used for something else?
Thank you for the interest in the Central Library . The latest information on our plans for the building can be found here. https://wellington.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/libraries/central-library-closure. Council will meet on 3 June to consider the options proposed for the building, including the public engagement process. The options are listed in the link above and in the Council paper here https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/meetings/council/2020/may/2020-05-27-agenda-council.pdf?la=en
The previous Mayor wanted to gazette the Jack Illiot Green as a reserve. Is there any appetite within the current council to do the same and make the Civic Square redevelopment based around the green and the city art gallery?
Te Ngākau Civc Precinct is being considered as a whole area in terms of future development and ways in which we can improve the connections to this important area from the city and the waterfront. This master-planning work will occur in 2020/21 and feed into the next Long-Term Plan as needed. More information on this project can be found here: https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/te-ngakau-civic-precinct-programme
With the proposal to allow micro-mobility and cycles to use some parts of the footpath - how would the councillors imagine an interaction with a cyclist / scooterer, and a wheelchair user going in opposite directions play out?
The proposal to change the use of footpaths is part of Central Governments Accessible Streets Package of rule changes that have been proposed.
How did Dunedin move so quickly on speed limits? Are there lessons for WCC?
We assume that Dunedin implemented temporary speed limit reductions under the provisions of the Land Transport Act which allow speed limits to be reduced in an emergency such as a pandemic. We have also reduced speed limits to 30 kph on the South Coast Road and around the Miramar Peninsula under those provisions. The Safer Speeds project which is looking to permanently lower the speed limit in the CBD is far advanced and we have accelerated it further with an aim to deploying in mid July if approved by Council.
What is the target car ownership / usage that Wellington needs to achieve to meet 2030 commitments?
A couple of points below should hopefully answer this question.
22 May - Eastern Ward
Any plans to substantially relax/upzone lands to encourage development of new housing?
We are currently in the middle of reviewing our District Plan and Spatial Plan. More information on this process can be found here: https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz/
Are you aware of the proposal for The Polo Community Sports Centre? The two sports clubs based at The Polo we are working with Council to have an upgraded shared space for both resident clubs and the wider community
Officers received a proposal to upgrade the existing club rooms at the Polo Grounds from Miramar Softball Club and Ories Rugby Club late last year. We meet with the clubs onsite and are progressing discussions on a possible partnership project, noting this will be subject to sufficient funding being available. We are in the process of drafting an MOU between the clubs and Council. Council owns the building and the clubs have separate leases for the space (Softball upstairs and Ories downstairs)
Are there any potential projects that WCC may try put through the Covid19 fast tracking consenting bill that's just been introduced into Parliament and is set to be passed in June
Council submitted several projects to the Government's "Shovel ready" scheme. Information about them can be found here: https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/news/2020/04/shovel-ready-projects
Shelly Bay - where is the council now on this iconic site?
Information about the Council's involvement in Shelly Bay can be found here: https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/shelly-bay-development
23 May - Onslow-Western Ward
I would like to hear about the future of the central and branch libraries
Thank you for the interest in the Central Library . The latest information on our plans for the building can be found here. https://wellington.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/libraries/central-library-closure. Council will meet on 3 June to consider the options proposed for the building. The options are listed in the link above and in the Council paper here https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/meetings/council/2020/may/2020-05-27-agenda-council.pdf?la=en
My question also asked about branch libraries. Are they all safe from closure or downgrading? Khandallah has faced closure in the past when WCC wanted to save money.
We are not planning to change any services levels in this Annual Plan, as we have heard previously from our residents that this isn't something they want. This means no changes or downgrading of the branch libraries.
Will the WCC re-evaluate the Spatial Plan in the light of COVID?
We are currently in the middle of reviewing our District Plan and Spatial Plan. More information on this process can be found here: https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz/
Why are councillors slipping things under the Covid-19 safety umbrella eg cycleways without any public engagement?
The temporary cycleways were out for public consultation from 15 May to 28 May. They will be considered by Council at the 11 June Council meeting. More information on the proposed traffic resolutions can be found here https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultations/closed-consultations and will be detailed in the agenda for the Council meeting
What is happening in the Ngaio Gorge re road repairs?
The Ngaio Gorge slip repair is in this year's Annual Plan. The physical works include building retaining walls, widening and realigning the road, drainage and slope stabilisation. There was some preliminary work that was due to start in March, but this was delayed by Covid. Work is now expected to start in October and expected to take two years.
Where can I find information on the Parking Policy?
The Smarter Ways to Manage Parking consultation can be found here. It includes many other FAQs on parking, the detail of the policy review and information on making a submission.
Are the laws around parking charges flexible enough eg - would we look at using our our parking sensors to dynamically charge depending on current usage?
You are correct in identifying that there would need to be legislation and bylaw changes and improved technology to support a fully dynamic pricing system and allow for more flexible designation of parking space use. A semi-dynamic but still demand-responsive approach can still be introduced by amending the Traffic Bylaw.
How will the parking policy give effect to active modes of transport like walking and cycling?
The parking policy is a framework document that will influence parking management changes over the next decade. A key part of the proposal is to move to area-based planning, so making parking management decisions alongside changes to improve active and public transport. These plans will consider all the users of parking in a particular area and the different needs the limited street space needs to accommodate. In the short-term, to encourage visitors back in to the central city and to ensure people feel safe and able to socially distance themselves when shopping etc, the Council is receiving funding support from NZTA to make temporary street changes such as widen footpaths and provide more outdoor eating spaces - the Innovative Streets projects. More information on these are available on our website and people can comment on the proposals through the traffic resolutions on line.
Would the parking policy integrate with lowering our carbon use e.g. incentivising use of low carbon transport?
Yes, the proposal does integrate with a low carbon capital. For example, The parking space hierarchy proposes that parking for micro-mobility and bicycles, dedicated car share parking and electric vehicle charging is a higher priority than commuter parking.
How will street parking assessment affect residential housing consents so new housing on streets that have to provide adequate off-street parking where there is on-street parking pressure on nearby streets?
The provision of off-street parking with new developments sits under the District Plan rules and requirements. The Policy team have worked with the planning team and the topic of minimum parking requirements will be asked as part of the upcoming review of the District Plan. Please refer to our Planning for Growth website. The Parking Policy is about how to best use the space available on-street or at Council facilities off-street, it does not cover private off-street parking provision. There is some more information in the REsidential Parking Schemes section of the draft policy.
When can will we see on-street parking removed to improve physical distancing and cycling safety between Island Bay and Newtown? This is urgently needed.
A significant project to connect Newtown through Berhampore and then onto Island Bay will be subject to community input later this year ahead of proposed funding in the following Long Term Plan 2021-2024
Will the policy incorporate a policy of a falling lid on parking so that we never see an increase and only a decrease over time?
No the draft policy doesn't have a 'sinking lid' type proposal for parking spaces. It is about how to manage the space available for parking. Let's Get Wellington Moving will have an impact on the amount of street space available for different types of transport.
What about parking prioritisation on key commuter routes that are in residential areas?
This would depend on whether the route was designated as a key transport route or not. The proposed area-based planning approach would allow for discussions with the community to identify such routes and how to balance the needs of residents and commuters.
Can you please explain why the parking policy only covers Wellington City Council parking, not all parking?
The parking policy is about the Council- managed parking only. The Council doesn't own or manage off-street parking buildings anymore. We have some off-street parking at our facilities and through some of the CCOs such as Te Papa and Zealandia
Given the parking has *zero*impact on arts and retail, but has an impact on the mobility access for disabled people and families with babies - could we have tiered pricing based on need?
The parking policy proposes keeping the current concessions for mobility parking spaces as they are now. Please give us your feedback on whether this is appropriate.
Providing concessions or designated parking for people with young children is very difficult to monitor and enforce, and therefore the spaces could be more open to inappropriate use. More sophisticated technology is required to support a tiered pricing system based on the type of user of the vehicle such as you’ve suggested.
Will the parking policy cover enforcement?
In the proposed management hierarchies the first level of Council management is increase compliance and enforcement where non-compliance is creating the parking issues. Subsequent to the parking policy adoption, Council staff will begin the process of reviewing and amending the Traffic Bylaw - this is the part of the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw that covers the enforcement tools for parking.
Should everyone who has off street parking and/or a garage be forced to use it rather than parking on the street. This would free up space for those who do not have off street parking, and free up road space on many streets.
The parking policy proposes a new way of managing residents parking zones including prioritising parking permits for those residents without off-street parking. Please take a look at this section of the draft policy (page 25) and make a submission with your views.