Inner City Wellington calls for further funding to combat anti-social behaviour

In its submission to the Wellington City Council's draft Annual Plan 2017/18, Inner-City Wellington (ICW) supports the proposed $75,000 for a business case but calls for more funding in the next financial year to deal with the anti-social behaviour on city streets.

ICW suggests funding to combat anti-social behaviour should come from reducing the substantial allocation of $500,000 to a new public event celebrating Matariki and new winter outdoor events by 50%.  

Geraldine Murphy, Deputy Chair, says “the business case is investing in a long-term solution to ongoing homelessness, which relies on gaining operational funding for it to be implemented.  The suite of projects that are to be developed to address anti-social behaviour on our streets in the interim will have no additional funding in the 17/18 financial year, on top of no tagged funding in the past financial year. “

While ICW members value the arts and culture programme in the inner city and accept that these are a major attraction for many residents and businesses, they point out the inequality in the lack of funding for operational initiatives for those who are begging on our streets.  Geraldine Murphy says “there are already a number of annual Matariki events.  WCC could support those events with additional funding rather than establish a new one”.

ICW agrees that the ‘begging’ issue is complex, but disagrees with council's policy ‘to explicitly tolerate begging as part of the cityscape’ which, as acknowledged by council, has not been effective and has resulted in an increase in antisocial behaviour on city streets.

ICW supports the proposed funding for a business case into supported accommodation for those with ongoing homelessness and wants to ensure it has input given that a central city location is proposed.  ICW wants clarification of the reference to ‘Housing First’ as used in the draft Annual Plan.

Geraldine Murphy says “The Housing First initiative that is being implemented in Auckland with significant government funding, and the existing Peoples Project in Hamilton, are both based on a set of principles. ICW wants WCC to clarify whether it is implementing a ‘Housing First’ initiative based on these principles or something else.”

On a different topic, ICW supports the seismic building intelligence system to use sensors to get real time data to track change in building structures in an earthquake as data is critical to informed decision making.  Geraldine Murphy says “Funding for this should not come from special rating or owner and industry contributions.  This data contributes to a public good of better knowledge that everyone benefits from and therefore everyone should share the cost. Clarity is also required on how the collected data can be used by WCC.”

The full submission is available on ICW website.

For further information on this or other topics in the submission: Geraldine Murphy, Deputy Chair, 0274 507804