Feb 2019 – Standing for Our City

Joint media release from Diane Calvert and Simon Woolf

Wellington city councillors Diane Calvert and Simon Woolf have formally announced their respective intentions to seek re-election to Wellington City Council at this year’s local government elections.

Simon Woolf, a city councillor for nearly six years, says “Over the past three years, our Council has made good progress on setting out a solid framework to take the city into the future. The improved collegial and collaborative nature and balanced decisions of the Council has ensured most decisions are made by an overwhelming majority. It is a priority for us that this balanced approach continues for the growth of our city”.

Diane Calvert, who is completing her first term of three years, says “It’s a privilege to be able to serve the city and its people. Simon and I have developed a strong working relationship through joint projects in our ward and sharing common views and values across city wide projects. We have made good local progress for our ward and local communities with projects such as the Karori Town Centre placemaking, funding for Khandallah Summer Pool upgrade, along with improving how our city engages. There is still much more to do and we are looking forward to being able to continue to make a positive difference to our local areas and the city as a whole”.

Woolf says “Diane and I bring a wide range of governance and representation skills and experience to our roles with Council. At the end of the day, we each only have one vote out of a total of 15 so being able to influence inside and outside of Council is critical to get things done”.

Both Simon and Diane are keen to continue to hear people’s views on what they want to see for Wellington and will remain focused on ensuring good engagement with all local communities.

Woolf says “Council needs to be more open to listening to dissenting views especially when those views are grounded in expert community knowledge.

What people are telling us is they want the Council, first and foremost, to continue to focus on resilience and key infrastructure such as transport and water. They also want to see our waterfront and CBD made more vibrant and safer. The business sector (commercial and social enterprise) in the CBD and suburban centres are also looking for stronger partnerships and more upfront engagement with the Council.”

The recent issues around Greater Wellington Regional Council’s bus and train services along with delays to the recommended draft programme of investment of the Let’s Get Welly Moving programme (Ngauranga to Airport route), being referred back to Council, have been of growing concern to both Woolf and Calvert. Calvert says “when the transport system fails or is weakened, this impacts on the city’s economic and social fabric. Residents bear the brunt of it and we become less connected in many ways. We would like to see consideration given to forming a Regional Transport Authority with the expertise to improve delivery to the people of not only our city but for the whole Wellington region.”

Woolf says “We want to see Council’s current Decade of Culture programme to be less about buildings’ infrastructure and more about supporting the arts and creativity across all areas of our city. We also want to see more art forms right across our city and not just in the CBD.”

With the growing list of big strategic projects, the front facing side of Council’s business gets squeezed. Woolf and Calvert would like to see increased service levels for our key parks, reserves and community centres and more support for volunteers that contribute to the upkeep of these areas.

Rates are a big issue for people especially when for those on a limited and or fixed income. Calvert says “We will continue to strongly advocate for any ratepayer funding, that is required, supports projects that are relevant to Council’s core role, critical to the success of our city and are affordable.”

We focus our ideas on four key areas;
• A resilient city – water, transport, housing and public amenities
• Engaged communities
• Strong economic growth
• A vibrant creative sector

More details on Woolf and Calvert’s proposed priorities are attached. We are sharing these ideas now with residents and ratepayers for further feedback and comment. Simon and Diane are keen to continue hearing the community’s views about what’s important to them.

Our ideas for sharing and we welcome feedback on what’s important to the community and the city;
Diane Calvert Ph 029 9718944 diane@dianecalvert.nz
Simon Woolf Ph 027 975 3163 simonwoolf@xtra.co.nz

Our Vision
Our vision for Wellington is for it to be the city of creativity and great surprises. We want our city to continue to be the coolest little capital in world that has a strong pride in all its communities and a city that’s offers choice to its people (all ages) on where and how they want to live, work and play.

Key priorities

A resilient city – water, transport, housing and public amenities
• Continue to support initiatives for Wellington Water to improve our water infrastructure for both reliability and population growth ie. Prince of Wales Park – Omāroro Reservoir
• Work with multi-level apartment owners and relevant key stakeholders including government to investigate financial and programme support mechanisms ways to support seismic strengthening of vulnerable homes
• Ensure new housing development mitigates the impacts of climate change through good design
• Work with local communities on developing options to manage climate change e.g. recent engagement with Makara Beach residents, use of subsidised solar panels, water tanks etc
• Continue to support the strengthening of the Town Hall and ensure its main function of a world class auditorium is brought back into use.
• Consider the establishment of a Regional Transport Authority to improve delivery of transport infrastructure and transparency of information to the people, of not only our city but for the whole Wellington region
• Support the development of improved roads, bridges and tunnels from The Terrace through to the airport to improve connections with the east and south and enable safer and more open space within the CBD for pedestrians, cycling and activities.
• Support further development and partnership with central government for public transport to meet the current and future needs of patrons travelling from the CBD through to the east and south of the city. Ensuring any proposed investment has a strong business case, affordable for city ratepayers and not a disproportionate burden.
• Hold our supply partners- Wellington Electricity and Centreport Wellington to account for resilient structures and services
• Retain our city’s social housing and look to partner further with Housing NZ on social housing initiatives
• Partner with commercial providers to develop well-designed and affordable housing to improve supply.

Engaged Communities
• Continue to improve community engagement in setting Council’s priorities and plans
• Support more regular interaction with Councillors amongst community groups through focused forums and advisory groups
• Support Communities to establish their own community plan to connect with Council’s city wide 10 year budget and long term strategies. E.g. Karori Plan
• Provide for Aged and Ethnic Advisory forums to assist with the setting of Council priorities and services (enhancing the current network of other advisory groups)
• Take more services to the people- Improved use of Council facilities to improve engagement with suburban communities e.g. meeting space at libraries, service centres co-existing at Council community centres and or Libraries
• Ensure the current District Plan review delivers on the aspirations of Wellingtonians
• Provide for more transparency, consistency, District Plan adherence and community notification with resource consents such as for recent projects in Ngaio and Miramar
• Revitalise town and village centres through improved master planning of areas, good urban design(placemaking), and supporting local economic growth e.g. Northland, Wadestown & Miramar Peninsula
• Establish a view on the preferred population of Wellington city and surrounding areas to ensure an appropriate city growth strategy is developed.
• Increased service levels for our key parks, reserves and community centres and more support for volunteers that contribute to the upkeep of these areas
• Provide online spatial information of Council projects to enable residents to easily identify current and future activities planned for their suburbs
• Encourage and influence Independent Qualified Mediation as Council’s priority choice for dispute resolution, rather than often expensive litigation.
• Implementing and encouraging cultures and behaviours where Council deals with staff, ratepayers, stakeholders, suppliers and partnerships, in a fair and reasonable manner. The ultimate aim is to introduce a Model Litigant Policy which will assist engagement with various sectors of the Wellington city community without fear or favour.

Strong Economic Growth
• Target part of the Council’s economic development resources within WREDA (which are currently primarily focused on marketing and promotion) to focus on;
o the city’s economic development (commercial and social enterprise) across key sectors
o growing suburban economic development-
• Support the completion of a business case for an indoor arena and associated amenities near the Stadium and public transport links
• Improve engagement with hospitality and retail sectors for mutually beneficial economic growth
• Improve transparency around the City Growth Fund and linkages to key strategic outcomes

A vibrant creative sector
• Assist with nurturing and growing performing arts with affordable facilities to hire for performances
• Establish a “city” of wearable art event – leveraging off the World of Wearable art, look at how our city can “wear” art through sculptures, street art etc
• Develop a cohesive plan for city supported events and festivals to ensure a coordinated annual plan of events spread across the year and city.
• Encourage intellectual property being developed around original creative Wellington inspired events and activities.

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