We all know Wellington’s compact easy walkability is a key strength of our city. I have led the planning and urban design work that has reinforced that compactness, and seen our central city population almost double between 2001 and 2013. Te Aro’s population grew a whopping 143%!
I also led the creation of our award winning 30 year plan for transport and urban development, the Urban Growth Plan (2015).
Our City population has grown from 150,000 in 1991 to just over 200,000 today, and we expect up to another 100,000 people in the next 30 years. Some of that is natural growth, some is people attracted by our great city’s lifestyle opportunities. Although Wellington will have one of the youngest populations in the country, we’re all growing older, and so we must provide for Wellington’s growing and ageing population. Good, coherent planning is essential. Let’s work together and decide our future, rather than our future being decided for us.
I particularly want to help younger people into their first homes, and create more homes suitable for older people. I will:
- Make the Central City an even better place for people.
One where people can happily live, work, walk, bike, shop, or meet with friends in a relaxing park. We will create more greenery and green spaces, ensure safer vehicle speeds, upgrade laneways. We’ll have car share and bike share schemes, and electric buses. There will be movie walls, more fun art works, events, and markets. With Whitirea – Weltec, Cordon Bleu and Victoria University school of music/NZSO all in the Cuba Street-Civic Square area we can enjoy more street performances from their talented students. Interpretive street signs and heritage plaques will help tell our Wellington story. I will work to bring life to North Lambton Quay.
- Create (at least) two more Central City Parks.
You can expect at least two more parks in the Golden Mile and Te Aro flat areas. I will work on upgrading Te Aro Park. This is a ‘no brainer’ with the coming increase in student population on Cuba Street.
- Provide a high quality refurbished playground and adult exercise facilities at Frank Kitts Park.
- Deliver high quality Boulevards on Kent and Cambridge Terraces and Taranaki Street. We will commence the urban renewal and beautification of Adelaide Road.
- Deliver urban renewal projects with our new Urban Development Agency, and work with the private sector, Government and Universities to create more good quality, affordable housing in the central city and around our suburban centres. The greater the proportion of our population living close to work, public transport, shops and services, the less the pressure on our transport, infrastructure and environment, and the stronger our retail economy.
- Upgrade and strengthen the Council’s social housing. We will continue our multi-award winning programme for the provision of social housing. We will also keep advocating to the Government for their support of income related rentals for Council housing tenants in the same way as it does for tenants of Housing NZ and community housing providers.
- Support improvement in building standards.
People should not have to live in cold, mouldy houses.
- Develop Shelly Bay and create a heritage park on Miramar Peninsula in partnership with the Government, Iwi, private sector and community.
- Create new residential areas north of Churton Park and Newlands. We will work with landowners and the community to protect streams and important vegetation, and provide tracks as part of comprehensive master plans.
I have led much of our resilience work. We are far and away the leader in resilience preparation in New Zealand. We will make our City even more resilient. We can’t ignore experiences that the people of Christchurch have been through, nor the shaky ground we live on. We are well on the way to being a fully prepared city.
- We will complete the work we’ve been doing for over 25 years to make our critical infrastructure like water reservoirs, bridges, tunnels, roads and pipes resilient.
- We will work with and support building owners in completing earthquake strengthening through information and at times
- We will continue working with operators of key lifeline services like power, phone, emergency services etc.
- We will work with owners to strengthen heritage buildings across the city. Only 135 heritage buildings (of 800) are still considered earthquake prone and work is underway on at least 58 of those. With Cr Pannett I have gained increased funding and rates relief for owners doing strengthening work. In six years time we will have no more than 30 heritage buildings considered earthquake prone.
- We will reopen the Town Hall as the centrepiece of a revitalised Civic Square. Civic Square should be a real heart of the central city, better integrated into the city and into the buildings around it. Perhaps a winter garden might be part of the mix ?
- We will ensure that communities, schools, and workplaces are prepared for any disaster.