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Council Briefed On Long-term Plan Budget Options

Wellington City Councillors were today briefed on key proposals as part of the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan development process.

At the Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance Committee meeting on 15 February, Councillors will vote on which of these proposals will go forward for formal consultation with the community.

Mayor Tory Whanau says, “Water infrastructure is a priority for me in the upcoming Long-term Plan. What officers put forward for our consideration today is a recommendation to significantly increase our capital funding for three waters to $1.1 billion, compared to only $678 million in the 2021-2031 LTP. This is a 65% increase and includes rolling out water meters as early as possible.

“One option that I am supporting is a re-phasing of the Lambton Quay end of the Golden Mile. When we brought the Golden Mile back in-house, I said we would take another look at how we deliver it.

“It makes sense that we take this opportunity to line-up the delivery of the Golden Mile with our other infrastructure priorities, including water.

“This means that the Courtenay Place upgrades will take place over the next two years, with the Lambton Quay upgrade being pushed back to around 2026/2027.

Councillors were told that, while they are still able to make significant investment in improving the city, difficult decisions would need to be made.

The challenging environment is exacerbated by aging and earthquake-prone infrastructure; affordability constraints due to interest, inflation and cost-of-living pressures; and the need to improve the resilience of the Council’s balance sheet given its investments are Wellington-based and vulnerable to a significant natural event.

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Mayor Whanau says it will be a difficult task to find the balance between required investment and rates affordability, and that community input will be paramount.

“I look forward to working with Councillors over the coming weeks and settling on a draft Long-Term Plan that we can take out to the community and hear what they have to say.”

Today’s workshop can be viewed on the Council’s YouTube channel and the presentation materials are available on the website here. Formal consultation on the Long-term Plan will take place from 12 April to 12 May 2024. More information is available here.

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