Achievements: The Master Plan & Infrastructure


New (2015) Urban Growth Plan (Transport and Urban Development Strategy) My leadership first of all made sure we actually developed the Plan and then I worked very closely with officers to include a wide range of important concepts and to  write the Plan itself. The Urban Growth Plan sets out a framework for a growing Wellington to become more sustainable, easier to get around, and an even better place to live. It has won a planning award. If you want to see where the City is going this is a must read.
Compact Urban Form Long term leadership role. I led the ‘Green fence’ concept (creation of Outer Green Belt and winding back deferred urban areas) Wellington is a compact city, relatively easy to walk around in, and with easily NZ’s highest walking, cycling and PT use. Our city is now surrounded by our magnificent Outer Green Belt which is a huge asset for biodiversity, recreation, landscape beauty, and urban form. It is continuous and largely complete except for areas between Jville and Tawa – where planning is continuing
Strong Vibrant Mixed Use Central City and encouraging more sustainable development by being close to suburban centres and public transport Long term leadership role beginning with the 1994-2000 District Plan development, carrying through into Plan Changes 56, 72 and 73. The District Plan removed previous Central City zonings that labelled some areas industrial, others retail etc. Allowed mixed use. Removing the need to include parking made both residential and commercial development possible in our city centre and is vital in heritage building retention too. Encouraging suburban development close to suburban centres and public transport rather than scattered infill throughout our suburbs.
Getting more people walking, cycling and use of public transport Long term leadership in policy development and implementation – bus priority, cycleways, complementary urban form and parking policies especially in the central city Wellington Regional public transport patronage use is up from 23 million when I was first elected to 37 million now (+60% against population growth of +20%), Cycling numbers have risen every census since the 1986 and doubled in the last 6-7 years. 2013 Census data shows that for every 100 people in a car getting to work / education in Wellington City 90 people walked, bike or used public transport (up from 65 in 2001) where the rest of the Region is at 28, Christchurch at 20, Auckland 18 and New Zealand as a whole 17 per 100.
First ever City Transport Strategy I led the City’s first ever comprehensive Transport Strategy approved in 1995. This set the tone of subsequent Council policy – completion of the city ring road, encouragement of public transport use, walking and cycling and supportive urban form
Car Share – to make vehicles available to residents and businesses who don’t need to own vehicles / want to avoid the cost of ownership and parking (especially in the central city) but might occasionally need a car. I proposed this to Council in early 2015. Councillors have been very supportive. I have worked with officers on policy development and trials. We have also looked at successful international examples (eg Sydney) Trials with 4 car share companies began at the end of 2015. The Policy will be formally signed off in August 2016. Some of those companies are rapidly building up clientele and working to set up more car share locations around the city.
N2A Governance process – Let’s Get Wellington With the demise of the Flyover Celia Wade Brown and I are representing the City Council in working really well with NZTA and Greater Wellington on plans to Get Wellington Moving Let’s Get Wellington Moving is a huge project. It covers everywhere from Aotea (Piort and Ferry access) through the Central City to the Basin and to the Southern and Eastern suburbs. We are pursuing a solution integrating all modes – private road transport, public transport, cycling, walking and also urban design. Transport must work with the City and what we value about it.

A new computer model has been developed and data collected so we are much better placed to undertake really good assessment of different options.

We have conducted wide and deep engagement on what people value and what they want to see. We have completed a set of 12 Principles (Outcomes). This month we will agree a set of measurements against which to assess options.

We have asked for public submissions – your thoughts on solutions. Ideas will soon be assessed and analysed and then in the first quarter of 2017 we will put out a set of packages for consultation, with final decisions later in 2017. I don’t expect that everyone will agree with whatever the proposed solutions are but the process to get there will be robust and we will be much better placed to get decisions agreed and consented.

Infrastructure

Asset Management Planning Governance Leadership in Asset Management Planning I regard Asset Management Planning as critical. Council owns on our collective behalf $7 billion worth of assets including land, buildings, pipes, roads etc. It is essential that these assets are well maintained and appropriately funded. Wellington City’s assets are in generally very good condition, and we do not face the kinds of infrastructural deficits that many councils do. This is almost certainly a factor in Wellington’s AA Credit Rating – the highest that a Council can achieve (would be the same as Government if it was allowed by rating agencies!)
Resilience Consistent leading advocacy and support for resilience in infrastructure, building, and community preparedness.
Earthquakes are top of mind and the biggest catastrophic risk – especially with associated potential tsunami but storms, flooding and slips are also important risks to manage.
Wellington City is by far the most prepared community in New Zealand. We are not fully ‘there yet’ but we are getting there fast. I am sure that if Christchurch was as prepared as Wellington it would have fared much much better
Karori Library, café, square I led the lengthy community consultation over several years and multiple iterations, and as then Chair of Built and Natural Environment led the Council planning work that led to the library, café  toilets and square being created. Karori Library was opened in 2005 and is easily the busiest branch library in the city.
Marsden Village upgrade Worked with local businesses to get Marsden Village upgraded in 1998 and set up the City’s first Business Improvement District. Marsden Village was turned around from a struggling centre to a solid and stable one which has survived pretty well through all the challenges to date. The BID structure has served Marsden Village very well. Only in the last 3 years have other suburban centres begun forming BIDS.

I supported the establishment of Café 162, now One Fat Bird when first proposed and there was some loud opposition. I think everyone now thoroughly enjoys having another place to socialise, eat and drink in our community.

St Marys Karori Work with the Church to obtain funding support for strengthening the Tower – 2016 Heritage listed building and Karori icon. The church tower was at one stage going to be shortened for an unspecified period until more funds were raised. I am delighted that it has been strengthened and as of August 2016 the whole church is now able to be used without being cordoned off for fear the tower might collapse in an earthquake.
St Mathias, Makara Work with the Church to obtain funding support for strengthening the Church – 2016 Heritage listed building and Makara icon
Tried to get Indoor Sports Centre in central location Worked really hard to try to get our Indoor Sports Centre in a better more central location (Stadium Concourse or CentrePort). Unfortunately I did not succeed in that. I wanted a multi purpose sports centre, ideally where we could also host concerts. I worked with a respected project manager, Fletcher Building, BECAs, Dunning Thornton among other firms who put together a proposal for a sports centre on the Stadium Concourse. Huge advantages which the Kilbirnie site doesn’t have are daytime corporate sports, and easy walkability from all public transport. It would also have reduced pressure on our transport system. At weekends so many of our main  sporting facilities are located to the south and east of the Basin, while the bulk of the population is to the north and west.

We did save through value engineering through the process and a lower contract price – save $6 million on the Sports Centre. It was obvious to me that as we were entering the ‘Global Economic Crisis’ at the time, that construction costs would fall, and we would save significant money by tendering in  a slower market. We did.


Other Achievements
> Creating a transport system
> Restoring a once very degraded natural environment
> Creating stronger communities