It’s Been A Tough Year But Good Progress Is Being Made, Says Mayor
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says the latest annual Residents Monitoring Survey shows the Capital has faced up to tough challenges in the past two years – but work is under way to turn things around and boost vibrancy in the city.
Wellington City Council conducted the survey in February. It asked respondents about their satisfaction with the Council’s performance, including the provision and delivery of services, and their perceptions of the city.
The survey is an important resource that aims to help ensure decisions are made based on what the people of Wellington are telling the Council.
Mayor Foster says the city coped well with various challenges over the past couple of years including the Covid-19 response and recovery, the Parliament occupation and CBD safety concerns.
“Despite these challenges, progress was made to move the city into a period of transformation, especially around transport, bus and cycleways, climate action, resilience and growth. Around three quarters of respondents agreed that overall Wellington is a great place to work, live and play.”
The 2022 results show respondents are highly satisfied with the services and facilities provided by the Council such as pools, libraries, events, recreation facilities and sportsgrounds. This has been relatively stable over the past few years. Being able to maintain a consistent level of service in the context of Covid is a result to be proud of.
Residents were less satisfied with the city’s attributes, city safety and Council decision-making.
“We all know this Council had a very difficult and divided start. I can tell you that was enormously challenging to work with. However, with a lot of hard work we’ve now got a Council that, while engaging in some feisty debates, is working more constructively together,” Mayor Foster says.
“We have achieved an enormous amount, tackling big, tough issues that previous councils ducked. We have done all this in the most challenging environment faced by any council in our lifetimes.”
Mayor Foster says the results show residents would like the Council to focus on pipes, urban development, getting around the city, safety in the CBD and bringing back vibrancy to the city.
“These are all areas where work is underway, including the Te Matapihi Central Library and Town Hall projects, the reopening of the St James Theatre this week and the planned opening of the Tākina conference and exhibition centre in 2023, implementing Aho Tini, the Pōneke Promise, Let’s Get Wellington Moving, Te Atakura, and the District Plan.
“We’ve had a tough couple of years and I think that Wellingtonians are pretty weary – perhaps even grumpy – as a result. Some of the survey results reflect that. It probably didn’t help that the survey was conducted while the Parliamentary occupation was under way – that protest cast a pall over the city for several weeks.”
However, Mayor Foster says there are reasons for Wellingtonians to be cheerful.
“Things are on the up, people are coming back to the CBD and events and activities mostly supported by Council are coming back to the city.”