Urban development, low carbon lead feedback on Capital's Annual Plan

12 May 2016

Wellington City’s aspirations to be a Low Carbon Capital and introduce an Urban Development Agency to promote economic growth have been given broad community support.

The Wellington City Council has concluded oral hearings for the Annual Plan 2016/17, which featured 70 submitters speaking on a wide range of interests.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, who chaired the oral hearings, said submitters were broadly in favour of the Low Carbon Capital and Urban Development Agency.

“Submitters were largely keen to grasp the opportunities of an Urban Development Agency to provide a big-picture perspective, promote good design and ensure broader positive outcomes for the public good than a purely commercial approach,” he says.

“Most people can identify the land development problems being experienced in Auckland and Wellington has sufficient lead-in time to address the looming issues of construction supply and housing affordability. However, we must act quickly.”

An Urban Development Agency would streamline land development through packaging land acquisitions and master-planning and are increasingly being used in New Zealand and around the world to achieve high quality urban development in cities.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says there were a wide range of views on the role that Council should play in the city, and a good level of engagement and interest in the city’s future.

“People care about their city and their local communities, and on the whole the submitters agreed with Council’s strategic investment in economic growth, infrastructure and resilience that we set in the Long Term Plan 2015-2025,” says the Mayor.

“There was a good deal of interest in the Low Carbon Capital Plan to address climate change, which is so important to the way we operate, both as a city and as individual households.

“Cities have a strong role to play as the source of 70 percent of greenhouse emissions and with 90 percent of them vulnerable to coastal impacts. Wellington City is no exception and we have already positioned ourselves as a leader on climate change with the lowest per capita emissions in Australasia. However, we must do better and this plan outlines how we will.

“I was also delighted with the strong focus on arts and culture, and there were many accolades for the work of retiring Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer and his work in the arts portfolio,” she says.

With the conclusion of oral hearings, Councillors will deliberate the Annual Plan 2016/17 on 1-2 June, with the Annual Plan set to be adopted and rates struck for 2016/17 financial year on 29 June.

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