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Mayor Supports Staff Recommendation To Consult On Airport Shares Sale To Create A Green Fund

Public Asset to Even Better Public Asset: Mayor supports staff recommendation to consult on airport shares sale to create a Green Fund

Today Mayor Tory Whanau voted for the Council to consult on the transfer of its 34 per cent share in Wellington International Airport Ltd into a Perpetual Green Investment Fund.

“One of the significant financial pressures we are facing this Long-term Plan is massively increasing insurance premiums combined with insurance market reluctance to insure infrastructure, which is increasingly at risk of a climate change event, or a major earthquake.

“This stance from the insurance industry means Wellington City Councill must reshape its investment so it’s more resilient and diversified. Currently, we have all our eggs in one basket with our infrastructure starkly exposed to earthquakes and the climate crisis.

“Let me be clear – I will never lead a city that sells airport shares to pay down debt. I have never supported selling the silverware to pay the mortgage.

“Instead - to spread our risk and secure our financial resilience – officers have come up with a solution that sells our minority share in Wellington Airport and recycles the funds into a Perpetual Green Investment Fund, or ‘Green Fund’. This will be a newly formed public asset that ethically invests, with profits going towards meeting the future needs of our city.

“I made amendments to the Committee paper today to ensure strong involvement with mana whenua when consulting on the proposal. Additionally, I made an amendment to strengthen protections to stop the fund from being raided by future councils to pay down debt. If the shares sale proceeds, it will provide green, resilient investment for the city and its people for decades to come.

“This is definitely a nuanced proposal and I understand that Wellingtonians will want to read through and come to grips with the detail. I strongly encourage locals to give their feedback on this proposal, which will be open for public submissions in April 2024, so we are guided by the community on whether to proceed.”

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