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Wellington City Council posts $11 million surplus

Wellington City Council posts $11 million surplus

Even a major earthquake hasn’t managed to dampen the city’s strong economic growth, with Wellington City Council posting an $11 million surplus for the past financial year, Mayor Justin Lester has announced.

The City Council spent $494 million or $6.56 per resident per day running the city in the 2016/17 financial year, resulting in the $11 million surplus.

“I’m very happy to see that Council finances are in such good order. With millions of dollars of unexpected spending as a result of last November’s earthquake, our finances have been very tight, but we’ve been able to keep the books in the black,” the Mayor says.

“Our financial result has also been boosted by an increase in non-rates income which was largely driven by higher dividends from investments, landfill revenue and an increase in the number of new consents issued.

“Keeping our books in good order is important because it means we can invest in the things our city needs – more affordable housing, sorting out congestion and making our city more resilient in the face of future quakes or disasters.

“Part of this surplus will go towards increasing our self-insurance fund – putting money aside for a rainy day in the event of future earthquakes. That’s money that won’t have to come out of next year’s rates.

“As a council, we know that ratepayers expect us to keep the finances in order and that’s what we are delivering.”

The Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Leader, Councillor Simon Marsh, says the surplus reflects a local economy that is growing strongly despite the challenges of the earthquake.

“Wellington is growing strongly. The total value of the new consents issued was $329 million, up 41 per cent from the year before.

“That’s the sign of a very strong local economy. The Council’s role now is to support that growth to continue. Part of how we do that is managing the books well – at around 80% of income, our debt levels are equivalent to someone earning $60,000 a year having a mortgage of just $48,000. Prudent management like that means we are well placed to invest in the future of our city as well as weather any potential shocks.”


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