2021-31 Long-term Plan: Engagement Begins
Wellington residents are helping shape their city’s priorities as the City Council prepares to set a budget for the next 10 years.
Pre-engagement has begun on the Council’s 2021-31 Long-term Plan (LTP) with community sessions that ask attendees to help identify what they would like to see in the Council’s budget for the next decade.
The community sessions are supported by an online questionnaire that asks residents what is important to them.
Mayor Andy Foster says the community pre-engagement is a vital step in preparing the LTP. “As a council we have some tough decisions to make around budgets. We can’t do everything because our long-term planning is always done at a time when our finances are tight but this time it is tougher than ever.
“We also have demands on our budget such as increased infrastructure spending with Let’s Get Wellington Moving, the three-waters network, accommodating population growth, the future of the Central Library and Te Ngākau Civic Square, earthquake strengthening, and implementing our Te Atakura climate action plan,” says Mayor Foster.
“These meetings and our online survey are a fantastic early stage opportunity for residents to tell us what the Council’s priorities should be for the next 10 years.”
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the LTP is a real challenge facing Wellington City. “It is the big picture the Council needs to focus on in the next few months. I urge people to have their say at one of the LTP community meetings or by completing the online questionnaire.
“We need to make some tough choices about what an affordable level of rates will be next year and for future years,” says Cr Free. “Are we willing to pay more rates to get improved services and infrastructure, financially prepared for pandemics and earthquakes, and should current ratepayers fund the cost of growth?”
So far, the Council has had sessions at Victoria University, with the Newtown Residents Association and the city’s Youth Council, and has invited business, art and culture sectors to participate in an online questionnaire, which can be completed at https://wgtn.cc/LTP
In the next few weeks, the Council will talk with other community organisations.
Every three years the Council reviews its LTP. This sets the direction for at least the next 10 years. This is accompanied by 30+ year infrastructure and finance strategies. This outlines what we will be investing in, how much it may cost and how this will be funded.
Feedback from community pre-engagement will be used to help form the draft LTP, which will be formally consulted on in March next year before being confirmed on 30 June 2021.