Kia ora koutou katoa,
Ko rātou ngā kaitono mō te kōwhiringa pōti ki Te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui, i raro i te mana o Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Muaūpoko, Rangitāne o Wairarapa, rātou ko Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.
Ko Te Pāti Kākāriki e tū ana. Ngā mihi kia koutou.
We are your local candidates looking to represent our communities at the local government level in this year’s Local Body Elections. We stand under the korowai of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand which means we will fight for the people and our precious taiao, while also upholding the core values of the Green Party which are:
- Ecological Wisdom
- Social Responsibility
- Appropriate Decision-Making
Often, when we think of local government, we think of rates, roads and rubbish. As you will see from our Council track record, as well as our aspirations for the future set out in this pānui, we believe that Councils are an important vehicle by which housing justice, climate action, ecological restoration, and thriving communities can be realised.
We have collaboratively set out our key policies for this local body election, but there are a few givens that flow throughout this document.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
We recognise the tino rangatiratanga and discrete mana of hapū, mana whenua and mātāwaka in all that we do. Many of the solutions to current and future challenges facing Te Whanganui-a-Tara require us to return to indigenous ways of thinking and seeing the world.
It’s an exciting time in Aotearoa as we begin to explore what honouring important constitutional documents like He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi looks like in 2022.
That’s why in all of our policies and sections, we have woven the principles of Te Tiriti throughout. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is an overarching, non-negotiable part of our worldview and of our mahi and we hope that you can see this reflected. The principle of Hoki Whenua Mai Land Back is a bottom line, so we commit to always looking for opportunities to return whenua to its rightful custodians, the indigenous people of Aotearoa.
Climate and nature
Reducing emissions and preparing communities for the impacts of climate change are right at the top of our list and we have a comprehensive set of policies to achieve both these goals. Climate action now will be much cheaper than climate action in the future and we are ready to make the investments that responsible city leadership must make on climate.
We recognise that climate and biodiversity are under threat at the same time and we have a series of policies to restore native ecosystems around the city and the region. We will do this to bring back an abundance of life in our forests, streams, wetlands and coastal marine areas and because we know that healthy native ecosystems provide the strongest natural infrastructure to help us face the effects of climate change.
We believe that public ownership is a crucial element of our mahi and we will always advocate for public, collective ownership of assets and services. Many of our policies involve advocating for public ownership - whether it is our public transport system or the Wellington Airport - we know that public ownership is important to our communities, and that the environment and people are better off for it.
Finally, we want to recognise the importance of collaboration - within Council, between Councils, and also with Central Government. We’re proud that our Green Members of Parliament hold important roles in shaping the Aotearoa that we want to live in, and we will work hard at all levels to lock in investment for our city and the future. In a time of various crises, we know that we need all the help we can get, and that we can’t rely solely on rates funding to make that happen.
We think that with our candidates representing our communities, and with Green values taking the lead, we will turn Absolutely Positively Wellington into Absolutely Iconic Wellington.
Our Candidates for Wellington City:
Wellington can be a global leader on addressing the climate crisis, and we can improve the livability and wellbeing of our city at the same time. Decades of dithering and inaction have set us on the wrong track, but it’s not too late to change direction.
The principles of a Just Transition are absolutely core to our transition to a low-carbon future and we put this at the centre of everything we do. This means supporting the leadership of mana whenua and directly-affected communities at the forefront, and recognising the global impacts of our activities especially on our whānau in the Pacific.
We’ll continue collaborating with the Government and our Green Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw, to respond to the climate crisis. We will also hold the biggest polluters in the region to account.
We’ve led the way both on Council and in Government to take on our emissions, and we’re ready to keep fighting for climate justice over the next term.
We'll work to:
- 🌏 Set a more ambitious emissions reduction target for Wellington to be a zero carbon capital by 2040, a decade earlier, to respond to the urgency of the climate crisis.
- 🤝 Establish a Tiriti-based Mayoral Taskforce on Climate Adaptation led by mana whenua, and directly affected communities, supported by the Minister of Climate Change, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council, and expert advice.
- ✈ Strongly oppose the expansion of Wellington Airport into surrounding communities and any plans for runway extensions, and hold the airport accountable to reduce their emissions, improve air quality, reduce air traffic noise, and reduce road traffic.
- 🚍 Reduce our emissions by improving our transport system and our urban form. This includes providing for higher density housing connected by high quality free public transport that is reliable and convenient and making walking and biking easier, attractive, and safe.
We believe that everyone deserves an affordable, safe, accessible and healthy home. Unfortunately, successive Councils and Governments have let us down, putting the interests of property speculators ahead of renters and homebuyers.
Wellington now has some of the most expensive, and the mouldiest and dampest housing in the country. More than half of Council’s own housing stock has not been upgraded to Healthy Homes Standards despite Council committing to do so in 2008 and funding from Government.
We believe that housing is a human right. We will eliminate homelessness, work to decommodify housing, maximise Te Kāinga office conversions to apartments, and make Wellington a brilliant place to rent.
We’ve made great progress this term, and we’ve got a serious plan to end Wellington’s housing crisis.
We'll work to:
- 🏘 Build thousands of accessible social and affordable homes, in partnership with Kāinga Ora and mana whenua, particularly for key workers and along key public transport routes.
- 🏘 Complete the Housing Upgrade Programme for Council Housing, and ensure rent equity for our tenants by guaranteeing income-related rents for all.
- 🌆 Support and strengthen an ambitious District Plan to maximise the provision of quality, affordable, accessible, sustainable, and liveable homes in Wellington.
- 🌆 Ensure our rating system encourages efficient land use and discourages land banking.
- 🏕 Partner with organisations working to end homelessness to open a women’s emergency night shelter.
- 💛 Use Council’s powers under the Health Act to monitor and fine landlords who are renting out substandard and unhealthy rentals, as outlined by Renters United’s ‘Healthy Homes Commitment’.
- 🕌 Ensure District Plan rules are culturally inclusive, allow for culturally important activities, and do not relegate places of worship and Marae to the peripheries of our city.
Wellington can have a transport network that connects communities, gives people freedom, increases mobility, and is sustainable for the planet. Our streets can be safe, welcoming, and accessible for users. Our public transport can be free, reliable, and publicly owned.
But right now, our transport system isn’t working for people or for the environment. Buses are unreliable, streets are congested and unsafe, and transport makes up 58% of our city’s emissions. We’ll ensure our transport system is accessible, sustainable, and future-proofed for a changing city.
We’re finally making great progress with Let’s Get Wellington Moving, but we need to move further and faster. That’s why we’ve got a plan to transform transport in Wellington, in the interests of our communities and our planet.
We'll work to:
- 🚍 Deliver a public transport workforce strategy that makes Wellington the best and most reliable place to drive a bus in the country. This includes a $30 rate for bus drivers, fewer split shifts and better facilities at depots and layovers.
- 🚸 Further open up Cuba Street and Dixon street to pedestrians and explore opportunities to open up more inner City streets for people.
- 🚲 Complete the Paneke Pōneke bike network plan, especially the transitional network in the next three years, to ensure everyone can bike or scooter around our city safely, getting e-scooters off of footpaths.
- 🚲 Provide secure community storage facilities for bikes, reducing a common barrier to cycling uptake, and establish affordable and shared e-bike schemes for social housing tenants.
- ♿ Extend the on-demand public transport trial, including expanding dedicated Total Mobility services that are publicly owned and more affordable.
- 🚊 Support light rail as the best option to facilitate low emissions urban development and accelerate Let’s Get Wellington Moving to reduce our transport emissions faster, in line with the Emissions Reduction Plan.
- 🚊 Put in place fully integrated ticketing in Wellington by end of 2023, even before the national integrated ticketing solution is ready.
- 🚞 Expand regional rail with new trains, so that train travel between Wellington and Palmerston North and Masterton is convenient throughout the day, and promote a daily night train service between Wellington and Auckland.
- 🅿 Introduce new road pricing tools such as congestion charging, and bring commercial parking buildings into public ownership, to reinvest profits in our city.
Wellington’s natural environment is unique, and in many ways nature is thriving more than it has in years. It’s special that after decades of work, we have native birds thriving throughout our city.
But there’s still lots more to do to properly embrace nature in Wellington and to become a city truly flourishing with native flora and fauna. We’ll nurture the resurgence of te taiao in our city, expand our green space, and make long term decisions to make this vision a reality.
We'll work to:
- 🐀 Boost funding and action to control invasive weeds, predators, and browsing animals and work to restore native forests, wetlands and coastal areas, and bring Kiwi, Kākāpō and other threatened species back to Te Upoko o te Ika.
- 🌳 Make a native street tree policy that covers the whole city, not just the city centre, and gives priority to areas most in need of the resulting health benefits. Fund nurseries, community planting, and community weeding to support this.
- 🌊 Deliver a strategy to restore an abundance of life in the seagrass meadows and kelp forests of our harbour and coastal marine area.
- 🌊 Uncover and honour our urban streams and work to make these waterways thrive with life again.
- 🤝 Uphold Māori customary rights in Te Taiao, devolve power to mana whenua for environmental work and provide resources to allow these powers to be exercised.
- 🤝 Provide more funding, resources and opportunities to community groups working to restore waterways and ecosystems in the city and the region.
- 🚞 Connect people with nature by providing better public transport links between Wellington and our regional parks.
Water is life, and we recognise water as a tāonga which should be protected and cared for. Everyone should have ready access to clean water, and we want everyone to be able to swim in our waterways safely.
Over the last term, we’ve seen the consequences of decades of neglect, as pipes burst under our feet, and wastewater spills into our precious harbours and streams. Access to clean water is a human right, but our climate crisis puts that at risk.
We believe that water should never be a commodity and we will always uphold Te Mana o Te Wai. We’ll deliver on the recommendations in the Te Whanganui-a-Tara Whaitua Implementation Plan and Te Mahere Wai. We will invest in our water infrastructure, including our ageing pipes, but also in innovative, climate-friendly local solutions. We’ve got to design our city like a sponge, and let water do what it needs to do to soak back into the earth.
We'll work to:
- 🌊 Implement the recommendations from mana whenua in Te Mahere Wai, including supporting efforts to grant legal personhood to awa tupua such as the Kaiwharawhara stream.
- 🌊 Restore wetlands and urban streams as key elements of natural infrastructure that hold and clean water, and prevent erosion, flooding and drought.
- 🌊 Ensure our city adapts to our changing climate and living with more water by requiring water sensitive design, including water retention systems, to sustainably manage our stormwater and improve Wellington’s resilience to flooding and slips.
- 🚱 Support 'Three Waters' reform, while advocating for greater accountability to local communities and mana whenua.
Wellington has the potential to be a thriving and sustainable economy, uplifting our wellbeing and collective prosperity, while reducing our energy use, water use, and waste. Successive Councils have protected the unimaginative status quo over exploring what the Wellington economy could be, and conservative advice from private consultants has locked us on that path.
We’ll bring core Council services back in house to cut down on costs, and with a bedrock of housing abundance and quality transport, we can build a new green economy. We can expand our rating base and encourage sustainable local businesses and the Māori economy to thrive in Wellington. We can give meaningful unpaid work the recognition that it deserves. We can build our technology and services industry in ways that improve life for workers and keep wealth in the country. We can reinvent Wellington as an eco-tourism destination, with green transport connecting visitors to nature in all corners of the city, waste-free restaurants, and artisan local businesses.
We’re ready to kick-start Wellington’s green economy.
We'll work to:
- 💚 Position Wellington as the Greenest capital in the world. As an eco tourism and zero carbon tourism destination - as a creative capital with great cycleways and easy access to wild walks where our native birds thrive.
- 🏤 Secure government support for a compensation fund for businesses disrupted by construction of major transport and infrastructure projects, including light rail.
- 🏤 Support greater use of green or sustainability bonds to help fund infrastructure, public transport and public housing.
- 🏟 Open a medium-sized performing arts venue, filling a significant gap for touring music performances and Wellington’s art scene
- ❤ Support businesses to become Living Wage accredited, so that Wellington can be the first Living Wage city in the world.
- ❤ Prioritise local businesses for council procurement and develop a community wealth building plan.
- 👩💻 Support our technology and services industry in ways that keep wealth in the country.
- 🛍 Open a permanent market in Wellington to develop local, artisan businesses.
Wellington can be a sustainability leader, where we have reduced our resource consumption and leave minimal impact on nature, particularly our waterways and oceans. Right now, Aotearoa is in the top 4 most wasteful countries in the OECD, and our landfill is responsible for 7.5% of our city’s emissions. We’ve made huge progress this term, but there’s much more to do.
We’ll move Wellington towards zero waste and circular economy systems, and lessen the impacts of landfills on our communities. We’re committed to Wellington leading the circular economy in Aotearoa, creating meaningful jobs, and supporting the innovative green businesses that are flourishing in our capital. In Wellington’s zero waste and circular economy, our capital will be a zero-carbon eco-tourism destination. Everyone will be empowered to be part of this journey.
We'll work to:
- 0️⃣ Create a zero waste Wellington by 2040.
- 🥕 Create a circular food system by delivering a food and green waste collection service to reduce waste going to landfill, and create compost from this resource to replenish our soils and grow food for communities.
- ♻ Become a nationwide leader in resource recovery, starting with converting the landfill to a resource recovery park supported by resource recovery hubs around the city
- 🥤 Be the first city in Aotearoa to develop a city wide container reuse system for use at all city events.
- ♻ Develop a funded Circular Economy Action Plan that supports businesses to design out waste
- 🥕 Support community composting efforts with more community composting hubs on council land and enable more local urban farms like Kaicycle to grow food for communities.
- 🚮Review our waste services coming back into public ownership for more reliable collection and better workers conditions.
City Vibrancy + Arts and Culture
In Wellington we pride ourselves on being an artistic, inclusive, and creative city that has nurtured numerous artists who have achieved international recognition and acclaim. We have generations of artists who have given us a different way to interact with our landscape, history, and people.
And yet, life for our city's artists and arts organisations is precarious and demanding.
We believe an accessible, participatory and thriving arts and culture sector is essential to our wellbeing, sense of connectedness and belonging. Our plan is about creating a vibrant city with a thriving culture, that honours the indigenous heritage of this rohe.
We'll work to:
- 🏟 Open a medium-sized performing arts venue, filling a significant gap for touring music performances and Wellington’s art scene.
- 🐚 Support the development of a Fale Malae with our Pacific Island community
- 🎭 Make the arts and festival shows more accessible by funding free sessions to community groups eg. children, ethnic groups and low-income earners who don't otherwise have the means to enjoy our premiere arts events.
- 🏟 Support existing live venues and events, ensure planning protects their place in a vibrant and lively inner city, and offer specialist support to assist with Council processes.
- ☀ Deliver and expand the Pōneke Promise across Wellington, and better resource community policing alternatives.
- ❤ Support our arts events to pay a living wage to artists and crew.
- 📍 Restore the ingoa tūturu (original names) and correct incorrect spellings of Te Whanganui-a-Tara names, starting with Epuni Street, Tinakori Road, and Karori.
- 🌏 Stand in solidarity for human rights and justice with oppressed and marginalised peoples around the globe, from West Papua to Western Sahara, from Palestine to Burma.
Governance and Democracy
Wellington needs the best possible environment for good, evidence-based, local decision-making. Wellingtonians are frustrated with politicians playing games with the future of our city, when we ought to be building consensus on the way forward.
We’re committed to building a culture of respect, and to increase active, well-informed participation in local government.
We'll work to:
- 🧩 Ensure Councillors have ongoing access to leadership development and accountability resources such as better research assistance, legal advice, leadership coach, and support throughout the triennium, not just at induction.
- 🧩 Provide specialist support staff and resourcing for the Councillor of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Ward to recognise their unique mandate.
- 🗳 Trial participatory budgeting and Citizens’ Assemblies to give residents a direct say over spending on local projects and issues in their community.
- 🗳 Advocate for the voting age to be lowered to 16 for local elections, and for more accessible elections including special voting booths at universities, online voting, and campaigns to engage underrepresented voters.
- 🤝 Advocate to Central Government for structures and funding that ensure Local Government can fulfill its critical roles.
- 🤝 Meet regularly with the Greater Wellington Regional Council to advance areas where interests and responsibilities overlap.
- 📰 Ensure Council proactively engages with renters, migrants, students, and disabled people in a way that works for these communities.
- 📰 Ensure Council voting records are publicly searchable online, and oppose closed council meetings where possible.