We are responsible for community wellbeing
Wellington City Council is made up of 15 elected representatives – the Mayor and 14 Councillors. It’s their job to make bylaws, set the city’s overall strategic direction, and approve budgets, policies and plans aimed at achieving that direction. Part of their role is to listen and take the pulse of the community before making decisions. They are supported in their governance role by two community boards.
The elected representatives are supported by the Council’s Chief Executive and 1550 staff, who provide advice, implement Council decisions, and look after the city’s day-to-day operations.
In June 2012 the Council adopted the 2012–22 Long-term Plan. This plan outlined the services we planned to deliver for the next 10 years.
This Annual Report explains how we’ve delivered on year one of the Long-term Plan.
The Long-term Plan outlined our vision for the city – Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital, which contains four outcomes for the city: to be people centred, connected, an eco-city and have a dynamic central city. These outcomes guide our decisions about our services and what we plan to do. The Long-term Plan also outlined three priorities to guide us for the next three years: an inclusive place where talent wants to live; a resilient city; and a well managed city.
We will work with other organisations to further these community outcomes
These outcomes and priorities are structured around seven areas. The chapters in this report highlight progress towards those outcomes.
The seven chapters are:
Governance – delivering trust and confidence in decision-making.
Environment – protecting and enhancing Wellington’s environment.
Economic development – promoting the city’s competitive advantages to enhance quality of life.
Cultural wellbeing – reflecting and helping shape Wellington’s unique cultural identity.
Social and recreation – sustaining safe, resilient, and healthy communities.
Urban development – preserving Wellington as a compact, vibrant, and attractive city now and into the future.
Transport – delivering an efficient and safe transport system that connects people and places.
In this report you’ll be able to find information about the state of the city – everything from the transport network to the state of the environment to the strength of Wellington’s communities.
For each activity we explain:
What we do – an outline of the scope of our work under the activity.
Contribution – how our activities contribute towards our outcomes.
Key projects – a description of milestones and activities achieved during the year.
What it cost – a summary financial table for that activity.
How we performed – an outline of results against targets. We place these in the context of past results and next year’s targets where appropriate.
The performance information is drawn from a wide variety of sources, including annual surveys of Wellington residents.
In recent years the survey has consisted of two separate surveys of Wellington residents, one focusing on the Council and one on the CCOs, as well as a survey of residents across New Zealand focusing on Wellington’s reputation across the country.
In 2012, two of the three surveys were changed from telephone surveys to online surveys. In 2013, all of the surveys were conducted online (80 percent using the Council’s newly established research panel and 20 percent from an external research panel).
The Council’s research panel members were recruited using a third party media company. Invitations were sent to individuals to sign up – but were only accepted as members if they met quotas around age, gender and electoral ward to ensure the panel is representative of Wellington. No panel members were self selected.
This change was carried out because:
Between the 2012 and 2013 years, some measures in the RMS show a drop in people rating the Council and its CCOs positively. In some cases the drop is large. In most cases this is represented by an increase in the ‘neutral’ response as well as an increase in negative ratings.
Some of the decline is due to the change in methodology. There is a tendency to respond more negatively when answering a question anonymously in written form, as opposed to a person on the telephone. In some cases it has been shown that people respond more truthfully when answering about something that is socially desirable.
Consequently, care should be taken when comparing the results of the survey in 2013 with results from previous years. In this report, we have drawn a line between the results of this year and those of previous years to highlight the change in the survey methodology. We have also tried to identify factors that may have contributed to the change in result where appropriate.
Regardless of the change in method, the Council is taking the results seriously. In particular the Council is exploring further the following areas, which show some of the largest increases in negative ratings:
The Council needed to make this change in how the survey was conducted at some point for a number of reasons as noted above. We chose to coincide the change with the start of a new Long-term Plan period and with the introduction of some new measures. Therefore, the results of this year’s surveys can now be viewed as a new benchmark for residents’ satisfaction.