Our performance in detail

6
Tāone tupu ora
Urban development

This chapter profiles our strategic approach, challenges and what we delivered in the urban development area, which includes urban planning, heritage and public spaces development, and building and development control.

Snapshot of the city

Snapshot

6 Tāone tupu ora
Urban development Top

Introduction

Our strategic approach is to make sure the city remains liveable even as our population grows and challenges around seismic risk and climate change increase. We want housing to remain affordable. We also want to maintain the city’s unique character, protect heritage, and to improve its resilience so it is better able to withstand future shocks and stresses.

Key challenges include increasing housing supply amid rising construction costs, making our inner city resilient and liveable as population density grows, and supporting more sustainable land use and transport options to accommodate more people in the city.

Significant highlights this year included public space improvements on the waterfront and the upgrade of Lombard Lane, and our continued efforts to simplify and streamline the building consenting process. Now 80 percent of building consents are lodged via GoShift, our electronic portal for building consent applications that allows customers to track progress. We are exploring how this might be rolled out across other consenting processes.

We’ve carried out strengthening works around the city. That includes work around the waterfront and the facades and parapets of 59 at-risk buildings. The resource consent for the strengthening of the Town Hall has been approved and building consent has been lodged. The resilience work will continue over the next years as part of our commitments in Our 10-Year Plan 2018-28.

Urban development performance story:

Heading in the right direction

The number of residents who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive dropped 20 percent, failing to meet the 60 percent target for the financial year. The 2018 Residents’ Monitoring Survey shows that people are much happier in the city centre than in the suburbs. Eighty-six percent of residents found the city centre lively and attractive while only 48 percent thought that about their suburban centre.

The value of residential building consents rose 34 percent to $440 million. Eighty percent of all building consent applications are now being lodged via GoShift, the Council’s electronic portal.

Not met or decreased

48%

Target 60%

Residents (%) who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive

50% in 2016/17

More than 50% of residents do not feel that their local suburban centre is lively and attractive. For more details refer to Performance data – Council performance measures.

 
Positive Result

$440m

 

Value of residential building consents

$329m in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

$272m

 

Value of non-residential building consents

$477m in 2016/17


 
Within 5% or no change

91%

Target 100%

Building consents issued within 20 working days

87% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

26%

 

Residents (%) who state there are urban design/urban form safety issues (poorly maintained or dangerous public areas such as streets, paths and parks)

32% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

55%


 

Residents (%) who state there are urban design/urban form safety issues (poorly lit or dark public areas such as streets, paths and parks)

59% in 2016/17

6.1 Whakamahere tāone / whakawhanake wāhi tuku
iho tūmatanui
Urban planning, heritage and public spaces developmentTop

Urban development performance story:

Heading in the right direction

The number of residents who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive dropped 20 percent, failing to meet the 60 percent target for the financial year. The 2018 Residents’ Monitoring Survey shows that people are much happier in the city centre than in the suburbs. Eighty-six percent of residents found the city centre lively and attractive while only 48 percent thought that about their suburban centre.

The value of residential building consents rose 34 percent to $440 million. Eighty percent of all building consent applications are now being lodged via GoShift, the Council’s electronic portal.

What we did:
Not met or decreased

48%

Target 60%

Residents (%) who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive

50% in 2016/17

More than 50% of residents do not feel that their local suburban centre is lively and attractive. For more details refer to Performance data – Council performance measures.

 
Positive Result

$440m


 

Value of residential building consents

$329m in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

$272m


 

Value of non-residential building consents

$477m in 2016/17

The Town Hall is expected to re-open to the public in 2021 and will become part of a national centre for musical excellence in Civic Square.

The Council’s Civic Administrative Building remains closed and a decision on its future will be made once discussions with Council insurers are concluded.

The next step is to co-ordinate the intelligence from these devices so that we can obtain a citywide picture of our building stock’s performance. Before an earthquake, this intelligence will allow us to undertake sensitivity and scenario modelling for different types of shocks. After a quake, it will enable us to better allocate resources and make quicker decisions.

We’ve recognised the value this co-ordination can bring to the city and next year a project has been funded to bring together the various data sets to provide a citywide picture using accelerometers.

Within 5% or no change

91%

Target 100%

Building consents issued within 20 working days

87% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

26%


 

Residents (%) who state there are urban design/urban form safety issues (poorly maintained or dangerous public areas such as streets, paths and parks)

32% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

55%


 

Residents (%) who state there are urban design/urban form safety issues (poorly lit or dark public areas such as streets, paths and parks)

59% in 2016/17

The developers - Shelly Bay Limited (SBL), a company set up by property developer The Wellington Company and Taranaki Whānui /Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST) – received resource consent for the project and the Council agreed to enter into an agreement to sell and lease land to Shelly Bay Limited so the planned development of housing and public space could proceed. The resource consent has been the subject of judicial review proceedings, which are currently before the Court of Appeal.

6.2 Whakahaere hanga whare Building and development controlTop

What we did:

Urban development financesTop

How it was funded

Services in this activity area are funded through a mixture of general rates, fees and charges, and grants and subsidies.

What it cost (operating expenditure $000)
  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development
             
Expenditure 7,107 7,445   8,338 7,653 (686)1
Revenue (322) (332)   (59) (21) 38
Net Expenditure 6,785 7,113   8,280 7,632 (648)
6.2 Building and development control
             
Expenditure 20,700 22,062   21,064 21,651 5872
Revenue (11,803) (13,293)   (13,523) (12,946) 5773
Net Expenditure 8,897 8,769   7,541 8,705 1,164
Urban development total
             
Expenditure 27,807 29,507   29,403 29,304 (99)
Revenue (12,125) (13,625)   (13,582) (12,967) 615
Net Expenditure 15,682 15,882   15,821 16,337 516
             

Variance explanations

1 Over budget due to additional costs incurred for contaminated waste clearance on the North Kumototo Waterfront site

2 Lower costs incurred supporting resolution of weathertight homes claim resolution

3 Additional building consent revenue through greater volumes of consent applications and higher than planned volumes of consensus processed on behalf of other councils

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
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development
               
Expenditure 5,397 5,393   12,287 8,886 3,401 (0)
6.2 Building and development control
               
Expenditure 2,224 4,391   7,216 - 17,372 10,1561
Urban development total
               
Expenditure 7,621 9,784   19,504 8,886 20,773 10,156
               
 

Variance explanations

1 Under budget due to timing of work undertaken with the Town Hall and St James earthquake strengthening projects

Urban development 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 3 15 4

 
Within 5% or no change Within 5% or no change 7 1 14

 
Not met or decreased Not met or decreased 1 2 -

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

 
Performance data – outcome indicators

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

Council outcome indicator Source   2015/16 2016/17   2017/18  
Residents (%) who agree that Wellington is a great place to live, work and play WCC RMS 2018 See supplementary tables   95%   92% Within 5% or no change
Value of residential and commercial building consents Statistics NZ Residential $233m $329m   $440m Positive Result
    Non-residential $359m $477m   $272m Not met or decreased
Population – growth and density (city and suburban area) Statistics NZ Census data not available during report time frame, previous result reported in 2013/14         Not measured or not comparable
Residents (%) who agree the city centre is an easy place to get to, use and enjoy WCC RMS 2018  Easy to get around 82% 76%   75% Within 5% or no change
    Easy to access leisure activities 80% 82%   82% Within 5% or no change
Residents (%) who think there are urban design/urban form safety issues (eg graffiti, vandalism, poorly lit public spaces etc, downward trend is favourable) WCC RMS 2018 See supplementary tables       Improvements made against public area maintenance and lighting. Positive Result
Building density throughout the city WCC GIS See supplementary tables 7.58 for Central City 8.05 for Central City   8.01 for Central City Within 5% or no change
The density numbers for 2017/18 are non-comparable to previous year due to reclassification of buildings.  
               
Proportion of houses within 100 metres of a public transport stop WCC GIS Census data not available during report time frame. 2013 result previously reported result 45%         Within 5% or no change
Residents (%) who agree that heritage items contribute to the city and local communities’ unique character WCC RMS 2018  to the city 92% 91%   93% Within 5% or no change
    to local communities 72% 71%   75% Positive Result
New Zealanders (%) who agree that Wellington is an attractive destination National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2017   81% 78%   80% Within 5% or no change

Performance data – Council performance measures

The following section outlines Council performance measures for our Urban Development 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  
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)
To measure the quality of our urban planning, heritage protection and development work
Residents (%) who agree the city is developing in a way that maintains high-quality design 55% 51%   53% Increase from previous year 4% Positive Result
District Plan listed items that are removed or demolished  Nil Nil   Nil Nil - Positive Result
Residents (%) who agree the central city is lively and attractive 85% 87%   86% 87% -1% Within 5% or no change
Residents (%) who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive 47% 50%   48% 60% -20% Not met or decreased
Improvements from previous period have not been maintained and more than 50% of residents do not feel that their local suburban centre is lively and attractive.
The level of agreement about a lively city centre is fairly consistent across the wards. Agreement about a lively suburban centre is lower in the Northern and Onslow-Western wards but increasing; it has decreased most significantly in the Eastern Ward and slightly in the Lambton and Southern wards.
               
Residents (%) who rate their waterfront experience as good or very good 92% 95%   93% 90% 3% Positive Result
Proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 64% 93%   97% 95% 2% Positive Result
Residents (%) who agree heritage items are appropriately valued and protected (in the central city) 69% 66%   70% 65% 8% Positive Result
PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
6.2 Building and development control
To measure the timeliness of our building and development control services
Building consents (%) issued within 20 working days 92% 87%   91% 100% -9% Not met or decreased
Code of Compliance Certificates (%) issued within 20 working days 96% 96%   96% 100% -4% Positive Result
Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) (%) issued within 10 working days 99% 96%   100% 100% 0% Positive Result
Resource consents (non-notified) (%) issued within statutory time frames 100% 99.8%   99.2% 100% -1% Positive Result
Resource consents (%) that are monitored within 3 months of project commencement 97% 93.5%   94.5% 90% 5% Positive Result
Subdivision certificates – Section 223 certificates (%) issued within statutory time frames 100% 100%   100% 100% 0% Positive Result
Noise control (excessive noise) complaints (%) investigated within 1 hour 96% 96.7%   95% 90% 6% Positive Result
Environmental complaints (%) investigated within 48 hours 98% 97.5%   98.8% 98% 1% Positive Result
 
To measure the quality of our building and development control services
Customers (%) who rate building control services as good or very good 79% 74%   74% 70% 6% Positive Result
Building Consent authority (BCA) accreditation retention (2-yearly) Retained Retained   Retained To Retain Met Positive Result
To measure our progress on earthquake risk mitigation
Earthquake-prone building notifications (section 124) (%) that are issued without successful challenge 100% 100%   100% 95% 5% Positive Result
Performance data – supplementary tables
Residents' perceptions that Wellington is a great place to live, work and play 2015 2016 2017   2018
Great place to…    
...live 96% 95%      
…work 63% 66% 95%   92%
…play 93% 90%      
Survey question merged in 2016/17 "live, work and play"  

Source: Wellington City Council Residents' Monitoring Survey 2018

Residents' perceptions of urban design/urban form safety issues (ie graffiti, vandalism, poorly lit public spaces, etc) 2015 2016 2017   2018
Poorly lit public areas 55% 61% 63%   59%
a significant improvement is noted in this area  
Vandalism 26% 27% 17%   17%
previous gains have been maintained  
Graffiti 34% 32% 16%   16%
previous gains have been maintained  
Poorly maintained public areas 34% 37% 32%   26%
a significant improvement is noted in this area  

Source: Wellington City Council Residents' Monitoring Survey 2018

Building density throughout the city 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17   2017/18
  number of buildings building density (buildings/
hectare)
number of buildings building density (buildings/
hectare)
number of buildings building density (buildings/
hectare)
  number of buildings building density (buildings/
hectare)
Central city 1,825 7.58 na na 1,948 8.05   1,938 8.01
Inner residential 10,485 34.7 na na 10,437 34.27   10,402 34.24
Outer residential 75,499 21.91 na na 77,559 22.38   77,488 22.36
Business 1 & 2, Centres and Medium Density Residential Area 3,640 10.98 na na 3,842 11.51   3,835 11.49
The density numbers for 2017/18 are non-comparable to previous year due to reclassification of buildings.  

Source: WCC GIS and Statistics NZ


Case study ResilienceTop

The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake was a wake-up call for Wellingtonians, reminding us of our need to make resilience a priority.

Resilience cuts across all sectors. Over the past year, the Council has been working with the owners of at-risk buildings to strengthen facades and parapets. We have been strengthening existing reservoirs, pipes and roads, scoping new sources of water, and addressing coastal challenges along our south and west coasts. We have also been working with apartment dwellers to help build stronger communities, another important aspect of resilience.

“As a result of the quake, we’ve been working more closely with other organisations,” says Chief Resilience Officer Mike Mendonça. These include Wellington Electricity, Wellington Water Limited, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the telecommunications sector, universities and Crown research institutes that are also actively involved in developing solutions for the city.

“Interdependencies are crucial. Everyone’s coming together,” he says.

An ex-army man, Mike has worked many years in government, including an 11-year stint in the Council’s works department. He is Wellington’s first chief resilience officer, a symbol of what is now at the forefront of people’s minds.

“Wellingtonians have always been aware of the city’s vulnerability. But it’s been pushed to the back of our minds for a long time,” he says. “Kaikoura made us more aware. Resilience is now in our consciousness. It’s infused in how we think as Wellingtonians.”

Wellington is part of 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013. The project, known as 100RC, helps cities to improve their resilience to address current and future physical, social and economic challenges. 

Recently, representatives from 100RC’s regional headquarters in Singapore visited to document the resilience work the Council is leading.

“Wellington has become something of a model for other similar cities around the world,” says Mike.

He says current resilience efforts are all about improving our knowledge and being better prepared.

“Each time we have a big quake, we learn a lot. The work we’re doing now is our generation’s chance to leave a meaningful resilience legacy for our children.”

170 Cuba Street building owner William Broadmore