A fundamental aspect of a democratic state is the right of its citizens to participate in decision-making processes. The success of development and participatory governance depends on both a robust state and an active society with healthy levels of civic engagement. Empowered and active citizenship is an end in itself: essential for inclusive growth and national ownership.
United Nations

Notes from 26 October 2017 meeting

Apartment Guidelines

  • No update on progress with these.  Councillors agreed to check and report back, specifically on when they will be ready for public consultation

Te Whare Oki Oki (wet house)

  • Planning slowed due to change of government
  • Indication from MSD that it needed to be bigger, ie 150 beds rather than just 14
  • Preference for a graduated model as in Auckland where it occupies 7 floors above the City Mission and there are different levels from high dependency to independent living
  • Location likely to be city fringe as Housing NZ have no inner city properties
  • No rates money will be used for this.  To be government funded.

Business Concerns

  • Hygiene issues with rough sleeping in doorways - businesses can call council to clean entranceways affected by rough sleepers, and also remove any furniture
  • Aggressive Behaviour - call police.  Problem is that response can be slow, and we lack community policing resources in Wellington's inner city, ie officers who walk the streets, engage with businesses and proactively work towards reducing these incidents.  ICW to lobby government for more community policing.
  • Public Spaces bylaw - open for public consultation 30 October.  

Future of Council Office Buildings

  • No decision yet - waiting on insurers
  • Office space leased on Terrace for council staff from 2018.

Notes from 31 August 2017 Meeting

Updates:

  • Downtown Levy – paper presented to mayor for discussion at next mayoral forum
  • Homelessness, social housing, addiction services & policing – questions to Wellington Central candidates
  • Safe Enough to Stay – ICW members participated in the inaugral seminar designed to share information across agencies re what they are working on to build resilience in Wellington City.

Design Excellence Criteria for new buildings

  • This guide is in the early stages of development and councillors promised that ICW would be involved as the project progresses.

Housing Taskforce Recommendations

  • LTP policy proposals not voted on yet.  ICW will be invited to participate at the appropriate time.

Heritage Plaque Scheme

Councillor Young updated us on progress so far saying that she has been working with Joseph Romanos from the mayor’s office on getting the first 12 plaques ready to go, and resolving issues relating to placement, eg building, fence, footpath, etc? It was acknowledged that there is potential for there to be voting for the next batch of plaques in 2018 to determine who should be featured.

Disappearing green space in the city

Concern expressed at loss of green , with projects such as Glover Park, Te NihoPark, Cobblestone Park & Volunteer's Corner now being more ‘built up’ and covered with pavement, which is contrary to what the academics are saying about the need for green spaces in a resilient city.

Councillor Pannett said that there was a central city project focused on this and agreed to supply details when released.


Notes from 29 June 2017 meeting

Social Housing

  • Te Whare Oki Oki (formerly referred to as 'wet house') - 14 bed facility with 24/7 supervision of residents. To be a long term home not a doss house. Won't be near residential buildings due to cost of real estate. Will house men and women in separate spaces. Need to find funding of $800k per year - in talks with MSD. Likely to be 12-18 months or so off.  
  • Social housing in the city - currently 350 residences short. Need to be near transport links and good services. Looking to private providers to supply affordable social housing of 1-2 bedrooms, with council guaranteeing a 15-year lease.

Begging & anti-social behaviour - strategies

  • Re-activating street outreach teams and beefing up numbers from 2 July and involving Local Hosts too. Aim is to engage with those on the street
  • Providing meaningful day-time activity - WCC Community Networks team exploring options with various providers, eg 'drop in' centres
  • 2016 begging working group to be re-established and to specifically include the retail community and the Bankers Association
  • Suggestion for ICW to meet with DHB to lobby for funding & support for council, particularly in areas of community mental health care and addiction services .

Inner city population growth - what's the plan?

Current estimated population growth for the inner city, which includes Te Aro, Wellington Central and Thorndon-Pipitea, 20,425 in 2017 to 33,420 in 2043.

Concern was expressed re population growth in the CBD considering this is the area that will likely be the hardest hit in a significant quake. It was pointed out that although some apartment buildings may be livable following such an event, that should the CBD be red zoned all residents would need to leave the city and find alternative accommodation, both potentially challenging tasks.

Also, as regards housing to accommodate the expected population growth concern was expressed that the housing workshop held recently had concentrated solely on social housing and did not take into account others who may wish to live in the inner city, in particular the elderly and families, and what their needs might be. It was suggested that council needed to develop a comprehensive holistic urban plan as everything seemed ad hoc at the moment, including approvals to raise building heights.

Report of the Housing Taskforce - http://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/news/files/2017/mayors-housing-taskforce-report.pdf  seen as a start to addressing the urgent need for more housing. 

Downtown Levy - concern was expressed at a suggestion (from elsewhere) that these funds be used for things such as addressing the begging problem, which was not the original intention. It was made clear that we would not be in favour of this at all, and indeed as a 'targeted rate' this would be unconstitutional.

Resilience Project - successful meeting held to engage with apartment dwellers and start the conversation as to how we can make the inner city more resilient. Feedback being collated by council and next steps to be advised soon.


Notes from 24 April 17 discussions with the Lambton Ward councillors; Iona Pannett, Nicola Young & Brian Dawson 

  • Annual Plan Update - discussed the key proposals in the Draft Annual Plan and the implications for the inner city.  Of particular interest for our submission is the business case for supported living for the homeless, the inclusion of future work to address the increase in anti-social behaviours, including begging, in the 'on the horizon' under development projects, seismic building intelligence system.  Discussed the Housing First approach in Auckland which is receiving approx $3.75m from Ministry of Social Development, along with $1m from Auckland Council to house 472 homeless people and then immediately put wraparound services in place to address addiction and mental health issues. ICW is keen to see a similar initiative in Wellington.
  • Forward Plan of Work Programme - ICW requested that a forward work programme be made available to help with our planning of priorities and use of resources. Councillors are also waiting for this programme.
  • Public Spaces Bylaw Review - Councillors are unclear about the timeframe and urgency for this review. It is a wide ranging bylaw, which will bring up freedom camping, begging, street signage and a raft of other matters.
  • Joint Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan - this provides highlight objectives and projects across the region, plus for Wellington City specifically.  Proposals are high level with the specifics as part of a later consultation phase.
  • Discussion on the antisocial behavior of Gorilla Man and his activities. WCC advises that his busking licence expires soon, and it will not be renewed.
  • City Shapers (formerly Wellington Waterfront) have been contacted about the need for signage for Whairepo Lagoon, previously not named and known as Frank Kitts Lagoon.
  • Seismic sensors on buildings, discussion on how body corporates could volunteer to have seismic sensors installed.  Council to discuss internally and with GNS and Quake Core.  

23 Feb 2017

The first of our bi monthly meetings with the Lambton Ward councillors Iona Pannett, Nicola Young & Brian Dawson. Here's what they said...

  • Public space bylaw review - advised of forthcoming review and subsequently ICW reps participated in an initial meeting to inform the scope of the review
  • Renaming of Frank Kitts lagoon - Whai Repo (refers to the eagle rays that come into the lagoon).  We asked what happened to the proposed name following consultation.  Clr Young followed up with Ian Pyke of Lambton Harbour Management who said that it had been approved by the NZ Geographic Board but wasn't being actively promoted. Reluctance to put signs up as too many signs already. Expectation was that use would come from being used, but not sure how that happens when no one knows the name.  
  • Begging - update on what steps WCC was taking to implement the policy it agreed on; no further resources had been allocated and Clr Dawson was working with officers to investigate other options and establish costs. Discussed that retailers are not aware that street furniture can be removed and they need to log it with WCC.