Our work

Running a city is a 24/7 operation. Our services touch the lives of all Wellingtonians — at work, home and play. The following section provides an outline of our work.


Our primary objective is to support the democratic and governance process of council. Our governance work includes seeking feedback on our proposals from members of the public, producing annual plans and annual reports to make ourselves accountable to residents, engaging with Māori and stakeholder groups, producing policies and strategies to guide our work, and providing information about our services and activities.

A key focus of the coming year will be on engaging with Wellingtonians. We have reviewed our website to allow users more opportunities to navigate in a way that suits their needs. We have also launched an online engagement panel – Our Capital Voice for members of the public to participate in discussions, polls and surveys.

2013/14 operational cost: $85 per resident.2


We provide water supply, and work to reduce the impact of stormwater and sewage disposal on the natural environment; provide recycling and waste disposal services; offer grants for environmental initiatives; run the Kiwi Point Quarry; and promote energy efficiency and sustainability.

We look after the city’s parks and gardens, including Otari Wilton’s Bush, Bolton Street Memorial Park, Truby King Park, and many other reserve areas, as well as beaches, and coastline. We fund the Zoo and Zealandia, and other world-class nature-based visitor attractions such as our Botanical Garden. Our work includes track maintenance, pest management, and planting. Much of this is supported by the commitments of a large number of volunteers and groups.

The priority in the coming year will be to maintain our infrastructure and to take further steps to ensure our reservoirs will be a secure source of water as part of our emergency management planning. We’ll also continue work on our Climate Change Action Plan including developing strategic partnerships to deliver on Wellington’s emissions reduction targets.

2013/14 operational cost: $712 per resident.

Economic developmentTop

The economic prosperity of the city is closely linked to residents’ quality of life. Our activities contribute to the city’s economic wellbeing and take a lead in shaping Wellington’s future prosperity. We advocate for the city’s interests to central and regional government. We maintain international links through sister city relations. Our initiatives complement the programme provided by agency Grow Wellington.

We also work to attract major events that bring new spending to the city and we fund tourism promotions, and support attractions such as Te Papa and Council controlled conference venues.

2013/14 operational cost: $94 per resident.

Cultural wellbeingTop

We operate Toi Poneke — the Wellington Arts Centre, fund the Wellington Museums Trust and support the NZ International Arts Festival, the St James Theatre and the NZ Symphony Orchestra.

We also provide cultural grants, support community events and festivals, and run the City Archives. A strong arts and culture sector contributes to a diverse economy, healthy and connected communities and high quality of life. Wellingtonians also tell us that creativity is an important part of Wellington’s identity and an important reason for why they choose to live here.

2013/14 operational cost: $85 per resident.

Social and recreationTop

We work to protect public health and safety through projects such as monitoring the city centre, licensing food and liquor outlets, animal control, regulating other public health risks, providing toilets and cemeteries, and preparing the city to deal with emergencies such as earthquakes.

We recognise the importance of building local community resilience by supporting partnerships and programmes that connect communities and neighbourhoods and enhances community safety .

We support a city wide network of community spaces, community centres and halls, libraries, support community organisations, and provide homes for people whose needs are not met by state housing or the private housing market.

To encourage people of all ages to engage in social and recreational activities that help them live more active and healthy lives, we provide a wide range of high quality sporting and recreation facilities throughout the city.

2013/14 operational cost: $497 per resident.

Urban developmentTop

Our urban development work includes enhancing the waterfront and city and suburban centres, developing public spaces such as urban parks and squares, looking after heritage sites, assessing and issuing building and resource consents, and planning for the city’s future development.

A key focus in the coming year will be to continue our work on earthquake resilience and delivering on the Central City Framework.

2013/14 operational cost: $136 per resident.


We look after the hundreds of kilometres of streets and roads, as well as footpaths, cycle lanes, traffic signals, car parks and access ways.

We take steps to improve traffic safety and support public transport through bus priority measures and provide bus shelters. We also plan to ensure the city’s transport network meets future needs.

Our focus in the coming year will be on maintaining and operating the network, and to continue strengthening and rebuilding works for tunnels and bridges throughout the city.

2013/14 operational cost: $268 per resident.

2​Based on a resident population estimate of 203,607.