How we govern and engage with the community
The Council is a representative democracy. Our role is to determine the public interest and decide on areas of priority for the good of the city and its people.
Our legislative framework
Under the Local Government Act 2002, our statutory roles are:
- to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities;
- to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is cost-effective for households and businesses.
Council elections are held every 3 years. The last election was held in October 2016 and the next will take place in October 2019.
Our governance structure consists of the Council and its committees, which are designed to enable elected members to perform their governance roles effectively and to ensure the democratic process operates smoothly. The committees are:
- City Strategy Committee
- District Licensing Committee
- Long-term Plan/Annual Plan Committee
- CEO Performance Review Committee
- Regulatory Processes Committee
There are two joint committees:
- Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (joint committee)
- Wellington Regional Amenities Fund (joint committee)
And three subcommittees:
- Council Controlled Organisations Subcommittee
- Finance, Audit and Risk Subcommittee
- Grants Subcommittee
Wellington City Council is made up of 14 elected Councillors and a Mayor.
The Mayor is elected by the city’s residents. The Mayor’s responsibilities include:
- promoting a vision for Wellington
- providing leadership to achieve that vision
- leading the development of city-wide Council plans, policies and budgets
- ensuring effective engagement with all Wellingtonians.
The Councillors are elected by voters from the wards they represent. The wards and number of elected Councillors for each are:
- Northern Ward – three Councillors
- Onslow-Western Ward – three Councillors
- Lambton Ward – three Councillors
- Eastern Ward – three Councillors
- Southern Ward – two Councillors
Your Mayor and Councillors
Justin Lester (Mayor)
Arts and Culture, Major City Projects, Governance
Paul Eagle (Deputy Mayor)
Long-term and Annual Plan Committee, CEO Performance Review Committee
Housing, Recreation, Events
Community Planning and Engagement
Transport Strategy and Operations
Social Development, Living Wage
Partnerships, Children and Young People
Public Transport, Cycling and Walking
Finance, Audit and Risk Management Subcommittee
Finance, Urban Development, Karori Framework, Predator Free Wellington
Natural Environment, City Scientist
Technology, Innovation & Enterprise, Climate Change
Economic Development, Small Business (joint)
City Strategy Committee
Regulatory Process Committee
Council Controlled Organisations Subcommittee
Wellington Ambassador, Tourism, Small Business (joint), Sport
Central City Projects, Education Partnerships
Executive team and structureTop
The Chief Executive leads the implementation of Council decisions and effective delivery of Council services, activities and key projects.
The Chief Executive is supported by more than 1500 staff members. See page 12 for a breakdown of personnel.
The skills required to manage a city are hugely varied. The Council employs policy advisers and park rangers, architects and business analysts, among others. They all help ensure Wellington is a good place to visit, live, and work.
Wellington City Council works for the city and its people. We need to understand the needs and aspirations of the people we represent. This is why we seek input from everyone affected by the decisions we make. The feedback we get from Wellingtonians informs our decisions on plans, policies, and budgets.
Active and ongoing engagement helps the Council make better decisions that reflect the needs and expectations of the community.
The way we consult depends on the decision being made. All Wellingtonians can have input on our budgets and priorities for each year, decisions about bylaws, and other significant decisions that affect the city and its people.
In 2016/17, we consulted and engaged with others on a number of plans and initiatives. The following are examples:
- We worked collaboratively with the business owners and residents in Tory Street following the demolition of the Reading Cinema car park to co-create a street installation that will be delivered over summer.
- Love the Bay is a collaborative Island Bay project, of which a significant part was taking another look at the Island Bay Cycle Way. There has been extensive engagement aimed at getting local communities involved.
- In April 2017, we sought the public’s views on Predator Free Wellington, a plan to eradicate rats, possums, and other predators that threaten native wildlife.
- In April and May 2017, we consulted Wellingtonians on the Annual Plan 2017/18, which provides an overview of all the proposals and the budget for this year.
- In the same period, we also consulted the public on the Draft Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, which aims to help Wellingtonians reduce the amount of waste produced, better reuse resources, and recycle more.
The Council aims to do more in this area and has committed to an additional $75,000 in funding for engagement in the Annual Plan 2017/18.
Partnership with Māori and mana whenua
The Council works to ensure the role of Māori in the city is valued and reflected in all aspects of our work, from resource management and economic development to social wellbeing and the arts.
The Council is subject to a range of legal obligations and Te Tiriti o Waitangi considerations. On 29 March 2017, the Council and its iwi partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that replaced previous MoUs and acknowledged the partnership between the two groups.
The new MoU reinforces the relationship with iwi and further acknowledges the leading role Māori have to play in Wellington’s development. It reflects a joint commitment to work closely together on decisions relating to the city’s economic growth and prosperity.
As part of the MoU, a senior leaders’ forum was formed between the Council and its iwi partners that consists of both elected members and senior Council managers, and iwi mandated entities. (See the Governance section for more information).
Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)
These are organisations that undertake activities on behalf of the Council and are managed by an independent board. CCOs enable the Council to manage Council assets or deliver Council services, using specialist expertise.
There are eight CCOs:
- Wellington Water, which manages all Wellington, Hutt, Upper Hutt, and Porirua councils’ drainage and water services
- Basin Reserve Trust, which manages, develops, and promotes the Basin Reserve for recreation, leisure, and cricket games
- Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), which is the city’s official economic development organisation
- Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, which operates and maintains the Stadium as a high-quality multi-purpose sporting venue
- Wellington Cable Car Ltd, which maintains and operates the Cable Car, and maintains the trolley-bus overhead electrical system
- Wellington Museums Trust, which provides seven educational and cultural facilities
- Wellington Zoo Trust, which manages the zoo, educates the community about zoology, and supports conservation initiatives
- Karori Sanctuary Trust, which manages ongoing conservation and restoration work at Zealandia
Reporting our performance
We make ourselves accountable in many ways, including elections, reports, and plans. This Annual Report is one.
We also produce quarterly reports. All these reports are available to the public and provide detailed accounts of the Council’s work and objectives.
Long-term Plan 2015–2025
In this Annual Report, we are reporting against year two of the Long-term Plan 2015–25. This Long-term Plan is based on a strong investment programme to rejuvenate the economy and transform Wellington to achieve its vision. The next Long-term Plan update will be in 2018.