High Court Proceedings Initiated Against Wellington City Council
On Tuesday 7 November 2023, Guardians of the Golden Mile initiated High Court proceedings against Wellington City Council to seek a judicial review of its recent decision to commit significant finances to fund Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s Golden Mile Revitalisation Project.
This decision is driven by support for the local Wellington community, who are all impacted by Let’s Get Wellington Moving, - including a vast number of retailers along the Golden Mile that will be adversely affected for years to come by the impacts of the Council’s decision.
Guardians of the Golden Mile is concerned regarding 1) the costs of the Golden Mile Revitalisation Project, (and whether those costs are justified by the project’s expected benefits), and 2) the extent to which Wellington City Council considered issues raised with the Golden Mile project and alternative options, before committing significant Council funding to the current plan.
Guardians of the Golden Mile consider that the business case for the Golden Mile project is flawed and that alternative solutions have not been properly considered by Wellington City Council. The funding decision should be dropped in favour of a full review and genuine consultation with Wellingtonians, who are entitled to be fully informed on the benefits and costs of the Golden Mile project.
Further, this is a cost burden for all Wellington ratepayers for many years to come, by way of rates payment increases to fund, what now appears to be, a Council vanity project lacking a solid economic foundation or business case.
Further, it is becoming increasingly apparent the Council is financially overcommitted and cannot meet the cost of this work (or its share of the work if its joint venture partners still support the project), rather the full cost will be met by the average ratepayer possibly at the expense of necessary council expenditure, including repairs to major infrastructure.
The concerning matter at its core is that Wellington City Council wishes to be bold, spending ratepayers’ money, on a project that does not make economic or business sense, and that its decision making in respect of the project has fallen well below the required standard.
Guardians of the Golden Mile will not be commenting further at this point.