Statements of Service ​Provision

1 Governance
​Pārongo ā-tāone

Governance is about democratic local decision-making on behalf of the people of Wellington. Our governance activities include managing local elections, informing residents about the city and the issues or challenges it faces, listening to residents’ views, making decisions in the best interests of the city and its people, and managing partnerships with mana whenua and other groups.

This work is essential for local democracy and for the quality of Council decision-making. Residents have a fundamental right to influence the makeup of the Council through elections, and to be informed about, and influence, Council decision-making. Public input and involvement also improve the quality of decision-making by ensuring that all points of view and all relevant information are considered.

Our partnerships with mana whenua recognise their special place in the city’s history and special relationships with its land, waterways and other parts of its environment.

Our overall aim is to build trust and confidence in our decisions and delivery.

Our governance objectives

Democratic decision-making

In 2014/15 we:

Open access to information

Recognition of Māori

Our governance activities contribute to us being:

People–centred: They enhance trust and confidence in civic decision-making and encourage the community to participate in city governance. They also promote inclusiveness, celebrate social and cultural diversity, and enable us to respond to the needs and aspirations of Māori and mana whenua.

Connected: Providing information about our services allows people to use the city’s services, facilities and activities.

Case study

Improving access to democracy

In August 2014 we began live-streaming all Council meetings. This initiative, which is hosted on a dedicated Youtube channel, is aimed at encouraging transparent decision-making and improving access to local democracy. We hope that the introduction of online viewing will encourage Wellingtonians to be better informed about the role of the Council in community life.

After a formal announcement, live-streaming starts at the beginning of each meeting. Five cameras then follow the action, giving viewers a live, unedited, view of Council members debating issues and making decisions. After the live event, the video is made available on Youtube for people to access from home at any time.

The introduction of this technology has been successful in generating increased public awareness and interest in Council decision-making. We have seen a steady increase in viewer numbers, particularly when high-profile matters are being debated and voted on. Live-streaming also appears to have influenced civic engagement, with more members of the public choosing to participate in Council activities.

This year, our focus on improving access to democracy has been reflected within the RMS indicators that measure our performance. While these measures are yet to fully achieve their targets, we have seen steady increases in the number of positive responses to residents’ satisfaction and information accessibility questions. These gains highlight the value of the Council investing in initiatives such as live–streaming and illustrate our continuing commitment to enhancing social resilience and strengthening democratic institutions.

You can view the Council meetings on our Youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6vvKVsZO8I

 

1.1
Governance, information and engagement
Pārongo, kōrerorero whānui me ngā mahi whakataunga

We want to involve people and maintain their confidence in our decision-making.

 

What we do

Our decisions need to reflect the services that matter to the community and how much they are willing to pay for them. We ensure people are well-informed and can contribute meaningfully to the Council decision-making processes. The Local Government Act 2002 sets out the decision-making, planning and accountability procedures expected of local authorities.

Other legislation requires us to keep a record of our work and provide access to the information we hold. City Archives preserves and makes available a huge range of primary information about the city's history. Our activities include:

  • city governance and engagement – we provide advice, research and administrative support to elected members and community boards. We host local body elections, do accountability planning and reporting and facilitate engagement on key issues and input from advisory groups
  • civic information – our contact centre and website provide 24/7 access to information and a place to log service faults
  • City Archives – we manage archival information in line with legislation.

What we achieved

We set the Council’s strategic direction. Every 3 years, the Council sets out its plan for the next 10 years through the development of a Long-term Plan. Before we adopt our Long-term Plan, we seek Wellingtonians’ views through an extensive and formal consultation and submission process. Council designed an interactive website drawing more comments and feedback from more residents and ratepayers. The LTP 2015/25 combines Council’s 'business as usual' activities in all strategic activity areas with its key projects and programmes in its ‘invest to grow’ agenda. We successfully adopted the LTP 2015/25 in June 2015 and the major projects will progress through a variety of stages.

We engaged with Wellington residents. E-governance has been a key focus for us to deliver good governance. We launched live-streaming of the Council meetings so that residents can watch issues being debated and voted on, making Council decision-making even more transparent.

The Council is equipped to make it possible for Wellington residents to participate in Council and committee meetings remotely using audio and audio visual means.

We enhanced democratic ideals. We implemented a realignment of the Council’s Governance structure, enhancing the involvement of all councillors in all major decisions of the Council. We also continued to work with the Local Government Commission, along with other Councils in the region, on alternative governance structures that could deliver improvements and meet the expectations of the broader community.

We enhanced our ability to make decisions on important community issues. Our District Licensing Committees (DLCs) are charged with considering and determining all alcohol licences and managers certificate applications for the Wellington district. From inception until the end of June 2015, the DLCs have conducted 66 public hearings/meetings and have issued a total of 2,667 substantive decisions.

How we performed

We have improved customer satisfaction with our information and engagement work. We continue to meet our legislative obligations for information accessibility, and our performance in this regard has improved. Our service centre is very good at responding to enquiries and residents are highly satisfied with the services provided by the City Archives.

We understand how well the public is informed and engaged

Percentage of residents satisfied with the level of consultation (i.e. the right amount)

This year we continued our efforts to improve our communication and consultation around Council’s work, resulting in significant performance gains.

Residents’ (%) satisfaction with their involvement in Council decision-making (including neutral responses)

E-democracy participation – number of ePetitions and number of people that participate

​This year we received 18 ePetitions and 1,134 people participated. In 2013/14, we received 10 ePetitions and 283 people participated.

There is no target for this performance measure.

Source: WCC Democratic Services

We measure how easy it is for residents to access information and whether that information is available in a timely manner

The Council and committee agendas (%) are made available to the public within statutory timeframes (2 working days prior to the meeting)

Result: 100% (Target: 100%. 2013/14: 100%; 2012/13: 100%; 2011/12: 100%).

Source: WCC Democratic Services

The Council and committee agendas (%) made available to the public five days prior to the meeting

Result: 65% (Target: 80%. 2013/14: 59%; 2012/13: 80%; 2011/12: 74%; 2010/11: 75%).

The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 requires us to make all agendas and reports available two days before meetings. We have set ourselves a higher standard by aiming for five days.

This year, while 100% of agendas were made publically available at least two days prior to a meeting, we have not reached our five day target, due to tight deadlines and a new governance structure adversely affecting our performance. Also, performance in this measure is often dependant on external authors of Council Reports, which can adversely affect timeliness. However, our performance against this measure improved between 2013/14 and 2014/15, and we continue to work towards achieving this target.

We plan to review this performance measure during the 2016/17 Annual Plan in order to make it more realistic. 

Source: WCC Democratic Services

Residents (%) who agree that Council information is easy to access

Residents (%) who agree that the Council website is easy to navigate and use

In past years the Council’s performance in these categories has been significantly below target. In response we have been increasing our efforts to improve consultation and communication. This year, while we remain below target, our performance does show a positive trend.

Contact Centre calls that are answered within 30 seconds

Result: 84% (Target: 80%. 2013/14: 80%; 2012/13: 82%; 2011/12: 81%).

Source: WCC Contact Centre

Contact Centre emails that are answered within 12 hours and 24 hours

Result: n/a (Target: 90%. 2013/14: n/a).1

Result: 100% (Target: 100%. 2013/14: 100%; 2012/13: 100%; 2011/12: 98%).

Source: WCC Contact Centre

80% of issues reported through the smartphone Fix-It app will be responded to within 30 minutes and the remaining 20% within 6 hours

Result: 86% (Target: 80%. 2013/14: n/a).

Result: n/a (Target: 100%. 2013/14: n/a).2

Source: WCC Contact Centre

We measure our success at protecting the city’s historic information and making it available to the public

User satisfaction with City Archive services and facilities

What it cost

Operating
Expenditure
($000)
Actual
2015
Budget
2015
Variance
2015
Actual
2014
1.1.1 City Governance and Engagement 1
Expenditure 8,120 8,329 209 9,523
Revenue (106) (58) 48 (508)
Net Expenditure 8,014 8,271 257 9,015
1.1.2 Civic Information
Expenditure 5,364 5,433 69 5,361
Revenue (387) (324) 63 (411)
Net Expenditure 4,977 5,109 132 4,950
1.1.3 City Archives 2
Expenditure 1,194 1,016 (178) 1,481
Revenue (162) (182) (20) (182)
Net Expenditure 1,032 834 (198) 1,299
Capital
Expenditure
($000)
Actual
2015
Budget
2015
Variance
2015
Actual
2014
1.1.1 City Governance and Engagement
Expenditure - - - 53
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward n/a - - n/a
  1. Under budget due to personnel vacancies during the year.
  2. Over budget due to higher personnel costs.

     

 

1.2
Māori and mana whenua partnerships
Whai wāhitanga Māori (tae noa ki te mana whenua)
Top

We have an obligation to ensure the views of mana whenua are heard.

 

What we do

We ensure the special position of mana whenua Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika is acknowledged and reflected in the way we make decisions about the city and its resources. We also ensure their contribution to Wellington's heritage and future is fully and publicly acknowledged. We work with mana whenua to explore opportunities for the city emerging from settlement of their historic Treaty of Waitangi claims and engage with the wider Māori community in particular on issues of specific interest to them.

Other activities include:

  • maintaining formal relationships with two mana whenua partners
  • facilitating opportunities to contribute to local decision making.

What we achieved

We supported community events. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori falls in July as the new financial year kicks-off. In 2014 we hosted or supported three free events: Te Kōnohete at Shed 6, Toi te Kupu at the City Gallery, and the Te Awa-a-Taia Roller Disco at Kilbirnie Recreation. Te Rā o Waitangi (6 February) returned to the spacious Waitangi Park, with our co-host Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust opening the day alongside local elected members. In March we supported the food and music festival Te Rā o Kupe at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna in Seatoun.

We promoted the Te Rā Haka. In March we supported Te Kāhui Kaiako Māori o te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington to Otaki Māori Secondary Schools Teachers Association) to host Te Rā Haka at the ASB Sports Centre, where approximately 500 students from Seatoun to Ōtaki came together to learn a local iwi haka. This year the city also remembered 100 years since World War I and we gathered 200 college students from across the region to perform haka for the Anzac Day Street Parade.

We assisted with this year's Matariki celebrations with collaboration from many organisations, delivering almost 100 events. Matariki dates are dependent on the lunar moon and the rising of the Matariki constellation spanned much of June and into July. The Council supported the Seven Sisters and Seven Brothers concerts at the Opera House on 7 and 8 July. This was the second successful MatarikiWellington Festival (matarikiwellington.org) with funding from the Regional Amenities Fund.

We continue to engage our iwi partners on a regular basis on many strategy and policy matters, and in particular, as iwi authorities for the purposes of the Resource Management Act 1991. We also connected iwi and the community through cultural service requests. We have Memoranda of Understanding with Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated.

We continue to engage the wider Māori community, who subscribe to Council’s web-alerts, e-Newsletters (particularly Nōna te Ao) and the Māori Organisations, Residents, and Ratepayers database. We hosted hui to determine a Māori perspective for the Long-term Plan and will continue to do so for other Council initiatives that arise.

How we performed

We measure the health of our relationship with mana whenua

Mana whenua partner evaluation – maintaining a positive relationship with our mana whenua partners

Wellington City Council has two mana whenua partnerships: Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira Inc representing Ngati Toa, and Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust representing Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika (Taranaki Whanui).

Both partners said that the relationship with Wellington City Council has been positive in 2014/15. Key elements to this were the ‘people factor’, including the trust and mutual respect that had been built up over a number of years and the support and helpfulness of Council officials in a range of areas.

It was clear that both partners are developing towards a post treaty settlement future and are positive about the potential opportunities that Wellington City and the Council relationship offers to support their development aspirations. Much of the feedback about the relationship was therefore focused on the possibilities for its development, as Council’s aspirations for the city and mana whenua aspirations for iwi development are complementary. Currently, the mana whenua relationship scope is mostly around policy development, compliance and tikanga, however, there are opportunities to develop closer links and synergies around major development initiatives.

Both partners aspire to be more engaged in the strategic work of the Council, including economic development, and acknowledge situations where this collaboration has been effective.

Both partners acknowledged that responding to the Council requests in a tight timeframe sometimes places a strain on limited capacity. It was felt that there could be some changes in the way that the Council engages, including a longer notice that work was coming up and feedback was needed, being clear what the partner should focus on, and, where possible, providing a longer timeframe for response. It was noted that this was an issue with Councils generally.

Both partners also saw greater opportunities to share knowledge across the organisations – for example, Council staff educating mana whenua partner staff about the building and resource consents processes in some depth.

Source: Mana whenua partners’ relationship evaluation 2015

We measure the engagement of the city's Māori residents

Māori residents (%) who are satisfied or neutral (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied) with regard to their involvement with decision-making

Result: 69% of Māori surveyed were satisfied or neutral with regard to their involvement with decision-making (Target: 85%. 2013/14: 56%; 2012/13: 60%).

This year we have seen a positive improvement in our performance within this measure, with a 13% increase from 2013/14. However, the Māori community still feel that we need to work harder to ensure their needs and aspirations are reflected in our work and in the services we provide.

Source: WCC Residents Monitoring Survey 2015

What it cost

Operating
Expenditure
($000)
Actual
2015
Budget
2015
Variance
2015
Actual
2014
1.2.1 Māori and Mana Whenua Partnerships
Expenditure 202 225 23 225
Revenue (10) - 10 (1)
Net Expenditure 192 225 33 224
Capital
Expenditure
($000)
Actual
2015
Budget
2015
Variance
2015
Actual
2014
1.2.1 Māori and Mana Whenua Partnerships
Expenditure - - - -
1This year, due to internal technical issues, we have been unable to measure our performance for the number of emails responded to within 12 hours. We are looking at reviewing this measure in future years.  
2This year, due to internal technical issues, we have been unable to measure our performance for the number of issues reported through the Fix-It app responded to within six hours. We are looking at reviewing this measure in future years.