Part C: Our work in detail

1 Governance
​Pārongo ā-tāone

By the numbers

145,575

Number of registered voters in Wellington City.

56,844

Number who voted in 2013 Wellington City Council elections.

70%

Proportion of Wellington residents, in a June 2014 survey, who said they were satisfied with the way the Council involves them in decision-making. This was an improvement from 63% in the previous year’s survey.

‘Governance’ is about democratic local decision-making on behalf of the people of Wellington. Our governance activities include managing local elections, informing residents about the city and the issues or challenges it faces, listening to residents’ views, making decisions in the best interests of the city and its people, and managing partnerships with mana whenua and other groups.

This work is essential for local democracy and for the quality of Council decision-making. Residents have a fundamental right to influence the makeup of the Council through elections, and to be informed about, and influence, Council decision-making. Public input and involvement improves the quality of decision-making, by ensuring that all points of view and all relevant information are considered.

Our partnerships with mana whenua recognise their special place in the city’s history and special relationships with its land, waterways and other parts of its environment.

Our overall aim is to build trust and confidence in our decisions.

In coming years, the Council will keep working to find new and more effective ways to engage with residents, so the community can be kept informed and can influence the Council’s decisions.

Quality local decision-making requires us to engage at the right level, whether that is with local neighbourhoods, with particular sectors of the community, with businesses or business sectors, with local or central government, or with the community as a whole.

It requires us to continually strive to find new ways to reach people in ways that work for them.

It requires us to build and maintain partnerships, recognising that the Council is not always in control of the city’s direction.

Effective local decision-making requires residents to engage and to take the available opportunities to inform themselves and have their say.

Key projects

Governing the Wellington region

The Local Government Commission has abandoned its draft proposal to reorganise councils in the region to form a ‘super-city’ because of lack of public support.

Community feedback to the Commission has indicated that while a ‘super-city’ type model has very little support, a broad section of the community is open to the possibility of more moderate change. The Council is committed to dealing with regional issues at a regional level.

We acknowledge, for example, that the region has a single economy and therefore needs a single organisation to oversee and guide economic development.

For that reason, the Council has worked with Greater Wellington Regional Council and other local authorities to establish the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), a single agency responsible for economic development, events and tourism throughout the region.

This agency will provide a clear direction for economic development across the region, leading to higher growth, more jobs and stronger communities.

Wellington’s water comes from the hills of the Hutt Valley and is piped into the city. It is part of a single water network which can only be managed efficiently if it is managed on a regional basis. Water, wastewater and stormwater are therefore managed regionally, through the council-controlled organisation Wellington Water.

Many transport decisions have implications for neighbouring cities and indeed for the country as a whole, so those decisions are made at regional or national levels.

We will continue to work with other councils in the region and the Local Government Commission on exploring possible governance options that will improve regional service delivery and win the support of the community.

A partnership approach

The city has 200,100 residents, nearly 26,000 businesses, and thousands of clubs and community groups.

Government agencies, other local authorities, businesses, community organisations and individuals all make critical decisions affecting Wellington and its people.

The Council has set a direction for the city, and can act as a catalyst and an enabler. But, ultimately, others influence Wellingtonians’ quality of life at least as much as us.

Many of the projects proposed in this document are for partnerships involving local and central government, businesses, and other parts of the community. Examples include the Wellington Convention Centre, the planned International Film Museum, and our ICT hub.

Increasingly, our intention is to work with others – influencing and enabling – in order to get the best results for the city.

Involving residents in decision-making

In a 2014 survey of six New Zealand cities, residents were asked how well they understood local decision-making processes, how much confidence they had that decisions were made in their city’s bests interests, and how much influence the public had over decisions. For all of these questions, Wellington’s results were close to the average. We realise that, like other cities, we have to keep working to inform Wellingtonians and involve them in decision-making on major matters.

In coming years, we will continue to find new and more effective ways to engage with residents. Increasingly, this means reaching people and receiving feedback online, through computers and smartphones.

Statement on Māori and mana whenua partnershipsTop

Whai wāhitanga Māori (tae noa ki te mana whenua)

We have an obligation to ensure the views of mana whenua and Māori community are realised.

Our Treaty obligation

In Wellington City the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 29 April 1840 on board Henry Williams’ schooner Ariel in the harbour. Now, 175 years later, Treaty of Waitangi historic claims for both iwi groupings within the city, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Māui have been settled.

It is important that the special position of mana whenua is acknowledged and reflected in the way we make decisions about the city and its resources.

Engagement with the wider Māori community recognises the special provisions for Māori within our legislative framework and their unique Tangata Whenua position.

What we’ll provide – our level of service

We work with the city’s two mandated mana whenua organisations, the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated, to ensure their views are represented in decisions about the city and to ensure their contribution to Wellington’s heritage is fully and publicly recognised. Our responsibilities to these organisations are outlined in memoranda of understanding.

A capacity funding agreement outlines how they participate in decisions on policy, protocol, and regulatory and service delivery issues. Both entities have non‐voting membership on the Council’s committees. These obligations place administrative and time demands on the organisations. We provide each a grant to reflect their input.

We will provide opportunities for Māori to engage in dialogue with the Council to ensure their perspective is reflected in Council decisions and actions affecting economic, environmental, social, and cultural wellbeing.

How we will provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to our decision‐making processes

In addition to fostering partnerships with mana whenua, we will engage with and build relationships with the wider Māori community. Here is how we will do it:

Mana whenua partnerships:

Māori community engagement:

The visible recognition of such projects and the inclusion of a Māori perspective across Council activities will contribute to our city’s vitality and improve the experience of the city for us all. Inside the Council, we aim to build our capacity to be more effective for Māori in the work that we do and how the Council can contribute to strengthening Māori communities.

Governance – group of activitiesTop

Group of Activities Rationale Service Offering Negative effects
1.1 Governance, information and engagement

1.1.1 City governance and engagement

1.1.2 Civic information

1.1.3 City Archives
Facilitating democratic decision-making.

Providing open access to information.
  • Providing advice, research and administrative support to elected members and community boards.
  • Hosting local body elections.
  • A contact centre and website providing 24/7 access to information and a place to log service faults.
  • Management of archival information in line with legislation.
  • Facilitating engagement on key issues and input form advisory groups.
  • Accountability planning and reporting.
There are no significant negative effects from these activities.
1.2 Māori and mana whenua partnerships

1.2.1 Māori and mana whenua partnerships
Partnership and recognition of the special place of mana whenua.
  • Maintaining formal relationships with two mana whenua partners.
  • Facilitating opportunities to contribute to local decision making.
There are no significant negative effects from these activities.

Governance – performance measuresTop

Governance
Objectives Democratic decision-making

Open access to information

Recognition of Māori
Outcome indicators Residents (%) who agree that decisions are made in the best interests of the city

Residents (%) who state that they understand how the Council makes decisions

Residents (%) who understand how they can have input into Council decision-making

Mana whenua partners agree that the use and protection of the city's resources for the future is appropriate

Residents (%) who believe they have the opportunity to participate in city life

Voter turnout in local elections, referendums and polls
1.1 Governance, information and engagement

1.1.1 City governance and engagement

1.1.2 Civic information

​1.1.3 City Archives
Purpose of measure Performance measure 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality of the public's involvement in Council decision-making Residents (%) satisfaction with the level of consultation (i.e. the right amount) 55% 55% 55% 55%
Residents (%) who are satisfied or neutral (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied) with regard to their involvement with decision-making 75% 75% 75% 75%
To measure the quality and timeliness of residents' access to information Council and committee agendas (%) are made available to the public within statutory timeframes (two working days prior to the meeting) 100% 100% 100% 100%
Council and committee agendas (%) that are made available to elected members five days prior to the meeting and to the public four days prior to the meeting 80% 80% 80% 80%
Residents (%) who agree that Council information is easy to access (i.e. From web centre, libraries, newspapers, etc) 55% 55% 60% Increasing trend
Residents (%) who agree that Council website is easy to navigate and get information from 70% 70% 75% 75%
Contact Centre response times - calls (%) answered within 30 seconds 80% 80% 80% 80%
Contact Centre response times - emails (%) responded to within 24 hours 100% 100% 100% 100%
1.2 Māori and mana whenua partnerships

1.2.1 Māori and mana whenua partnerships
Purpose of measure Performance measure 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the health of our relationship with mana whenua Mana whenua partner satisfaction with Council relationship (satisfied and very satisfied) Satisfied Satisfied Satisfied Satisfied
To measure the engagement of the city's Māori residents Māori residents (%) who are satisfied or neutral (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied) with regard to their involvement with decision-making 75% 75% 75% 75%

Governance – activity budgetTop

1.1 Governance, information and engagement 2014/15 AP 2014/15
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2015/16
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2016/17
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2017/18
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP
10-year total
Gross Expenditure
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
1.1.1 - City governance and engagement 8,329 9,901 10,881 10,141 114,019
1.1.2 - Civic information 5,433 5,435 5,540 5,637 61,447
1.1.3 - City Archives 1,016 1,758 1,886 1,924 20,830
Total operating expenditure 14,778 17,094 18,307 17,702 196,296
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
1.1.1 - City governance and engagement - - 116 - 379
1.1.2 - Civic information - - - - -
1.1.3 - City Archives - - - - -
Total capital expenditure - - 116 - 379
1.2 Māori and Mana Whenua partnerships 2014/15 AP 2014/15
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2015/16
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2016/17
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2017/18
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP
10-year total
​Gross Expenditure
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
1.2.1 - Māori and mana whenua partnerships 225 281 288 296 3,190
Total operating expenditure 225 281 288 296 3,190
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
1.2.1 - Māori and mana whenua partnerships - - - - -
Total capital expenditure - - - - -