Our proposal and projects
We have higher-than-expected growth and we need to manage this in a way that allows housing, employment and infrastructure investment in the right places. We're putting forward a proposal for consultation, and we also want your feedback on a range of projects that are at different stages of development.
There are two options. Supporting our proposal means an increase in our levels of service. Not supporting it means keeping our current levels of service.
Planning for growthExpand
In 2017, we started a conversation with communities about the challenges Wellington faces through Our City Tomorrow. The results of that work forms the basis for the planning work proposed.
This planning for growth proposal involves increasing funding to undertake a comprehensive and accelerated review of our planning and regulatory environment – in partnership with the community and stakeholders – to determine how and where the city will grow over time to meet projected population growth.
This proposal would focus on three core areas:
- Strategic planning: The development of a plan for growth that sets our policy direction and is the backbone for a District Plan review.
- Comprehensive District Plan review: A comprehensive review of our plan (as opposed to the minimum legislative requirements) that takes into account our existing residential and business capacity across the city and what demand will be like over the next 3, 10 and 30 years.
- Streamlined consenting: A new structure that will seek to make consenting and compliance functions faster, easier, safer and more sustainable.
We’ve budgeted $15.1 million of operating expenditure over the next 10 years to review the urban growth and district plans and to make changes to our consenting processes. There are no cost implications from streamlining consenting.
Movie Museum and Convention CentreExpand
We propose to continue with our proposal to develop a Movie Museum and Convention Centre on land next to Te Papa at a capital construction cost of $165 million, including a $25 million request for funding from central government for the Convention Centre. The Council’s net operating expenditure is forecast to average $7.4 million per year in years 6-10 (once fully opened), and $5.4 million per year over the next 25 years.
We consulted on a Movie Museum and Convention Centre project as part of the Long-term Plan 2015-25. This project was consulted on as a long-term plan amendment in 2016, at a forecast cost of $134 million. The amendment was not adopted pending finalisation of the project’s scope with museum partners. The increased cost in the current proposal mainly relates to changes to the exterior cladding and building design.
Kiwi Point Quarry life extensionExpand
Estimates suggest that in the area we are currently quarrying, rock resources will run out in the next 3 to 4 years. We’re proposing a District Plan change to open up another section of the quarry to access additional rock resources. We believe it’s important to have these raw materials close to the city as this reduces freight costs and emissions related to transportation.
We’re budgeting $266,000 in operational funding and $2.3 million in capital funding over the next 10 years. The funding will go towards consents, planning, planting, visual screening (from the highway), fencing, and development of an access road and bridge to the new quarry area.
Wellington Zoo upgradesExpand
The Zoo has completed stage 1 of its upgrade programme over the last few years. This has seen it transform into a vibrant attraction with facilities that meet modern standards. Stage 2 involves further improvements to facilities to house additional animal attractions – snow leopards in the first half of this plan, and cheetahs in the second half.
We’re proposing to spend $3.7 million of capital expenditure in years 2–4, and a further $6 million in the last 3 years to upgrade facilities at the Zoo to accommodate new attractions. The Zoo will contribute $875,000 and $1.25 million towards these projects respectively.
Funding of economic and tourism initiativesExpand
This plan includes a broad range of investments that will support economic growth. A number of these investments – such as the Movie Museum and Convention Centre, the planned indoor arena, and the Decade of Culture programme – are strongly focused on the tourist economy.
In the coming year, we will explore options around how the Wellington visitor industry might assist or contribute from year 3 of this plan to fund activities that support the visitor economy.
Further consultation will happen when a detailed proposal has been developed. This is likely to be in next year’s annual plan.
Economic catalyst projectsExpand
The economic catalyst projects we presented as part of the Long-term Plan 2015-25 received strong community support. We are part way through delivering these projects, which are at different stages of development. They include:
- the Movie Museum and Convention Centre ($165 million of capital expenditure)
- an indoor arena, for which a feasibility study is currently being developed by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) - ($85.7 million of capital expenditure)
- a runway extension led by Wellington International Airport Ltd. The Council has budgeted sufficient operational funding to service $90 million of capital investment in this project. At this point, the Environment Court hearing for the runway extension consent application is on hold until additional information on the safety area for the extended runway has been finalised.
This financial information relates specifically to the initiatives listed as part of our proposal. It does not consider the costs of the other projects because these are at different stages of development.
For the planning for growth programme, by year 10 this would add:
- $5 (0.2 percent) to the average annual rates bill (equivalent to an average increase of $0.50 per year).
For the Movie Museum and Convention Centre, by year 10 this would add:
- 23 percent or $117 million of additional borrowings (after $23 million of debt repayment)
- Based on proposed funding policies, the bulk of this proposal will be funded by commercial and downtown ratepayers either through the Downtown Targeted Rate or their share of the general rate.
We anticipate the use of $1 million-$2 million per year over the first 5 years from the City Growth Fund to reduce the impact of this proposal to ratepayers.