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Councils’ low ratings must spark improvement

Businesses were less than impressed with the performance of Wellington City Council and Wellington Regional Council over the past term, according to a survey by Wellington Regional Chambers of Commerce and Business Central.

Just 18% of businesses rated Wellington City Council as performing better than average over the three-year term, while 44% said their performance was below average. Just 2.1% rated the performance as outstanding, while 15% said it was poor.

Wellington Regional Council also received a blunt assessment, with just 12% of respondents rating its job over the term better than average, and 57% rating it below average. Just 1.6% said its performance was outstanding, and 28% said it was poor.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central Chief Executive John Milford said it was clear from the results that business was not happy with the lack of action on some of the big-ticket items both councils were charged with handling.

"The regional council has rightly copped a huge amount of public flak over the bus network issues, as well as its rate rises and the proposal to introduce a business rates multiplier.

"Wellingtonians have been telling us for some time they are not happy with the lack of progress on building critical infrastructure or reducing congestion, a compromised Let’s Get Wellington Moving project, along with rates rises and a failure to lower the business differential as promised, and that shows in the city council’s low rating.

"After three years of little progress and a lot of confusion, it’s time for both councils to step up and get the city and the region moving.

"The comments of some of the respondents to the survey speak for themselves:"

- Council is out of touch with local businesses

- The city seems to have stalled in the last few years and seems to be starting a slow (but noticeable) slide backwards.

- I can count 7-10 projects that have been announced and then not delivered in the last few years.

- Getting public transport sorted. It has been unbelievably disruptive.

- Wellington has gone backwards. There has been no growth. Buildings and businesses have been shut down. Short sightedness by councils is always an issue

- Infrastructure and roading investment required to ease rising congestion

- Insufficient regional planning and management of transport and other big investments important to the region

- Council not being open for business, forward thinking or geared for growth

The figures were gathered as part of the September quarterly survey of Wellington Regional Chambers of Commerce and Business Central members across central New Zealand. It was conducted over three weeks in September and received over 200 responses from businesses in Wellington’s city and suburbs.

Voting in the local body elections close on Saturday, 12 October, with the results later that day.

Eds note: Net percentage is the balance of sentiment - positive minus negative responses.


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