Report on Council-Controlled Organisations

In order to achieve our objectives for Wellington, we have established several companies and trusts. These organisations were set up to independently manage Council facilities, or to deliver significant services and undertake development on behalf of the Wellington community. Where necessary, we provide funding to support their operations and capital investment requirements.

The following pages explain what the organisations do, how their performance is measured, and how they performed during 2012/13.

Wellington Regional Stadium Trust

All of the trustees are jointly appointed by the Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC).

As at 30 June 2013, they are John Shewan (Chair), Councillor Chris Laidlaw (GWRC), Sir John Anderson, Liz Dawson, Sue Elliott, Mark McGuinness and Councillor John Morrison (WCC).

David Gray retired as Chief Executive on 30 June 2013 and Shane Harmon is the new Chief Executive from July 2013.
The Wellington Regional Stadium Trust owns, operates and maintains the Stadium as a high quality multi purpose sporting and cultural venue. It provides facilities to be used for rugby, cricket and other sports codes, musical and cultural events, and other users including sponsors and event and fixture organisers.   The Trust:
  • operates the Stadium 
  • manages the event programme and seeks opportunities to provide regular quality events 
  • ensures the Stadium is provided to the community for appropriate usage 
  • administers the Trust assets and the Stadium on a prudent commercial basis.
Number of events 47 52
Total revenue $15.13 million $16.70 million*
Event revenue $4.69 million $6.10 million*
Net surplus $2.32 million $3.06 million*

Note: the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust is not formally defined as a Council-Controlled Organisation. This report on their activities is presented to recognise the interest that Wellington City ratepayers have in the Trust and its activities.

* Subject to final audit and trustee approval.

Partnership Wellington Trust (trading as Positively Wellington Tourism)Top

All trustees are appointed by the Council.  

As at 30 June 2013, they are Mike O’Donnell (Chair), Ed Sims, Sarah Gibbs, Councillor Jo Coughlan, Howard Greive and Chris Wilkinson.

The Chief Executive is David Perks.    
The Partnership Wellington Trust markets and adds value to Wellington to achieve sustainable economic growth for the people of the city.  

It acts to enhance the recognition of Wellington as a desirable visitor destination, enhance the profile of city businesses and to promote strategic alliances and private sector partnerships, and maximise the city’s share of regional spending.  

It also promotes community focused initiatives, aims to improve the sustainability of Wellington’s commercial sector through its marketing initiatives, and facilitates the coordination of marketing initiatives that are appropriate to its objectives.
The Trust:
  • promotes Wellington as a visitor destination in national and international markets
  • markets Wellington as a convention and conference destination 
  • provides visitor information services
  • runs initiatives that promote retail growth, including the downtown retail campaign
  • profiles Wellington’s strengths in arts, sport and education attractions, and conducts development of an ongoing events profile for the city
  • facilitates the development of new tourism and event product, and the development of the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market
  • manages Wellington’s destination profile on the internet
  • conducts research and analysis of the tourism industry.
International direct arrivals to Wellington Airport from Australia Increase Australian visitor arrivals by 7% over 2011/12 levels -0.67%
International visitor nights Maintain international visitor room nights relative to 2011/12 level -13.34%31
New Zealand visitor nights Domestic visitor nights increased by 2% relative to 2011/12 levels +7.05%32
Weekend occupancy in partner hotels (capacity aligned) Increased by 2% relative to 2011/12 levels +1.0%
Downtown weekend visitation  Maintained at 2011/12 levels -0.85%
i-SITE revenue Maintained at 2011/12 levels -1.9%33
Cost effectiveness Maintain Council’s funding at 50% or less of Wellington’s marketing activity investment 48.7%
Visits to 10% increase over 2011/12 levels +25%
Online revenue Generate $680k of bookings through the site $569k34

Wellington Museums TrustTop

All trustees are appointed by the Council.  

As at 30 June 2013, they are Quentin Hay (Chair), Councillor Ahipene-Mercer, Philip Shewell, Jackie Lloyd and Alick Shaw. The Chief Executive is Pat Stuart.  
The Wellington Museums Trust (WMT) was established in 1995 to promote and manage the City Gallery Wellington, the Museum of Wellington City & Sea, the Colonial Cottage, Capital E, the Wellington Cable Car Museum, the New Zealand Cricket Museum and the Carter Observatory. The Trust has a management agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Museum.

​It manages and develops the Trust programmes and services, and acquires and manages collections for the benefit of Wellington. It provides advice to the Council for the development of museum and gallery services in Wellington, establishes exhibition programmes and education policies for its facilities, and develops acquisition, deaccession and collection development policies. It liaises with Positively Wellington Tourism to enhance its attraction to Wellington’s visitors.  
The Trust:
  • delivers high-quality experiences, events and exhibitions at its facilities
  • manages conservation and care for the objects of its collections, and conducts research and development to enhance visitors’ experiences
  • offers quality education experiences to children and young people
  • promotes and protects the heritage of venues 
  • develops and operates the Soundhouse Studio 
  • works with national and international artists and collectors.
Attendance targets:    
City Gallery 143,000 161,681
Capital E 102,000 100,32935
Museum of Wellington 93,800 98,605
Colonial Cottage 2,100 1,825
Cable Car Museum 227,000 235,866
NZ Cricket Museum 2,100 1,895
Carter Observatory 50,000 48,820
Subsidy per customer (excludes Plimmer's Ark, but includes rental subsidy) $13.04 $12.44
Carter Observatory subsidy per customer $7.78 $6.15
Percentage of visitors to all Trust institutions who rate the quality of their experience as good or very good 90% on average 94%
Percentage of visitors to all Trust institutions are repeat visitors 27% 48%
Percentage of all residents are aware of Trust institutions Approximately 88% (across all institutions) 86%

Wellington Venues Limited (trading as Positively Wellington Venues)Top

All trustees are appointed by the Council.  

​As at 30 June 2013, they are Chris Parkin (Chair), Councillor Ngaire Best, Councillor Paul Eagle, Mike Egan, Samantha Sharif, Lorraine Witten, Linda Rieper and Daniel Bridges. The Chief Executive is Glenys Coughlan.  
Wellington Venues Limited exists to manage and promote Wellington’s major events venues, including the Michael Fowler Centre, Town Hall, St James Theatre and Opera House as venues, and to help establish Wellington as the premier city for events and conferences.     Wellington Venues Ltd:
  • manages and operates Venues and any related events business  
  • advocates for the venue and event sector for the benefit of the residents of Wellington  
  • works to achieve greater community access to the venues’ facilities  
  • develops and maintains beneficial relationships with other national and international institutions, supports Positively Wellington Tourism, and develops new initiatives in its role as a key provider of event and performance venues.
​​Venue hire days
103236 953
Performance days and revenues​ 655 600; revenue targets met
Convention and events days and revenues 377 352; revenue targets met
Maintain appropriate mix of commercial and community hires​ Maintain appropriate mix of commercial and community hires Achieved
Pan-venue asset management Pan-venue asset management Achieved
Reduced environmental footprint targets Reduced environmental footprint targets Ongoing
Joint marketing with PWT and other partners Continuing joint marketing with PWT and other partners such as a joint Australian marketing initiative with PWT aimed at the Wellington conference and events market Ongoing
Contingency plan for seismic strengthening of Town Hall Contingency plan for seismic strengthening of Town Hall Achieved

Lambton Harbour Management Limited (trading as Wellington Waterfront Limited)Top

The Council is the 100% shareholder in this company and appoints all of the directors.  

​As at 30 June 2013, they are Robert Gray (Chair), Councillor Justin Lester, Derek McCorkindale and
Jane Black. The Chief Executive is Ian Pike.  
Wellington Waterfront Limited acts as the implementation manager for the waterfront development area. This means ensuring that the waterfront area is recognised locally and internationally for its design; is attractive; caters for a wide range of activities; is readily accessible to all people; and is both safe and perceived to be safe. Wellington Waterfront Limited also acts to protect significant heritage buildings on the waterfront, and makes sure that activities on the waterfront are integrated with those on the harbour.   The company:
  • implements the objectives of the Waterfront Framework as outlined in the Waterfront development Plan 
  • demonstrates willingness to engage with the public about how the waterfront is developed  
  • manages day-to-day operations on the waterfront, including cleaning, security and maintenance 
  • negotiates and manages contracts for the design and construction of the waterfront’s public spaces 
  • negotiates and manages contracts and leases for all building development sites, and the refurbishment and re-use of existing buildings 
  • owns and manages the marina.  
​​Percentage of residents visiting the waterfront 95% 99%
Percentage of residents satisfied with the waterfront 90% 99%
Number of project milestones achieved on time Number of project milestones achieved on time:  
wharf pile refurbishment of Queens Wharf
Complete the urban design proposal for OPT public space and achieve TAG sign-off Ongoing
  Progress the development of Site 10 and complete stage 2 of Kumutoto development Ongoing
Deliver the proposed diving platform within the Circa cut-out space (Q2) Achieved
Have approved the long-term development proposal for Shed 1 (Q4) Project Deferred37
Successfully complete the marketing and sale of the Shed 5 long-term lease (Q2) Achieved
Meet the contractual milestones in the MOU with Te Papa for the Transition Building, Waitangi Park (Q4) Ongoing

Wellington Cable Car LimitedTop

The Council is the 100% shareholder in this company and appoints all of the directors.  

​As at 30 June 2013, they are Roger Drummond (Chair), Nicki Crauford, and Anthony Briscoe. The Chief Executive is Des Laughton.  
Wellington Cable Car Limited owns and operates the Cable Car as an efficient, reliable and safe transport service and a uniquely Wellington tourism asset.   It also owns and maintains the overhead wiring system for the trolley bus passenger network which services the city.   The company:
  • maintains the cable cars and associated track, plant, tunnels, bridges and buildings in accordance with best engineering practice, and to meet the certification requirements of the NZTA 
  • manages the cable car passenger service operation 
  • markets the cable car 
  • identifies options for enhancing the cable car travel and tourism experience 
  • specifies and controls the contract for the inspection, maintenance and repair of the trolley bus overhead wiring system.
Cable car passenger numbers 1,073,000 1,060,458
All cable car vehicles and associated buildings and equipment are maintained to required safety standards Achieved Achieved
Cable car service reliability Greater than 99% 99.8%
Percentage of residents who have used the cable car in the last 12 months 30% 46%
Percentage of users who rate the standard and operational reliability of the cable car as good or very good 95% 94%

Capacity Infrastructure Services LimitedTop

Wellington City Council and Hutt City Council are equal 50% shareholders in this Council-Controlled Trading Organisation, and between them appoint all of the directors. The company is overseen by a board of directors made up of two Councillors (one from each council) and four independent directors (two are appointed jointly by the councils). Each council continues to own its respective water, stormwater and wastewater assets and determines the level and standard of services to be provided to its customers and ratepayers.  

As at 30 June 2013, the Councillor appointees are Andy Foster (Wellington City Council) and David Bassett (Hutt City Council). The four independent directors are Peter Allport (Chair), Peter Leslie, Ian Hutchings and John Strahl. The Chief Executive is
David Hill.  

Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council and Upper Hutt City Council have agreed to move Capacity Infrastructure Services Ltd to an outcomes based business model, which is designed to allow for the better development of a coherent regional strategy on delivering future three-waters services. They have also agreed to Upper Hutt City Council joining as a shareholder of Capacity. Porirua City Council is currently considering a proposal to become a customer and shareholder of Capacity. If both Upper Hutt City Council and Porirua City Council join as shareholders, Wellington City Council’s percentage of voting shares will reduce to 25%.  

The shareholding changes and shift to the outcomes focused operating model are anticipated to be effective from 1 October 2013.
The objective of Capacity is to manage the provision of water services (water supply, stormwater and wastewater) to the residents and businesses in the areas served by its customers. Capacity’s current customers are Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council and Upper Hutt City Council.  
  • The company’s purpose is to provide high-quality, safe and environmentally sustainable services to shareholding councils and other customers with a principal focus on asset management planning and contracted service delivery for the operation, maintenance and ongoing development of drinking water, stormwater and wastewater assets and services.  
  • The company is committed to ensuring all work managed on behalf of customers accords with the highest standards of health and safety for those involved in the work and for the general public. The company will continually seek opportunities to integrate water, stormwater and wastewater activities within the Wellington region where such integration can deliver least cost, best practice outcomes to the benefit of shareholder councils and other entities.
  • See also the Environment strategic area for more information on water, stormwater and wastewater services.
Provide a reliable water supply, wastewater and stormwater service. Fewer than four unplanned supply cuts (pipe bursts) per 1000 connections Achieved (1.3 unplanned supply cuts per 1000 connections)
Develop and complete asset management plans Within agreed timeframe Achieved (within agreed timeframe)
Deliver budgeted capital expenditure projects for respective councils Within agreed timeframes and budget Achieved (within agreed timeframes and budget)
Deliver budgeted operating and maintenance activities for respective councils Within agreed timeframes and budget Achieved (within agreed timeframes and budget)
Manage and operate Capacity within its budget Within agreed budget Achieved (within agreed budget)
Comply with relevant standards, legislation and resource consents Achieve full compliance Achieved full compliance38

Wellington Zoo TrustTop

The Wellington Zoo Trust was established on 1 July 2003 and all of the trustees are appointed by the Council.

As at 30 June 2013, they are Ross Martin (Chair), Frances Russell, Linda Meade, Alan Dixson, and Councillor Simon Marsh.
The Wellington Zoo Trust manages the assets and operations of Wellington Zoo for the benefit of the residents of Wellington and visitors to the city. It promotes species conservation, educates the community by building an awareness of plant and animal species, and supports the conservation and educational activities of other organisations.
  • Cares for resident animals and manages the animal collection.
  • Provides a high-quality visitor experience
  • Participates in captive management breeding and breed-for-release programmes.
  • Develops and maintains high quality animal exhibits.
  • Delivers educational material and learning experiences.
  • Contributes to zoological, conservation and facilities management research projects.
Number of visitors
206,703 232,130
Conservation Programme Managed Species (% of total collection)
41% 39.8%
Average Council subsidy per visitor
$13.54 $12.06
Annual fundraising target for Zoo Capital Plan
$468,693 $406,538
Average income per visitor (excluding Council grant)
$14.88 $13.81
Ratio of generated Trust income as % of Council grant
110% 115%

Basin Reserve TrustTop

There are four trustees, of whom two are appointed by the Council and two by Cricket Wellington.

As at 30 June 2013, the two trustees appointed by the Council are Councillor John Morrison and Sir John Anderson. The two trustees appointed by Cricket Wellington are Don Neely and Douglas Catley (Chair). The Chief Executive of Cricket Wellington is Peter Clinton.
The Basin Reserve Trust manages and operates the Basin Reserve to continue to attract national and international sporting events to Wellington. The Trust:
  • manages the Basin Reserve for recreational activities and the playing of cricket for the residents of Wellington
  • contributes to the events programme for Wellington
  • operates as a successful not-for profit undertaking
  • preserves and enhances the heritage value of the Basin Reserve.
Number of events:    
cricket 15 20
other sports 6 1
community 2 1
Number of
event days:
cricket 34 32
other sports 6 1
community 2 1
Attendance figures 34,800 32,878

31The 2011/12 figures are still impacted by the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
32This increase is due to a strong domestic marketing campaign and events schedule.
33The slight drop in i-SITE revenue reflects the drop in international nights/numbers to Wellington, but additional revenue sources from snapper and dash tickets has helped offset this.
34Whilst was the first online booking channel available in New Zealand, there are now larger global channels in the online market.
35Capital E, Carter Observatory and the Colonial Cottage were all affected by building issues, the most significant being the Capital E building which was assessed as earthquake prone in November 2012.
36This is calculated as the total number of hires at the venue, as opposed to actual days, as venues can be hired for multiple events within one day.
37 While planning continued through the year on specific projects within the Queens Wharf precinct, it was determined that a viable development proposal for Shed 1 was not achievable at this time in the current economic climate.
38Compliance report from GWRC not due until later in 2013.