10 year plan for Wellington region released for consultation

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MIL OSI – Source: Greater Wellington Regional Council – 10 year plan for Wellington region released for consultation

Residents from the greater Wellington region are being urged to have their say about what major projects should be funded in their communities over the next 10years.

Open days are being held around the region through March and April where Councillors and staff will help the public understand what is included in Greater Wellington Regional Council’s draft 10 Year Plan 2015-25.

Visitors to the open days will have the opportunity to identify the projects they think should be prioritised through a novel voting system set up for the occasion.

There are currently six main projects in the draft plan and council Chair Fran Wilde says it’s important that these ideas are tested with the public before they are locked into place.

“We’ve identified what we believe are the priorities, locally and regionally, and included them in the draft 10 Year Plan. Now we need our communities to tell us what they think,” she says.

The six main projects are:

  • Investing in public transport infrastructure to improve service levels
  • Implementing major initiatives to increase the number of public transport users
  • Increasing programmes aimed at getting more people walking, cycling, carpooling and using public transport
  • Taking a strong leadership role in ensuring improved water quality across the region
  • Investing in flood protection infrastructure to protect the community from flood risk
  • Increasing the region’s ability to withstand an emergency, particularly through a number of projects to provide emergency water following a major event.

To pay for the initiatives included in the draft 10 year plan, the regional council is proposing an average annual rates increase of about $38 for the average residential home in the 2015/16 financial year. That’s 9.8% and equates to 73 cents a week for the average home.

Included within this is a 1.1% proposed rates increase to maintain its “business as usual” or existing services.

The council has also proposed freezing public transport fares for another year as part of the 10 Year Plan. This has been made possible in part due to savings made through more people using trains following the introduction of the Matangi train fleet on the Hutt Valley, Kapiti and Johnsonville lines.

“By keeping fares at the same price, we’re hoping to help get more people onto trains, buses and the harbour ferry,” Ms Wilde says. “Public transport not only frees up the roads, it also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is critical given the challenges the region faces from climate change.

“We’ve also just released our Draft Strategy on Climate Change and we’d like people to think about things like reducing greenhouse gas emissions when making submissions on the 10 Year Plan.”

A “Shape Your Region” brochure will be mailed this week to Wellington region residents with details about the open day events and how to make sure they have their say.

Submissions are open from 16 March to 20 April and the council will use the feedback to develop its final 10 Year Plan for the region.

The council is also consulting on its draft Revenue and Financing Policy, Rates Remission and Postponement Policies and proposed amendments to the Resource Management Charging Policy. These policies can be viewed on the GWRC website.

For more information visit www.gw.govt.nz/have-your-say

Note

Open Days

Kapiti Coast: Coastlands, Wednesday 18 March, 11am-2pm

Upper Hutt: March Madness Fair, Saturday 21 March, 10am-1pm

Porirua: North City Plaza, Tuesday 24 March, 11am-2pm

Wellington: Harbourside Market, Sunday 29 March, 9am-12pm and Johnsonville Mall, Tuesday 14 April, 11am-2pm

Lower Hutt: 274b Jackson Street, Petone, Thursday 9 April, 11am-2pm

Wairarapa: Greytown Library, Saturday 18 April, 10am-1pm

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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