When I say ‘Wellington’ what comes to mind? Compact. Inclusive. Connected. Vibrant. I love the clear blue sky, the salty sea and the ‘Oriental Bay Blow-Dry’. I love how quickly I can run across town and that ‘grabbing a coffee’ never means Starbucks. But just because that is how Wellington is now, doesn’t mean it will always be this way...
If you want to ensure the Wellington city that we know and love remains, and improves, now is your chance to submit on the Planning for Growth engagement. Wellington has to change and grow. Let’s express to the Wellington City Council what we love about our hometown, and what we want improved. Are you ready to take a stand? Go to planningforgrowth.wellington.co.nz.
Let’s start with the facts: We can expect 50,000 - 80,000* more people to move to Wellington in the next 30 years. 50,000 to 80,000 is going to have a big impact, so we’re going to have to make some big decisions. Submissions are open, and they want to hear your voice.
Planning for Growth is the first step towards a new District Plan for Wellington. The District Plan sets the rules for the future use of space in the city. The Wellington City Council are seeking feedback - and we have an opportunity to guide the shape of this city we adore.
Keeping hold of our Wellington heart is a no-brainer. So what are the big issues? I spoke to several Residents of Wellington to find out their opinion.
“How will Wellington keep up with housing all the new people who are going to live here in 2050?”
For me, like many millennials, housing is key. I hope one day to buy a house with Matt but right now it seems like the impossible dream.
I loved living centrally, because I was close to the heart of the city, and could be on Cuba Street one minute at on the waterfront the next. But prices have gone mad. Student and film maker Nadia Darby agrees:
“I love living in Wellington. When I moved here 4 years ago, I couldn’t fault Wellington as a city. During my first year out of university halls, my rent was relatively cheap. Since then, it has become increasingly harder to find rental properties for an affordable price. I remember going to a flat viewing earlier this year where there was a massive line of students all the way up the street. I still love living in Wellington, however, the steep rental prices and sometimes shifty landlords really put a damper on the mood. If there could be booklets that teach students about the legality of their rights to a healthy living environment and renting in Wellington in general, I believe it’d make the whole flatting process a lot fairer.”
“How can we keep our city space compact, visually beautiful, and remain the coolest little capital?”
From Civic Square to Courtenay Place, our urban planning, space and optimising how we use it is going to be a hot topic. Resident interviewee Alistair Cox really opened my eyes to why we need to think around where we walk, where we eat and where we commute in the city:
“…I think highly skilled professionals are actually the way to do it, and I think the city council needs to be pushed... It keeps coming back to making the place more inhabitable, and there are some really highly skilled planners and professionals out there who have an understanding about how to do that, but you need to get the best people in the world….I really believe we need to invest in sociable architecture to positively enrich this city.”
“How will we all get around and in and out of the city by 2050?”
Transport is the lifeblood of the city. How will we get around? Now I live in Greytown, I think that the motorway and train congestion into Wellington is one of our most urgent issues. Vijay from Dixon Street Shoe repair agrees:
“I’d probably like to see a bit more progress on the roading side of things. It’s a big ask, and controversial because a lot of people were against this, but I would have liked to have seen the terrace tunnelling go from Mount Victoria Tunnel to the Terrace underneath the ground.”
“Go greener, Wellington?”
No one can deny the natural beauty of Wellington. I love strolling through the streets of Wellington and looking up and seeing the green trees. But we need to take care of our region. Comedian and actress Hayley Sproull feels passionately about this:
“I am one of the many young people who have recently discovered that soft plastics aren’t recyclable...I looked down at my shopping trolley the other day and, despite my ‘healthy lifestyle’ saw a sea of plastic...So now I’ve started hoarding it all until the soft plastic recycling services kick back in, but its still not good enough...We need to get off our moral high horse and accept that we young people are the problem and the solution.”
Will you join me in submitting in Planning for Growth?
3 years ago, I started interviewing the people of Wellington, to better understand what makes our city special. Was it the food scene? The beer? The hills? Or something else…
The short answer? What makes Wellington different is, in part, you and I: the fact that we really care about our city and we want the best for it, and each other, for generations to come. Over and over I’ve heard people tell me the reasons they love living here.
Well now is our chance!! Please, please, please take this chance to submit on the engagement. As a policy advisor, I can’t stress what a difference it will make. YOUR voice will be considered. It will make a difference, unlike moaning on Stuff comments. Don’t you want to leave a legacy and give back to the city? Don’t leave this blog saying you’ll come back to do it later. Click the link below, head to the website and do it right now.