Chief Executive’s welcome

Chief Executive Kevin Lavery.

The last year has been one of outstanding success. I’m delighted and proud, to reflect on the Council’s performance and achievements over the last 12 months.

We have improved our reputation and standing with the community and we’ve made significant advances with our economic growth agenda.

It was a year of action.

While the Annual Report is essentially looking back on our performance, one of the most important achievements for the year was one where we looked ahead. I’m referring to the Long-term Plan (LTP) which Councillors adopted in June. The LTP sets the Council’s strategic direction and this particular plan will transform Wellington from a good to great city over the next 10 years. This was a significant achievement because it means we will maintain or improve core services while also investing $800 million in exciting new projects to support the economy. And Wellington ratepayers are not being asked to contribute too much towards the new projects that will undoubtedly make the city a better place to live and work. Rates are expected to increase an average 3.9% annually over the next 10 years. If we had chosen not to invest in new projects to support the economy, and adopted a business as usual approach, rates would still rise 3.1% annually over 10 years.

Doing the basics – and putting the customer first – is our number one priority. So it’s pleasing to see we have improved our customer satisfaction ratings in key areas. Here is a snapshot of our performance:

In the past 10 years, the Council’s priority investment areas have been infrastructure and recreational and community services, such as sports fields, swimming pools, libraries and tourism promotion and events. This level of investment is reflected in the positive results above.

In the last 12 months there has been a new focus – the economy. We have made significant progress on some big transformational projects. We advanced the runway extension project at Wellington Airport and we are continuing to work towards delivering a convention centre for Wellington and a Technology Hub in the central city.

An important economic development achievement was the creation of a single economic growth agency (WREDA) for the region, which the Council did in partnership with Greater Wellington Regional Council and the seven other territorial authorities.

The Council’s financial position is strong. We spent $434.3 million on the delivery of essential services in the last year at a cost of just $5.95 per resident per day. That is impressive by anyone’s measure. I’ve always said we have to do the basics really well before we can do the clever stuff. In other words, we have to earn the right to invest in exciting new projects. And that’s what we’ve done and will continue to do.
We’re investing to grow because we want to transform Wellington into one of the world’s great cities. We’ve still got work to do but as you will see from the results in this Annual Report, we’ve made a great start.

Chief Executive Kevin Lavery signature.
Chief Executive

The place of  the possible