Our performance in detail

2
Taiao
Environment

This chapter profiles our strategic approach, challenges and what we delivered in the environment area, which includes open spaces, waste reduction and energy conservation, water, wastewater and stormwater, and conservation attractions.

Snapshot of the city

Snapshot

2 Taiao
Environment Top

Introduction

The Council’s environment portfolio is large and diverse, encompassing green spaces, waste reduction and energy conservation, as well as water (potable, wastewater and stormwater) and conservation attractions.

Our strategic approach is guided by our drive for sustainability, our commitment to reducing the impact of climate change and our increased focus on resilience. We work to continuously improve and restore our natural areas and resources. This includes providing quality and accessible green spaces, reducing the city’s emissions, disposing of waste in sustainable ways, and supplying Wellingtonians with good-quality drinking water as well as managing the city’s wastewater and stormwater.

Some of the challenges we face are associated with maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure – our business-as-usual activities – while also undertaking work to cope with rising demand and be better prepared for unforeseen future events. Our resilience work over the past 12 months has included strengthening infrastructure like pipes and reservoirs, addressing issues like coastal erosion and looking at ways to save energy and reduce waste. This resilience work is ongoing.

Another significant highlight for this activity area is our commitment to working in partnership with government and the private sector on initiatives to reduce the impact of carbon. As part of this, we’re reviewing our Low Carbon Capital Plan in the next 10 months.

Environment performance story:

Less resident recycling, but more construction waste

Over the last 5 years, recycling rates have slightly decreased. While the exact reasons for this are unclear, they are likely to include factors such as a reduction in the use of recyclable products such as plastic and newspaper and a better understanding of what can and can’t be recycled. The Council continues to identify opportunities for improvement.

In terms of landfill tonnages, there has been a significant increase in special waste tonnages over the past few years, which includes hazardous substances like asbestos. This has been driven by significant construction and demolition work.

Source: WCC Waste Operations Source: Wellington City Council Residents monitoring survey 2018

Positive Result

97%

Target 90%

Residents (%) who regularly use Council recycling (including weekly, fortnightly or monthly use)

98% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

76%

Target 85%

Users (%) who are satisfied with the Council’s recycling collection services

77% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

52kg


 

Total kerbside recycling collected (kilograms per person)
 

54kg in 2016/17


 
Not met or decreased

478kg


 

Total waste to the landfill (kilograms per person)

447kg in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

79%

Target 90%

Users (%) who are satisfied with waste collection services

78% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

18,174 tonnes

Target more than 16,500 tonnes

Recyclable waste diverted from the landfill

18,078 in 2016/17

2.1 Ngā māra, tātahi,
whenua pārae, ngahere
Gardens, beaches and green open spacesTop

Environment performance story:

Less resident recycling, but more construction waste

Over the last 5 years, recycling rates have slightly decreased. While the exact reasons for this are unclear, they are likely to include factors such as a reduction in the use of recyclable products such as plastic and newspaper and a better understanding of what can and can’t be recycled. The Council continues to identify opportunities for improvement.

In terms of landfill tonnages, there has been a significant increase in special waste tonnages over the past few years, which includes hazardous substances like asbestos. This has been driven by significant construction and demolition work.

Source: WCC Waste Operations Source: Wellington City Council Residents monitoring survey 2018

What we did:
Positive Result

97%

Target 90%

Residents (%) who regularly use Council recycling (including weekly, fortnightly or monthly use)

98% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

76%

Target 85%

Users (%) who are satisfied with the Council’s recycling collection services

77% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

52kg


 

Total kerbside recycling collected (kilograms per person)

54kg in 2016/17

2.2 Whakaheke para, Tiaki pūngao Waste reduction and energy conservationTop

What we did:
Not met or decreased

478kg


 

Total waste to the landfill (kilograms per person)

447kg in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

79%

Target 90%

Users (%) who are satisfied with waste collection services

78% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

18,174 tonnes

Target more than 16,500 tonnes

Recyclable waste diverted from the landfill

18,078 in 2016/17

2.3 Waimāori Water supplyTop

What we did:

This activity is focused on drinking water supply and storage. Wellington Water supplies drinking water to Wellingtonians and also manages wastewater and stormwater services, while the Council owns the infrastructure. Water in Wellington is treated in one of four treatment plants in the region owned by Greater Wellington Regional Council. The Ministry of Health has established guidelines for safe drinking water: the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2008). The treatment methods – which include chlorination – are designed to produce water that meets these standards and satisfies the needs of our customers.

We completed 93 percent of planned projects within the drinking water portfolio, with three projects carrying over into the coming financial year. They are Community Infrastructure Resilience (a project for 22 water stations), the Harbourview Road and Wadestown Road watermain, and the Satara Cresent pump station upgrade. Carry forwards have been approved and work will be completed in the first quarter of 2018/19.

2.4 Waipara WastewaterTop

What we did:

We completed 92 percent of planned projects within the wastewater portfolio, with two projects carrying over into the coming financial year. They are Crawford Road sewer renewal and Dixon Street pump station. Carry forwards have been approved and work will be completed in the first quarter of 2018/19.

2.5 Waiāwhā StormwaterTop

What we did:

We completed 86 percent of planned work within the stormwater portfolio, with work on Apuka Street, Aro Street, Hunter Street and Kingsbridge being deferred until the coming financial year, and work on Kilbirnie stage 1 (pipeline) behind schedule. Carry forward of funds has been approved for stormwater upgrade work in Kilbirnie and Aro Street, and work has been reprogrammed within Our 10-Year Plan 2018-28. In Aro Street, we’ll be carrying out seismic upgrade work on an underground stormwater chamber. In Kilbirnie, the work involves laying pipes to improve stormwater flow and reduce the risk of flooding.

2.6 Ngā painga kukume whāomoomo Conservation attractionsTop

What we did:

The Zoo has completed stage 1 of its upgrade programme over the last few years. In the next stages, which were approved as part of Our 10-Year Plan 2018-28, we intend to further improve facilities to house snow leopards and cheetahs.

Environment financesTop

How it was funded

Services in this activity area are funded through a mixture of general rates, targeted rates, user charges and other revenue.

What it cost (operating expenditure $000)
  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
2.1 Gardens, beaches and green open spaces
             
Expenditure 34,609 37,640   39,088 38,662 (426)
Revenue (8,329) (4,317)   (3,980) (2,496) 1,4841
Net Expenditure 26,280 33,323   35,108 36,166 1,058
2.2 Waste reduction and energy conservation
             
Expenditure 13,661 15,586   19,329 14,614 (4,715)2
Revenue (14,391) (20,060)   (19,163) (13,632) 5,5313
Net Revenue (730) (4,475)   166 982 816
2.3 Water network
             
Expenditure 38,433 40,698   42,224 41,748 (476)
Revenue (1,712) (1,606)   (1,843) (35) 1,8084
Net Expenditure 36,721 39,093   40,381 41,713 1,332
2.4 Wastewater
             
Expenditure 41,432 42,575   43,283 44,186 9035
Revenue (3,494) (986)   (1,986) (1,293) 6936
Net Expenditure 37,938 41,589   41,297 42,893 1,596
             

  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
2.5 Stormwater
             
Expenditure 16,936 17,023   18,634 18,127 (507)7
Revenue (3,137) (762)   (2,164) (141) 2,0238
Net Expenditure 13,799 16,260   16,471 17,986 1,516
2.6 Conservation attractions
             
Expenditure 6,384 6,755   6,695 6,970 274
Revenue - -   - - -
Net Expenditure 6,384 6,755   6,695 6,970 274
Environment total
             
Expenditure 151,455 160,277   169,253 164,307 (4,946)
Revenue (31,063) (27,732)   (29,136) (17,597) 11,539
Net Expenditure 120,392 132,545   140,117 146,710 6,593
             

Variance explanations

1 Accounting for unbudgeted vested assets led to higher revenue

2 Additional volumes of waste to landfill led to higher operating costs, an increase to the closed landfill provision and higher carbon credit purchase price

3 Higher levels of contaminated and general waste resulted in revenue being ahead of budget

4 Accounting for unbudgeted vested assets led to higher revenue

5 Lower plant management costs due to reduced flows and lower disposal fees

6 Accounting for unbudgeted vested assets led to higher revenue

7 Higher depreciation and insurance costs than budgeted

8 Accounting for unbudgeted vested assets led to higher revenue

What it cost (capital expenditure $000)
  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
Brought forward from prior year 2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
2.1 Gardens, beaches and green open spaces
               
Expenditure 2,777 6,102   4,136 82 4,137 83
2.2 Waste reduction and energy conservation
               
Expenditure 723 606   2,443 373 2,071 0
2.3 Water network
               
Expenditure 14,927 14,431   14,982 - 15,530 5471
2.4 Sewage collection and disposal network
               
Expenditure 10,872 10,671   13,898 - 15,492 1,5941
               

Variance explanations

1 The planned capital works programme was reprioritised during the year from Water (2.3) and Sewage collection and disposal network (2.4) to Stormwater (2.5).


  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
Brought forward from prior year 2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
2.5 Stormwater management
               
Expenditure 4,877 7,217   9,248 - 7,420 (1,828)1
2.6 Conservation visitor attractions
               
Expenditure 2,725 1,956   720  - 841 121
Environment total
               
Expenditure 36,901 40,982   45,428 455 45,491 518
               

Environment performanceTop

The following section outlines our performance data: outcome indicators, performance measures and supplementary tables.

We use outcome indicators to monitor our city over time, which provides information on trends that may influence our performance including those outside our control.

We use performance measures to track how well we are delivering services against targets as set out in the 10-year and annual plans.

The Council undertakes the Residents’ Monitoring Survey (RMS) on an annual basis. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

Performance summary

The following table is a summary of how well we performed against our agreed outcome indicators and key performance measures for this activity area.

    Outcome indicator trends KPI compared to target KPI compared to last year

 
Positive Result Positive result 5 30 8

 
Within 5% or no change Within 5% or no change 4 4 30

 
Not met or decreased Not met or decreased 3 8 4

 
Not measured or not comparable Not measured or not comparable 1 1 1

 

Performance data – outcome indicators

The following section outlines outcome indicators for the Environment activity area. Outcome indicators do not have targets – only trend data.

Council outcome indicator Source   2015/16 2016/17   2017/18  
Open space land owned or maintained by the Council - square metres per capita and total hectares WCC Parks, Sport and Recreation Sqm Per Capita 188.1sqm 194.3sqm   191.5 sqm Not met or decreased
Open space land owned or maintained by the Council- total hectares   Hectares 3,833 4,040   4,073 Within 5% or no change
Residents' usage of the city's open spaces - local parks and reserves, botanic gardens, beaches and coastal areas, and walkways WCC RMS 2018 See supplementary tables 95% Parks & Reserves
 
94% Parks & Reserves
 
  95% Within 5% or no change
Residents (%) who agree that the natural environment is appropriately managed and protected WCC RMS 2018   79% 78%   78% Within 5% or no change
Hours worked by recognised environmental volunteer groups and botanic garden volunteers WCC Parks, Sport and Recreation   45,009 53,839   59,531 Positive Result
Water consumption (commercial and residential combined) - billion litres (downward trend is favourable) Wellington Water   24.5b 25.1b   23.1b Positive Result
Freshwater biological health (macro invertebrates) - Makara, Karori, Kaiwharawhara and Porirua streams Greater Wellington Regional Council See supplementary tables       96.6 MCIIdeal is >100 Positive Result
Karori Stream increased from 85 to 93 macro invertebrates (MCI); the desired result is over 100.  
               
Freshwater quality - Makara, Karori, Kaiwharawhara and Porirua streams (note data from Makara stream not available) Greater Wellington Regional Council See supplementary tables   Fair   2018 result reported in 2019 Within 5% or no change
River water quality has improved in the last year, but still falls short of optimal levels. We achieved a fair rating, which means we met four out of six guidelines. We can do more to influence practices that impact on stream and freshwater quality levels.  
               
Energy use per capita (MWh, downward trend is favourable) Wellington Electricity   6.67 6.29   6.01* Positive Result
*The total energy measure used in this calculation includes the Takapu Road Grid Exit Point (GXP), which includes supply to Porirua substations. The total has been adjusted to allow for this.  
               
Number/sqm of 'green star' buildings/space in the city NZ Green Building Council   204,577 m2 215,115 m2   245,467 m2 Positive Result
Total kerbside recycling collected per capita (kilograms per person) WCC Waste Operations   54.6 kg 53.8 kg   52.1 kg Not met or decreased
Total waste to the landfill per capita (kilograms per person, downward trend is favourable) WCC Waste Operations   411 447   478 Not met or decreased
Selected indicator from the City Biodiversity Index WCC Parks, Sport and Recreation Number of birds species observed at each monitoring station       13 bird species counted Not measured or not comparable

Performance data – Council performance measures

The following section outlines Council performance measures for our Environment services. It includes data for the last 3 years to show trends, and includes variances explanations for relevant areas.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
2.1 Gardens, beaches and green open spaces
To measure the quality of the open spaces we provide
Residents (%) who are satistfied with the quality and maintenance of green open spaces – local parks, playgrounds and reserves; botanic gardens; beaches and coastal areas; and walkways 85% 86%   86% 90% -4% Within 5% or no change
Number of visitors to the Botanic Gardens (including Otari-Wilton’s Bush) 1,147,067 1,042,044   1,324,892 1,280,000 4% Positive Result
Warmer temperatures and the opening of the Discovery Garden on 30 September 2017 may have contributed to an increase in visitor numbers to the Botanic Gardens.
               
To measure the quality of street cleaning services
Residents (%) who are satistfied with the quality of street cleaning 76% 74%   76% 85% -11% Not met or decreased
Measure has not changed substantially since last year, dissatisfaction comments relate to complaints around rubbish and recycling blowing around the streets.  
               
Street cleaning (%) compliance with quality performance standards 97% 97%   97% 98% -1% Within 5% or no change
To measure the quality and quantity of work we undertake to protect biodiversity
We will plant 2 million trees by 2020  1,345,773 1,571,370   1,691,656 1,690,127
(85% of 2020 target)
0.1% Positive Result
High value biodiversity sites (%) covered by integrated animal pest control or weed control 52% 62%   63% 63% 0% Positive Result
Proportion of grant funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 100% 100%   NA 95% NA Not measured or not comparable 
For the seven grants awards during 2017/18, no milestone reporting was due within the Annual Report reporting period.  
PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
2.2 Waste reduction and energy conservation
To measure the quality of waste reduction and recycling services
Users (%) who are satisfied with the Council's recycling collection services 84% 77%   76% 85% -11% Not met or decreased
Increases in developments in the northern suburbs have continued to put pressure on services throughout the city. We are working with our contractor to review collection routes to improve efficiency and address the growth in demand. Negative media around the ban of imported recycling to China may have contributed to residents’ satisfaction, but we continue to recycle 85% of our kerbside recycling on-shore in New Zealand and have found alternative South East Asian markets for mixed plastic.
               
Waste diverted from the landfill (tonnes of recyclable material) 17,431 tonnes 18,078 tonnes   18,174 tonnes at least 16,500 tonnes 10% Positive Result 
Residents (%) who regularly use Council recycling (including weekly, fortnightly or monthly use) 96% 98%   97% 90% 8% Positive Result
To measure the quality of our waste disposal services
Users (%) who are satisfied with waste collection services 85% 78%   79% 90% -12% Not met or decreased
Increases in developments in the northern suburbs have continued to put pressure on services throughout the city. We are working with our contractor to review collection routes to improve efficiency and address the growth in demand.
               
               
Energy sourced from the Southern Landfill (GWh)  7.65GWh 7.44GWh   5.496GWh 8 GWh -31% Not met or decreased
The generator at the Southern Landfill reached the end of its life, which meant that in April and May 2018 it could not fulfil its normal function of generating energy through the destruction of gas emitted from the landfill. This accounts for 20 percent of the variance.
               
To measure the amount (quantity) of the Council’s energy consumption and emissions
WCC corporate energy use (including WCC general, pools and recreation centres, and CCOs) - Decrease in energy use from previous year (1 GWh gigawatt hour = 1,000,000 kWh kilowatt hours) 48.828 GWh 50.926 GWh*   46.952 GWh* Decrease in energy in use from previous year Met 8% decrease Positive Result
The year-end figure from 2016/17 has been adjusted to 50.9 GWh (down from 51.1) to reflect actual year-end result. Some of the readings contributing to the 2017/18 results are an estimate at time of publication.
               
WCC corporate greenhouse gas emissions - reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 (tonnes). 92,832 92,681   90,076 80% reduction by 2050 Met Positive Result
PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
2.3 Water
To measure the quality of water supplied to residents and the services that ensure security of supply
Compliance with Drinking Water Standards for NZ 2005 (revised 2008) (Part 4 bacterial compliance criteria) and (Part 5 protozoal compliance criteria)  100% Achieved 100% Achieved   100% Achieved 100% Achieved 0% Positive Result
A boil water notice was issued for PCC’s Pukerua Bay drinking water network after E. coli was found following third-party damage to the wastewater and drinking-water networks. However, the positive E. coli results were within the acceptable Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand compliance tolerance. The Drinking Water Assessor has confirmed that Wellington Water has achieved full (100%) compliance with the Drinking-water Standards.
               
Maintenance of water supply quality gradings from Ministry of Health Maintained Maintained   Maintained Maintain 0% Positive Result
Customer satisfaction with water supply 91% 90%   89% 90% -1% Within 5% or no change 
Number of complaints, per 1000 connections, about:
(a) drinking water clarity
(b) drinking water taste
(c) drinking water odour
(d) drinking water pressure or flow
(e) drinking water continuity of supply
(f) responsiveness to drinking water complaints
13 13.84   13.35 <2015/2016 baseline -3% Within 5% or no change
Median response time for:              
a) attendance for urgent call-outs 50
minutes
51
minutes
  46
minutes
60 minutes 23% Positive Result
b) resolution for urgent call-outs 2.8 hours 3.23 hours   3.77 hours 4 hours 6% Positive Result
c) attendance for non-urgent call-outs 28.7 hours 44.8 hours   52.8 hours 36 hours -47% Not met or decreased
d) resolution for non-urgent call-outs 46.35 hours (1.93 days) 2.93 days   3.72 days 15 days 75% Positive Result 
The number of water network bursts and leaks has been significantly higher than normal during this year’s extended summer period. This is evident across the region and has meant that the initial response to lower priority (non‐urgent) jobs has been slower, as more urgent jobs take precedence. The number of reported leaks is dropping and contractors are working to clear the backlog of non‐urgent jobs.
               
Percentage of real water loss from networked reticulation system 12% 8%   17% <14% -21% Not met or decreased
The water loss estimate is higher than desired level and is likely to include high levels of water loss due to outdoor water use during the extended summer period. Responses to urgent leaks may have been slower during the dry December-January period, leading to more waste. Reported water leaks came back down to normal levels in March. Work is ongoing to find and fix network leaks.
               
               
Average drinking water consumption per resident per day 369 litres 364 litres   361 litres 375 litres 4% Positive Result
Number of unplanned supply cuts per 1000 connections 1.20 0.71   0.67 <4 83% Positive Result 
The year-end figure has met target due to the low number of unplanned supply cuts in the network. The result for this KPI depends on the amount of reactive work on the water network, which itself is subject to variables such as pipe materials and age, ground movement, traffic loading and soil condition.
PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
2.4 Wastewater
To measure the quality and timeliness of the wastewater service
Number of wastewater reticulation incidents per km of reticulation pipeline (blockages)  0.57 0.64   0.47 <=1.2 61% Positive Result
The year-end figure has met the target and is lower than in previous years due to the low number of pipeline (blockages) in the network. Results for this KPI depend on pipe blockages in the wastewater network, which cannot be easily predicted.
               
Dry weather wastewater overflows/1000 connections 0.55 0.46   0.17 0 not met Not met or decreased
There were 12 dry weather network overflows, which is less than half as many as last year. Eight were due to blockages, three were due to main faults and one was due to a broken air valve. All of these have been investigated and fixed.
               
Customers (%) who were satisfied with the wastewater service 84% 82%   82% 75% 9% Positive Result
Number of complaints, per 1000 connections, about:
(a) wastewater odour
(b) wastewater system faults
(c) wasterwater system blockages
(d) responsiveness to wastewater issues
22 19.72   16.5 <2015/2016 baseline met Positive Result
Median response time for wastewater overflows – attendance time 0.73 hours 0.77 hours
(~46 minutes)
  0.72 hours (~43 minutes) <= 1 hour 28% Positive Result 
Median response time for wastewater overflows – resolution time 2.35 hours 2.68 hours   2.9 hours <= 6 hours 52% Positive Result
Wellington Water continue to deliver well within the target times.  
               
To measure the impact of wastewater on the environment
Breaches of resource consents for discharges from wastewater system. Number of:
- abatement notices
- infringement notices
- enforcement orders
- convictions
for discharges from wastewater system.
1 0   0 0 met Positive Result
PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
2.5 Stormwater
To measure the quality and timeliness of the stormwater service
Number of pipeline blockages per km of pipeline 0.04 0.04   0.03 <=0.5 94% Positive Result
Customers (%) who were satisfied with stormwater management 68% 62%   62% 75% -17% Not met or decreased
The survey result is comparable to the previous year and remains below target. Comments from respondents reflected concerns with flooding and blockages after heavy rain. Our 10-Year Plan 2018-28 includes funding to improve stormwater performance.
               
Number of complaints about stormwater system performance per 1000 connections 12 10.45   7.65 <2015/2016 baseline Met Positive Result 
Median response time to attend a flooding event 49 min 57 min   45 min <= 60 min 25% Positive Result
Wellington Water continue to deliver well within the target times.  
               
To measure the impact of stormwater on the environment
Breaches of resource consents for discharges from stormwater system. Number of:
- abatement notices
- infringement notices
- enforcement orders
- convictions
for discharges from stormwater system.
0 0   0 0 Met Positive Result
Number of flooding events 1 6   2 trend only Met Positive Result
Number of habitable floors per 1000 connected homes per flooding event 0.14 0.11   0.013 trend only Met Positive Result
Habitable floor refers to a floor of a building (including a basement) but does not include ancillary structures such as stand-alone garden sheds or garages.
There were two confirmed habitable floors affected in two flooding events in July 2017. Both events affected the same property, causing the lower floor to be flooded as minor slips caused by rainfall blocked a nearby culvert. We have cleared the slips as well as secondary flow paths to avoid further flooding in case of another slip.
               
Percentage of days during the bathing season (1 November to 31 March) that the monitored beaches are suitable for recreational use 100% 99.9%   100% 90% 11% Positive Result
The beach “suitability for use” measure is based on how many times the monitored beaches had information signs erected due to water quality criteria triggering a public health risk warning. Only one health notice was issued and this was outside the bathing season.
               
Percentage of monitored sites that have a rolling 12-month median value for E.coli (dry weather samples) that do not exceed 1000 cfu/100ml 93% 96%   93% 90% 3% Positive Result
PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
2.6 Conservation attractions
To measure the success of our investments in conservation attractions
Wellington Zoo – visitors 260,809 230,632   249,701 240,854 4% Positive Result
Zealandia – visitors 125,849 125,179   132,288 96,500 37% Positive Result
Visitor numbers for 2017/18 were a record 132,288, up 5.7 percent from the previous year. Guided tours are becoming an increasingly popular way for visitors to experience Zealandia. Over the year, 18,000 people experienced Zealandia via a tour, which represents a 50 percent increase from the previous year.
               

Performance data – supplementary tables
Residents' usage of the city's open spaces - local parks and reserves, botanic gardens, beaches and coastal areas, and walkways Weekly    
2015 2016 2017   2018
Coastal areas or beaches 22% 21% 21%   21%
Botanic gardens 6% 4% 5%   5%
Parks and Reserves 21% 22% 20%   22%
Town Belt or Outer Green Belt 11% 12% 15%   13%
Walking tracks 17% 16% 17%   19%
Sportsfields 13% 11% 11%   13%

Source: Wellington City Council Residents' Monitoring Survey 2018

Residents' usage of the city's open spaces - local parks and reserves, botanic gardens, beaches and coastal areas, and walkways At least Yearly    
2015 2016 2017   2018
Coastal areas or beaches 96% 95% 95%   95%
Botanic gardens 87% 86% 86%   87%
Parks and Reserves 96% 95% 94%   95%
Town Belt or Outer Green Belt 78% 78% 80%   78%
Walking tracks 82% 80% 81%   82%
Sportsfields 60% 60% 59%   61%

Source: Wellington City Council Residents' Monitoring Survey 2018

Freshwater biological health (macro invertebrates) – Makara, Karori, Kaiwharawhara and Porirua streams 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Makara Stream 107 114 not sampled not sampled
Karori Stream 92 85 85 93.1
Kaiwharawhara Stream 96 82 71 98.6
Porirua Stream (at milk depot)       98.1
Location of measure changes        
Porirua Stream (Wall park)   81 81  
Porirua Stream (Glenside)   94 100  
Data for 2017/18 will be available in 2019       Average 96.6
The Macroinvertebrate Community Index (MCI), an index of sensitivity to a wide range of environmental variables, is used to assess stream health. As shown in the next table, the desired values vary depending on the river class. We aim to achieve levels greater than 100 MCI. Increases in biological health were recorded for the three streams above, however overall water quality was still only fair.

Source: Greater Wellington Regional Council

River class MCI quality class (2016/17 MCI score) Plan outcomes
​(MCI scores based on three year rolling mean)
    Poor Fair Good Excellent All rivers Significant rivers
1 Steep, hard sedimentary <110 110-120 120-130 ≥130 ≥120 ≥130
2 Mid-gradient, coastal and hard sedimentary <80 80-105 105-130 ≥130 ≥105 ≥130
3 Mid-gradient, soft sedimentary <80 80-105 105-130 ≥130 ≥105 ≥130
4 Lowland, draining ranges <90 90-110 110-130 ≥130 ≥110 ≥130
5 Lowland, large, draining plains and eastern Wairarapa <80 80-105 100-120 ≥120 ≥100 ≥130
6 Lowland, small <80 80-105 100-120 ≥120 ≥100 ≥130
Freshwater quality – Makara, Karori, Kaiwharawhara and Porirua streams 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Makara Stream Poor Fair Fair Not sampled
Karori Stream Poor Fair Fair Fair
Kaiwharawhara Stream Fair Fair Fair Fair
Porirua Stream NA Poor Fair Fair
Fair equals three or four out of six variables (one of which must be dissolved oxygen) to meet guideline values. More information on river health monitoring can be found at http://www.gw.govt.nz/Annual-monitoring-reports

Source: Greater Wellington Regional Council


Case study Virtual grid programmeTop

Tom Pettit moved from Baltimore to Wellington in 2012 to attend Victoria University, where his wife had won a scholarship to study. Tom took the opportunity to complete a Master’s degree in public policy.

Since he joined the Council over 4 years ago, Tom has worked in research, strategy and sustainability. He currently holds the title of Sustainability Manager.

“Sustainability is something I’m really passionate about,” he says. And he believes he’s not alone.

“Wellingtonians are far-sighted and they care a lot about the future,” he says.

The areas he works on range from electric vehicle charging to home energy efficiency. A highlight this year has been the implementation of a neighbourhood power grid programme carried out in partnership with Contact Energy and Wellington Electricity. Tom worked on the project alongside Donna Wilson and Mark Noyes in the Council’s community services team.

The aim is to make houses not just lower their carbon emissions but be more resilient in the event of an earthquake. As part of this pilot, the Council invested $72,000 to help equip 24 Wellington households with a battery backup system and a 200L water tank after purchasing a solar roof array.

The programme involves homeowners willing to invest $15,000 in the initiative. These households are using their new systems to connect with and support their neighbours, inviting them to share their electricity backup in the case of a power outage. This means a more efficient and sustainable energy infrastructure and better neighbourhood connectedness.

The idea that sustainability begins at home is one that Tom practises in his own life. “I have a compost bin in my backyard and I bike to work every day,” he says.

Change won’t happen overnight, he says.

“For most of us, it can be challenging to immediately see the long-term value of changing ingrained habits – even when the rewards are significant.”

“Our job at the Council is to communicate that.”

Sustainability Manager Tom Pettit