Wellington’s central city, and its businesses, are doing it tough. The double-whammy effect of COVID-19 and earthquake-damaged building closures has seen the city lose its vibrancy.

Crime has also been on the rise and despite the best efforts of our arts, culture and hospitality sectors, parts of Wellington City are rundown.

As Mayor, I want to work with our businesses, learn from their experience doing business in our city and harness some of their ideas.

To support our local businesses, I will do the following:

 

No private parking levy

My focus as Mayor will be on attracting as many people as possible to our central city to support our local businesses and help get Wellington thriving again.

  • As Mayor, I will rule out the council’s current proposal impose a parking levy, which could be as high as $2,500 per vehicle, on private carparks in the CBD.

  • Our businesses need our support, not extra costs, right now.

  • Instead of targeting businesses and workers in the CBD, I will work with central Government to explore congestion charging as part of my climate change and transport policy.

 

Visibility on how rates are spent

Businesses tell me they don’t see where their commercial rates go.

  • I will publish a plan that details how and where commercial ratepayers’ money gets spent to demonstrate a return on investment.

 

More support for earthquake-strengthening

Wellington is in a unique position with regards to the issues we’re facing as a city around earthquake-strengthening.

I support the Government’s decision to release new seismic risk guidance which clarifies that a building with low earthquake rating does not mean it needs to close immediately. This is a step in the right direction.

  • As Mayor, I will work with central Government to ensure there is more certainty for building owners and occupiers and that these rules work for Wellingtonians.

  • As Mayor, I will advocate for additional support - be it financial or legislative relief - from central Government.

We simply can’t have closed-up buildings littering our central city and cost is a clear impediment, particularly given the economic headwinds we’re up against post COVID-19.

 

Midland Park

I want Midland Park to have a variety of weekend offerings to attract people into our CBD and maximise this beautiful space.

  • As Mayor, I will work with community groups, iwi and businesses to devise a Midland Park programme.

  • The programme could include monthly weekend markets, cultural offerings and mini festivals, live music and entertainment and activities for children.

  • The Midland Park programme will help put the mojo back into our central city by filling Lambton Quay with a range of artisans and crafters, entertainers and musicians for Wellingtonians and visitors to enjoy.

 

The Oaks complex

The council-owned Oaks complex on the corners of Dixon St and Te Aro Park is crying out for redevelopment to attract more Wellingtonians, particularly families, into the central city.

As Mayor, I will:

  • Task the City Development Authority to deliver shortlist options and costs for Wellingtonians to vote on. Options could include an indoor market or children’s playground.

  • Work with NZ police to explore a community policing presence in the Oaks complex.

 

Māori business development

Māori businesses will play a crucial role in the master planning undertaken by the City Development Authority I establish as Mayor.

  • I will promote opportunities for Māori businesses and organisations, including through council procurement.

  • Promoting employment opportunities for Māori throughout Wellington City Council