Our performance in detail

6
Tāone tupu ora
Urban development

We aim for a compact, resilient, and attractive city

The challenges we face

  • Increasing housing supply (and housing standards) in the city to avoid an Auckland-style housing crisis
  • Balancing the benefits of looking after our heritage against the need to earthquake-strengthen the city
  • Meeting changing demands such as smaller households and more inner city living
  • Supporting more sustainable land use and transport options to accommodate the growing population, pressure on land and environmental concerns

Our strategic approach

  • Maintaining the city’s liveability by ensuring housing remains affordable despite population growth
  • Simplifying and streamlining the consenting processes
  • Improving the quality of urban design and public open spaces
  • Maintaining the city’s unique and compact character
  • Improving the city’s resilience

In this section
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6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)

6.2 Building and development control

Snapshot

6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development

What we did:

How we performed

Residents who agree the city is developing in a way that maintains high-quality design (%)

Source: Wellington City Council

Bar graph showing residents who agree the city is developing in a way that maintains high-quality design .

Increase from previous year. Target to increase level of agreement year on year not achieved (-7.3%).

Residents who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive (%)

Source: Wellington City Council

Bar graph showing residents who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive .

Target not met (-17%). Even though the survey result has improved from last year, it is well below target. Unfortunately we don't currently ask why residents feel this way in the monitoring survey. Further investigation is required to identify underlying concerns so that improvements can continue.

Residents who rate their waterfront experience as good or very good (%)

Source: Wellington City Council

Bar graph showing residents who rate their waterfront experience as good or very good .

Ahead of target and increased from last year.

How we performed

Building consents issued within 20 working days (%)

Source: Wellington City Council

Bar graph showing building consents issued within 20 working days .

Target not met (-13%). It has been a challenging year with building consents. The November earthquake temporarily lowered commercial work volumes but increased demand for structural engineers to assess both residential and commercial building consents. This led to reduced compliance to the 20 working days time frame. High local work volumes have continued the national trend, continuing the challenge of recruitment and retention of qualified staff.

Residents who agree that Wellington is a great place to live, work, and play (%)

Source: Wellington City Council Residents' Monitoring Survey 2017

Bar graph showing residents who agree that Wellington is a great place to live, work, and play .

Value of residential building consents

Source: Statistics NZ

Bar graph showing value of residential building consents.

Value increased by 41% compared to last year.

Finances

How it was funded

Services in this activity area are funded through a mixture of general rates, fees and charges, and grants and subsidies.

What it cost
Operating Expenditure ($000) Actual
2014/15
Actual
2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Budget
2016/17
Variance
2016/17
6.1.1 Urban planning and policy          
Expenditure 1,667 2,089 1,903 2,094 191
Revenue (13) (25) (89) (20) 69
Net Expenditure 1,654 2,064 1,814 2,074 260
6.1.2 Waterfront development         -
Expenditure - 1,618 1,240 1,326 86
Revenue - (299) (230)   230
Net Expenditure - 1,319 1,010 1,326 316
6.1.3 Public spaces and centres development          
Expenditure 2,437 2,136 2,087 2,224 137
Revenue (167) 2 (14) - 14
Net Expenditure 2,270 2,138 2,073 2,224 151
6.1.4 Built heritage development          
Expenditure 863 1,264 2,215 1,998 (218)
Revenue - - 1 - (1)
Net Expenditure 863 1,264 2,216 1,998 (219)
6.1 Total Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development          
Expenditure 4,967 7,107 7,445 7,641 196
Revenue (180) (322) (332) (20) 312
Net Expenditure 4,787 6,785 7,113 7,621 508

Capital Expenditure ($000) Actual
2014/15
Actual
2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Budget

2016/17
Variance*
2016/17
6.1.1 Urban planning and policy          
Expenditure - - - - -
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward to future years          
6.1.2 Waterfront development          
Expenditure 2,466 3,348 3,404 6,390 4,5971
Unspent portion of budget brought forward from prior years       1,611  
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward to future years       4,210  
6.1.3 Public spaces and centres development          
Expenditure 16,466 2,049 1,989 4,162 3,1932
Unspent portion of budget brought forward from prior years       1,020  
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward to future years       4,732  
6.1 Total Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development          
Expenditure 18,932 5,397 5,393 10,552 7,790
Unspent portion of budget brought forward from prior years       2,631  
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward to future years       8,943  
*Variance explanations to finances – why our actual spend differs from what was budgeted.
1. Underspend due to delays in the work programmes for Frank Kitts Park and Kumutoto Precinct projects.
2. Under budget due to a delay in the timing of the delivery of Lombard Lane and the Tawa Town Centre upgrade. Other delays with the Holland Street and Garrett Street/Swan Lane redesigns were also factors.

How we performed

Value of commercial building consents

Source: Statistics NZ

Bar graph showing value of commercial building consents.

Value increased 33% and trending upwards.

New Zealanders who agree that Wellington is an attractive destination (%)

Source: National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2017

Bar graph showing New Zealanders who agree that Wellington is an attractive destination .

6.2 Building and development controlTop

What we did:

Finances

How it was funded

Services in this activity are funded through a mixture of general rates and fees and charges.

What it cost
Operating Expenditure ($000) Actual
2014/15
Actual
2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Budget
2016/17
Variance
2016/17
6.2.1 Building control and facilitation          
Expenditure 12,542 13,570 14,430 13,624 (807)
Revenue (8,972) (9,251) (9,977) (9,067) 910
Net Expenditure 3,570 4,319 4,453 4,556 103
6.2.2 Development control and facilitation          
Expenditure 5,685 5,807 6,433 5,971 (462)
Revenue (2,367) (2,552) (3,316) (2,899) 417
Net Expenditure 3,318 3,255 3,117 3,072 (45)
6.2.3 Earthquake risk mitigation - built environment          
Expenditure 1,823 1,323 1,199 1,056 (143)
Revenue - - - - -
Net Expenditure 1,823 1,323 1,199 1,056 (143)
6.2 Total Building and development control          
Expenditure 20,051 20,700 22,062 20,651 (1,412)
Revenue (11,339) (11,803) (13,293) (11,966) 1,327
Net Expenditure 8,712 8,897 8,769 8,684 (85)
Capital Expenditure ($000) Actual
2014/15
Actual
2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Budget
2016/17
Variance*
2016/17
6.2.3 Earthquake risk mitigation - built environment          
Expenditure 4,036 2,224 4,391 3,041 1,1741
Unspent portion of budget brought forward from prior years       2,524  
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward to future years       1,174  
*Variance explanations to finances – why our actual spend differs from what was budgeted.
1. Under budget due to delays in the earthquake strengthening programme, the key variances relate to the Town Hall and St James Theatre projects.
Total costs
Net Operating Expenditure ($000) Actual
2014/15
Actual
2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Budget
2016/17
Variance
2016/17
URBAN DEVELOPMENT 13,499 15,682 15,882 16,305 423
Capital Expenditure ($000) Actual
2014/15
Actual
2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Budget
2016/17
Variance
2016/17
Unspent portion of budget brought forward from prior years       5,154  
Annual Plan budget amount 2016/17       13,594  
URBAN DEVELOPMENT 22,968 7,621 9,784 18,748 8,964

Performance data

The following section outlines our performance data: outcome indicators, performance measures and supplementary tables.

We use outcome indicators to monitor our city over time which provides information on trends that may influence our performance including those outside our control. We use performance measures to track how well we are delivering services against targets as set out in the Long-term Plan and Annual Plans.

Performance data – outcome indicators

The following section outlines outcome indicators for the Urban development area of activity. Outcome indicators do not have targets – only trend data.

Council outcome indicator Source   2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Residents who agree that Wellington is a great place to live, work, and play WCC RMS 2017 New measure for 2017     95%
Value of residential and commercial building consents Statistics NZ Residential $246m $233m $329m
    Commercial $302m $359m $477m
Population – growth and density (central city, growth spine) WCC GIS
As at census 2013 same data
See supplementary tables   no census data  
Residents who agree the city centre is an easy place to get to, use, and enjoy WCC RMS 2017 Easy to get around 82.9% 82.0%* 76.0%
    Easy to access leisure activities 80.2% 79.7% 82.0%
Residents who think there are urban design/urban form safety issues (eg graffiti, vandalism, poorly lit public spaces etc) WCC RMS 2017 See supplementary tables      
Building density throughout the city WCC GIS See supplementary tables 7.58 for Central City 8.05 for Central City  
Proportion of houses within 100 metres of a public transport stop WCC GIS   45% 45% 45%
Residents who agree that heritage items contribute to the city and local communities’ unique character WCC RMS 2017 to the city 92% 92% 91%
    to local community 71% 72% 71%
New Zealanders who agree that Wellington is an attractive destination National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2017   78% 81% 78%
* Measure reported incorrectly as 72% in 2015/16 Annual Report          
Performance data – Council performance measures

The following section outlines Council performance measures for our Cultural Wellbeing services. It includes data for the last 3 years to show trends and includes variances explanations for relevant areas.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Actual
2016/17
Target
%
Variance
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)          
To measure the quality of our urban planning, heritage protection and development work          
Residents (%) who agree the city is developing in a way that maintains high quality design new in LTP 55% 51% Increase from previous year Decrease -7.3%
District Plan listed items that are removed or demolished Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Residents (%) who agree the central city is lively and attractive 86% 85% 87% 87% 0%
Residents (%) who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive 48% 47% 50% 60% -17%
Even though the survey result has improved from last year, it is well below target. Unfortunately we don’t ask why residents feel this way in the monitoring survey – further investigation is required to identify underlying concerns so that improvements can continue.          
Residents (%) who rate their waterfront experience as good or very good 94% 92% 95% 90% 6%
Proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 100% 64% 93% 95% -2%
Residents (%) who agree heritage items are appropriately valued and protected (in the central city) 64% 69% 66% 65% 2%
6.2 Building and development control          
To measure the timeliness of our building and development control services          
Building consents issued within 20 working days 98% 92% 87% 100% -13%
Code of Compliance Certificates issued within 20 working days 96% 96% 96% 100% -4%
Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) issued within 10 working days 81% 99% 96% 100% -4%
Resource consents (non-notified) issued within statutory timeframes 100% 100% 100% 100% 0%
Resource consents that are monitored within 3 months of project commencement 99% 97% 94% 90% 4%
Subdivision certificates – Section 223 certificates issued within statutory timeframes 100% 100% 100% 100% 0%
       
           
Noise control (excessive noise) complaints investigated within 1 hour 98% 96% 97% 90% 7%
Environmental complaints investigated within 48 hours 99% 98% 98% 98% -1%
To measure the quality of our building and development control services          
Customers (%) who rate building control services as good or very good 76% 79% 74% 70% 6%
Building Consent authority (BCA) accreditation retention (2-yearly) Retained Retained Retained To Retain Retained
To measure our progress on earthquake risk mitigation          
Earthquake-prone building notifications (section 124) (%) that are issued without successful challenge 99% 100% 100% 95% 5%
Performance data – supplementary tables
Residents who agree that Wellington is a great place to live, work, and play 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Great place to…      
...live 96% 95%  
…work 63% 66% 95%
…play 93% 90%  

Survey question merged in 2016/17 “live, work and play”

Source: Wellington City Council Residents’ Monitoring Survey 2017

Residents who think there are urban design/urban form safety issues 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Poorly lit public areas 61% 63% 59%
Vandalism 26% 27% 17%
Graffiti 34% 32% 16%
Poorly maintained public areas 34% 37% 32%

Source: Wellington City Council Residents’ Monitoring Survey 2017

Building density throughout the city 2014/15 2016/17
number of buildings building density
(buildings/hectare)
number of buildings building density
​(buildings/hectare)
Central city 1,825 7.58 1,948 8.05
Inner residential 10,485 34.7 10,437 34.27
Outer residential 75,499 21.91 77,559 22.38
Business 1 & 2, Centres and Medium Density Residential Area 3,640 10.98 3,842 11.51

Source: WCC GIS and Statistics NZ

Proportion of houses within 100m of a public transport stop 2012/13
  45%

Note: Updated stats will only be provided by Census data

Source: WCC GIS

Case study
Our resilience storyTop

Strengthening earthquake-prone buildings

Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the government implemented changes to the Building Act for earthquake-prone buildings. The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016, which took effect on 1 July 2017, has a major impact on the way these buildings are identified.

Well before the amendment took effect, Wellington City Council was proactive in managing earthquake-related risks. Over the past 8 years, the Council has evaluated the vast majority of pre-1976 buildings – a total of around 5000 buildings. Of the 5000, about 700 buildings are currently identified as being earthquake-prone.

More than 90 buildings have been taken off the list in 2016/17. The Council is also working closely with Central Government to develop regulation that supports the new policy.

More recently, in the wake of the November earthquake, the government made changes to the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act.

The Council has directed the owners of 72 buildings to do targeted assessments. The Council has been working with GNS Science and Auckland University and, as a result of this partnership and the work being done around building assessments, has a much better understanding of the city’s geology.

Unreinforced masonry buildings

On 28 February 2017, Central Government introduced a new requirement to secure unreinforced masonry (URM) parapets and facades on buildings in certain areas of Wellington City, Hutt City, Marlborough District and Hurunui District Councils, in response to the November earthquake. As part of the new legislation, owners of URM buildings facing busy thoroughfares are required to secure the street-facing parapets and facades on their buildings within 12 months of the date of a Council notice. We have been working with other agencies and with owners that need to undertake strengthening works. As of 31 March, 98 sites remain on that list, down from an initial 113. The Council has partnered with agencies such as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Building Heritage Fund to provide funding for part of the strengthening works.

Geographic information system (GIS) technology

The Council has been doing a lot of work around preparedness in the event of future natural events, and this includes a better use of GIS technology for 3D mapping. GIS allows the Council to have a much better understanding of the city, analyse situations, make decisions, and respond to emergencies like earthquakes by showing where damage has occurred. The technology was already there but is being used in a more targeted way around emergency preparedness. It gives the Council a platform to look at data and tell a story in a way that people can relate to, by making it simpler.

1These criteria are: Buildings four to 15 storeys high, containing reinforced concrete (a focus on precast floors), built on soft soils with ductile (flexible) design.