Part B: ​Our plan

Summary of our plan

More people today, than at any other time in history, have a choice about where they live. That’s why we need to invest.

Cities like Wellington compete on the global stage. We compete with other city regions to attract people, students, jobs, businesses, trade and investment. Other cities invest in their offering, and without ongoing investment and improvements to the city we lose our comparative advantage as an attractive place for skilled migrants and businesses.

Cities flourish and decline depending on the investment decision they make and how they develop over time – and this Long-term Plan outlines a strong investment programme that will position Wellington and its communities for a stronger and more prosperous future.

We have a strong history of investing in the city to benefit the community

In the past 10 years, the Council has invested in city infrastructure and services for the community.

While the key spending priority has been on infrastructure, there have been big increases in spending on community sport and recreation facilities, tourism promotion and events.

In the coming years, we are continuing to focus on strong, resilient infrastructure, but we will also invest for economic growth by establishing a programme of major projects and working in partnership with the private sector, the Government and others in the region.

By focusing investment in this way, we can:

We will invest to maintain and improve existing servicesTop

Our Long-term Plan maintains essential services for the city such as water supply, drainage, waste, parks and gardens, libraries, pools, sports fields, recreation centres, streets and social housing. It also includes upgrades and renewals to key facilities where there is a need.

One important area of focus will be on making infrastructure more resilient and better able to cope with environmental shocks such as earthquakes and the impact of climate change.

We will also work with others over the coming years to make the city’s transport system more efficient by prioritising public transport, investing in new cycleways and walkways, and reducing bottlenecks on the road network.

We are maintaining existing levels of service for pools, recreation centres, sports fields and other Council-funded facilities. Our focus is on accommodating demand within existing facilities where possible – we want to make use of the capacity in the community facilities we have already invested in, before we face the expense of adding more. In line with this broad strategy, we have allocated additional funding to support school pools in their operations to ensure they are of a good standard and well-utilised by the community.

We will also continue to work and have allocated additional resources – to end homelessness and to include the most vulnerable citizens in city life.

The work programme to maintain and improve existing services also includes the following specific projects.

We will invest to grow our offering as a cityTop

Though Wellington offers outstanding quality of life, its economy has considerable untapped potential.

A stronger economy means jobs, prosperity and more opportunities for all Wellington residents. Economic growth isn’t only about business profits - though they are important- it is about providing opportunities for everybody.

Growing the city’s economy is about:

The Long-term Plan provides capacity for us to invest with others in a range of initiatives to stimulate economic growth in the city. We have made a start with funding support for the establishment of a tech hub to help ICT start-ups to get established, collaborate with other businesses and become successful exporters. In addition to that, we have set aside funding to explore and deliver the following economic opportunities:


“The city is humanity’s laboratory, where people flock to dream, create, build, and rebuild.” – Edward L. Glaeser

Funding allocation to support our ‘invest for growth’ approachTop

The major projects outlined in this 10 year plan are at different stages of development. Some are in preliminary stages while others require resource consent before they progress to the next stage, while others will aim to attract third-party funding commitments.

It is our intention to deliver all of these and that is why we have set aside preliminary budgets for each of these projects – we want to be transparent about the potential costs and show the city’s capacity to fund them.

Detailed business cases will be developed for each of the projects in due course and these will set out the full costs and funding options. Further consultation will then happen before final decisions are made.

At this stage we have set aside a funding envelope of $267 million. Of that, $90 million has been signalled for investment in the extension of the Wellington airport runway. We plan to service this funding commitment through grant funding so the $90 million is not included within capital expenditure.