Chief Executive’s welcome

Chief Executive Kevin Lavery.

2015/16 was the first year of our Long-term plan 2015-25 (LTP). I am pleased to say it has been a successful year and the Council has taken significant steps towards the achievement of our outcomes.

When Council agreed to the Long-term plan 2015-25, we knew it was ambitious. It’s a $5 billion 10-year budget that makes no cuts or service-level reductions while also setting out a bold plan of action that includes around $800m of transformative investment over the 10 years. When we consulted on the plan, nearly 70 % of Wellingtonians told us they supported modest average annual rate increases of 3.9 % over the 10 years to deliver the additional outcomes proposed.

As Wellingtonians, you want us to continue to invest in making Wellington an even more liveable, vibrant and attractive city. You have tasked us with making our assets work more effectively, you’ve told us you want our infrastructure to be even better and you’ve told us you want us to help create a growing economy.

This Annual Report sets out clearly and transparently how we did last year. It shows that we lived within our means while at the same time improving the quality and performance of the more than 400 core services we deliver every day.

We have worked hard to make the report readable and accessible for you as stakeholders. The first chapter shows you how we are working towards reaching our goals by showing you where we have been, where we are and where we plan to be, including making the organisation even more fit for purpose.

We have improved our Annual Report by linking our Statements of Service Performance to our outcomes in the City Vision - Smart City 2040; a dynamic central city, an eco-city, a people-centred city and a connected city. Linking what we do on a daily basis to the outcomes we want to achieve for Wellington demonstrates why, and how well, we do what we do.

We have made our Financial Statements clearer and easier to understand by placing our primary financial statements and their relevant supporting information together.

These improvements reflect our desire to better understand our performance, have the hard conversations – internally and with others – about our priorities and take the decisions necessary to achieve our vision.

Our Annual Report clearly highlights our successes; our core service delivery including water, infrastructure services, kerbside recycling and social housing continue to be sector-leading. We saw economic benefits from strong visitor numbers, hosted 11 major local and international events, our Zoo and Zealandia continue to record strong visitor numbers and we made significant progress on our movie museum and convention centre proposal. Progress continues to be made on the development of a proposal to extend the airport runway. We completed the revitalisation of Victoria Street and transformed laneways throughout the city.

But we cannot rest on our laurels, and we know we can always do better. Our Annual Report is a balanced-scorecard. The implementation of cycling infrastructure has been a challenge and lessons are being learnt. We are taking steps to address the areas where your feedback says we are not doing well enough. We are working hard to modernise our ICT infrastructure so we can be more agile and responsive than ever before.

Finally, our financial position remains strong. The Council retains its AA credit rating and, for the first time, Standard & Poors has formally acknowledged that Council’s credit rating would be AA+. The AA+ rating cannot be awarded as the Council’s credit rating cannot be greater than the Crown’s, this is indeed high praise.
I encourage you to engage with us as we implement our work programme in the Annual Plan 2016/17.  Together we can transform Wellington into a great city – a place where people from all walks of life will want to come and work, play and live.

Chief Executive Kevin Lavery signature.
KEVIN LAVERY
Chief Executive