Initial results send clear message to Council

Date Added: 14th October 2019 from

Wellington Chamber of Commerce congratulates the successful Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council candidates, says Chief Executive John Milford.

"There are a lot of challenges ahead, and we are expecting big things of you.

"We are pleased to see greater gender diversity in representation and some new talent too.

"The Chamber would also like to acknowledge the unsuccessful candidates for a good fight, and for those who have retired from council, thank you for your service.

"We await the outcome of the final count of the Wellington City Council Mayoral race, but the initial results send a clear message to council - residents are uncertain about Wellington's current direction.

"There’s no doubt that Let’s Get Welly Moving has played a big part in voter’s thinking.

"This reinforces what the Chamber has said throughout the campaign, the incoming Mayor has got to get Wellington actually moving.

During the campaign, the Chamber issued policies it believes the city needs to adopt to move forward, and Mr Milford says it will be promoting them through the coming term. They are:

- Demonstrate fiscal responsibility through wiser spending, lower debt, reducing the rates burden on business over time to match general rates, and capping all rates to the Local Government Cost Index.

- Making rating and spending more transparent, and better explain targeted rates. Make decisions in the way a business would, with a robust cost-to-benefit analysis, investment strategy and repayment plan.

- Put more emphasis on economic development and growth through the city council, regional council and Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

- An indoor stadium.

- A comprehensive venues strategy.

- Assist and deliver on addressing skills shortages. Prioritise and deliver on international student attraction to maximise the region’s market share.

- Promote opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurship, high-class education, employment, tourism and liveability.

- Prioritise infrastructural investment in the city's resilience and preparedness for shocks and stresses, including a cross-harbour water pipeline.

- The full LGWM deal: The Terrace and Mt Vic tunnels, cut and cover at Te Aro, mass transit, and linked regional projects such as Petone2Grenada and Melling Interchange.

- Alternative funding mechanisms for council, such as recycling and renewing assets, to pay for new infrastructure.

- A BID-type governance structure for CBD businesses that pay the ‘Downtown Levy’.

- A coherent regional strategy with an emphasis on regional unity and a closer relationship with central government.

- Continued support for developments at the airport and port, including improve road and rail access to port and support growth of long-haul air connections.

"These policies are vital to taking the city forward," Mr Milford said. "We're not asking the impossible. We look forward to the new council picking these up and getting on with them."