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Wellington City Council signs off Annual Budget

Wellington City Councillors have unanimously voted to pass this year’s annual plan, which delivers major investments while keeping rates well below forecast.

“I want to thank all Councillors for the diligent and professional way they’ve gone about putting this plan together. I’m proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished together,” Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said.

“Last year, Wellingtonians sent a clear message they wanted an active, energetic council and we’ve tried to not waste a single second.

“We’re building a bolder, more confident Wellington with a growing economy, affordable housing, plenty of well-paid jobs, and a thriving arts and culture scene.

“Our Annual Plan is jam packed with initiatives to boost the city, from a $5000 rate rebate for first-home builders, free admissions for spectators at Council pools, and free outdoor dining to simplify consents, a Living Wage for Council staff, and $500,000 in new funding for the arts.”

He said he was pleased the initiatives had been undertaken while rates had been kept to just 3.3%, instead of the 5.1% forecast, and debt had come in $42 million lower than forecast.

“We’ve identified and reduced $11 million in lower priority spending and we have one of the best credit ratings in the country.

“This strong financial position means we can afford to invest in the major projects our city needs - a new film museum and convention centre, restoring our Town Hall, building New Zealand’s first wet house, important transport initiatives, building new social and affordable housing, and investing in making our city more resilient.”

Deputy Mayor and Annual Plan Committee Chair Paul Eagle said the initiatives in this year’s plan had broad support from Wellingtonians.

“The public feedback on our plans has been incredibly positive. In surveys, every single new initiative had good public support.

“This shows that Wellingtonians can see the city is going in the right direction, and are happy to see us getting on with the job.”

Annual Plan initiatives and changes will take effect from July 1.

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