What we want
We want the City Council to support the Spatial Plan so that Wellington City is thriving, affordable, and accessible, so we can live close to where we work, study, and socialise.
We want a city all of us can share, with parks and open spaces - a city where there are enough homes for everyone, where people can get to school and work safely, regardless of their mode of travel, and where homes are affordable, accessible, healthy and warm. Wellingtonians can have choices about the types of homes they want to live in, and which of our local communities they want to put down roots in.
What’s in the way
For decades, politicians have enabled a housing crisis in Wellington, entrenching rules that have prevented sufficient homes being built for our growing population while not listening to the concerns of Māori, Pasifika, and disabled peoples, as well as other marginalised communities. This results in people being unable to afford to live in, or access the types of homes or neighbourhoods they want to live in.
The rules laid down by city councils and governments have contributed to a situation where we don’t have enough housing for everyone who wants to live here, and the housing that is available doesn't suit everyone’s needs. Limited housing options means people living in overcrowded and poor quality housing, in neighbourhoods far from their community or where they have to spend a lot of money to travel to work or socialise.
There is not enough diversity of housing options available in the city - we need more homes designed for accessibility, to support our elders, for different family sizes or living situations, and for intergenerational living.
We want options for different types of housing too - rather than being a housing option in well-connected, high amenity neighborhoods throughout Wellington, apartments have been for the most part limited to inner-city sites.
What do the barriers mean for people
This has led to unaffordable and unhealthy housing, shutting Wellingtonians out of their own communities and pushing them into the outer suburbs. This has hit marginalised communities the hardest, further entrenching inequality.
Wellington is a great place to live, but for many people, the communities they grew up in and call home are increasingly unaffordable, and many rental properties are cold, damp, inaccessible, and unhealthy.
The median house price in Wellington City has risen $225,000 in just five years to $825,000. Average rents are $560 a week when five years ago they were $450. When we can’t afford to pay those prices, we’re pushed further away from where we work, study, and socialise. This causes urban sprawl up the coast and into gullies, limiting our transport options and compromising our region’s open spaces and natural environment.
Many homes are cold and damp, making people sick and costing hundreds of dollars in power bills. For those in our communities with disabilities, there aren't enough accessible homes with good transport options.
How can we achieve the change
Right now, the Spatial Plan gives us all an opportunity to put people first and make a plan to share our city.
We know that the best future for Wellington is one where communities are affordable and improve our quality of life while also protecting the things that make our city great, like the ability to travel easily and enjoy green space. Now is the time for our progressive local councillors to fix the planning rules - because delaying decisions about Wellington’s growth will leave our city’s future hanging in the balance for a future council to deal with.
All growing cities are grappling with questions about how to plan for more housing and our current progressive council needs to take action now working alongside locals to build communities for everyone.
What's the solution
The Spatial Plan is an important step to put people first and help ensure Wellington has affordable communities with high-quality housing for generations to come.
With new rules in place to help make communities more affordable through building more housing, Wellington can lock in its place as the best city in Aotearoa. More housing of a greater range can be built, so that generations to come can enjoy living in Wellington. Higher quality, medium and high density housing in appropriate places will help reduce travel times and traffic congestion - making our streets safer, increasing accessibility for all, and reducing climate pollution. Well-planned communities with open spaces, parks, and access to the Town Belt will connect people with nature. People will have more choices about where to live and the types of homes that suit them: from standalone houses to apartments and innovative co-housing arrangements. Everyone will share what our city has to offer.