Part B: Our work in detail

5 Social and recreation
​Pāpori me te hākinakina

The Council’s work in this strategic area includes providing housing for people in need; funding city safety initiatives; regulating and monitoring food and liquor outlets; preparing to deal with earthquakes and other emergencies; providing community and recreation centres and halls; providing public toilets and cemeteries, pools and libraries; supporting community groups and events; and providing sport and recreation facilities, neighbourhood playgrounds and dedicated areas for our dogs.

We fund these services because they:

Overall these activities contribute to the development of opportunities for people to live healthy lifestyles, realise their potential, and enjoy their city.

Social and recreation
Image Capital spend
Operating spend
How operating
costs are funded
Rates value
per $100


$ million


$ million

Bar graph showing $41.3m Other and $70.3m rates Pie graph showing $24.7

Key objectives, activities and focus for 2016–19

Social and recreation graph showing objectives

New for 2017/18 and key projectsTop

    2017/18 cost
New in 2017/18
  • Remove swimming pool spectator fees: As part of making recreation more accessible, the Council is looking at ways to support an accessible learn-to-swim environment – particularly for those people who might find entry fees a barrier. The removal of swimming pool fees for spectators and parents or guardians of children under 8 years old supports a more inclusive, family-focussed approach to developing children’s water safety knowledge and skills. The fee will be removed from 1 July 2017 and the estimated loss of revenue to the Council is anticipated to be approximately $100k annually. A spectator fee will still be charged for major aquatic tournaments and events, and additional spectator fees may be charged by the hosting organisation.
  Revenue loss of $100k
  • Smokefree alfresco dining: Wellington has a goal to be smokefree by 2025. However, smoking often happens in outdoor dining areas. Outdoor dining in public spaces increases seating capacity and helps create vibrant, social outdoor areas. As an incentive for businesses, from 1 July 2017 the Council will offer a 100 percent discount on the per-square-metre fees for using pavement areas for those offering smokefree outdoor dining. Those with no smokefree restrictions receive a 50 percent discount. The estimated loss of revenue to the Council is anticipated to be $78k per year.
  Estimated revenue loss of $78k per year.
  • Te Mahana programme and Te Whare Oki Oki (assisted accommodation for the homeless): Te Mahana is a community-driven strategy focussed on ending homelessness in Wellington. We are working with partners such as the Police, key social and health agencies, service providers and Central Government to deliver a housing first approach, which will provide accommodation and support to address the needs of the homeless. In the coming year we will progress the option of establishing a wet house, Te Whare Oki Oki, in Wellington with key stakeholders, and funding options will be considered as party of the LTP 2018–28.
  No additional cost in 2017/18
  • Reduce anti-social street behaviour: Anti-social behaviour – in particular, begging – on city streets has been highlighted as an upcoming concern amongst Wellingtonians. We are working in partnership with key external agencies to develop a suite of projects focussed on effective, practical measures to address this issue. The goal is to provide alternatives to staying on the street and reduce both the numbers of people begging and incidences of anti-social behaviour.
  No additional cost in 2017/18
New in 2017/18
  • Play areas: Following a detailed review of our play spaces policy, we have agreed to increase funding to improve the quality of the city’s play spaces. While there are currently over 100 play spaces across Wellington, there are still gaps in provision – one area being around Wakefield Park in Berhampore. In 2017/18, $200k will be invested in the development of a new play space at or near the park. Additional funding for development and renewals will be considered through the LTP 2018–28.
  $200k for a place space around Wakefield Park.
Other key projects being advanced in 2017/18 include:
  • Johnsonville Library: This new library is intended to be the flagship facility for modern library services. It will showcase the efficiencies gained and improved customer service from operating the community facility as an integrated hub, and create the social infrastructure to support higher density residential development. Construction is planned to begin in November 2017 and finish in April 2019.
  $5.183m of capital works in 2017/18
  • Social housing: Over the past few years we have been working to renew our social housing accommodation to ensure that it is fit for purpose. In the coming year we will continue work on the Arlington Flats projects.
  $1.356m capital works in 2017/18

How we measure our performanceTop

Objectives What we measure Activities
  • Social cohesion
  • Connected and resilient communities
  • Participation in community life for all
  • Greater use of existing facilities
  • Creating a safe and child-friendly city
The quality and usage of the recreation facilities we provide (nine measures with targets) 5.1.1 Swimming pools
5.1.2 Sportsfields
5.1.3 Sportsfields (synthetic)
5.1.4 Recreation centres
5.1.5 Recreation partnerships
5.1.6 Playgrounds
5.1.7 Marinas
5.1.8 Golf course
5.1.9 Recreation programmes
The quality and usage of the housing services we provide (five measures with targets) 5.2.1 Libraries
5.2.2 Access support
5.2.3 Community advocacy
5.2.4 Grants (Social and Recreation)
5.2.5 Housing
5.2.6 Community centres and halls
The progress of the Housing Upgrade Project (one measure with target) 5.3.1 Burials and cremations
5.3.2 Public toilets
5.3.3 Public health regulations
5.3.4 City safety
5.3.5 Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO)
Community connectedness and sense of wellbeing
The usage of our community and recreation support services (including libraries) (10 measures with targets)
The quality of our public health and safety services and programmes, our timeliness in responding to service requests (six measures with targets) and impact on perceptions on safety (as they affect quality of life)

For details of individual performance measures and targets for each activity see the appendices.

Activity budgets (cost of service statements)Top

Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
5.1.1 - Swimming pools 20,924 22,427
5.1.2 - Sportsfields 3,514 3,566
5.1.3 - Sportsfields (Synthetic) 1,353 1,601
5.1.4 - Recreation centres 9,998 10,028
5.1.5 - Recreation partnerships 1,107 1,325
5.1.6 - Playgrounds 795 837
5.1.7 - Marinas 673 641
5.1.8 - Golf course 260 248
5.1.9 - Recreation programmes 280 324
Total operating expenditure 38,904 40,998
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
5.1.1 - Swimming pools 1,853 2,249
5.1.2 - Sportsfields 905 608
5.1.3 - Sportsfields (Synthetic) 1,789 -
5.1.4 - Recreation centres 77 474
5.1.5 - Recreation partnerships 1,597 4,551
5.1.6 - Playgrounds 455 526
5.1.7 - Marinas 141 186
5.1.8 - Golf course - -
5.1.9 - Recreation programmes - -
Total capital expenditure 6,817 8,595
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
5.2.1 - Libraries 22,494 21,741
5.2.2 - Access support (Leisure Card) 102 119
5.2.3 - Community advocacy 1,219 1,469
5.2.4 - Grants (Social and Recreation) 4,223 4,456
5.2.5 - Housing 25,104 26,463
5.2.6 - Community centres and halls 3,472 3,426
Total operating expenditure 56,615 57,675
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
5.2.1 - Libraries 9,521 7,633
5.2.2 - Access support (Leisure Card) - -
5.2.3 - Community advocacy - -
5.2.4 - Grants (Social and Recreation) - -
5.2.5 - Housing 23,861 5,197
5.2.6 - Community centres and halls 262 1,130
Total capital expenditure 33,644 13,960
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
5.3.1 - Burials and cremations 1,655 1,843
5.3.2 - Public toilets 2,962 3,131
5.3.3 - Public health regulations 5,254 5,966
5.3.4 - City safety 2,815 3,153
5.3.5 - WREMO (Wellington Region Emergency Management Office) 1,534 1,862
Total operating expenditure 14,219 15,955
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
5.3.1 - Burials and cremations 316 369
5.3.2 - Public toilets 1,622 1,637
5.3.3 - Public health regulations - -
5.3.4 - City safety - 50
5.3.5 - WREMO (Wellington Region Emergency Management Office) 73 74
Total capital expenditure 2,010 2,010