Wellington is one of the world’s most liveable cities and one of New Zealand’s best tourism destinations. It’s harbour, hills, and community make it a great place to live, work and play. It’s no surprise that over the next 30 years, 50-to-80,000 more people will call the city home.

The programme partners want to build on our strengths and make Wellington an even better place to be.

Wellington’s transport issues

The central city is the core of our growing region. But growth is creating challenges. Our transport system is approaching capacity and without major changes, it will start to undermine the liveability and culture that is Wellington’s great strength.

Wellington’s transport problems include:

  • Growing traffic congestion and unreliable journey times
  • Poor and declining levels of service
  • Safety issues, especially for cycling and walking
  • Vulnerability to disruption from unplanned events

The community wants transport challenges addressed and supports significant change. We agree.

A growing challenge

Based on current forecasts:

  • Over the next 30 years it is projected there will be between 50,000 to 80,000 more people living in Wellington City, and between 22,000 and 31,000 more jobs in the central city. The CBD’s employment share will increase from 39% to 42%
  • By 2030, passenger numbers at Wellington International Airport are projected to more than double (compared to 2010) at an average growth rate of 3.5% per year.
  • Between 2016 and 2030, emergency department attendances at Wellington Hospital are forecast to increase by 60%.

This means more people travelling into, out of, and through central Wellington.

Improvements are needed to make our transport system work for everyone, and make the most of what the city has to offer.

Wellington’s unique geography, compact city, and small number of transport corridors means transport challenges are complex to solve and trade-offs will be required. However, with the right mix of improvements, big gains can be made for Wellington’s future.

Our city and region

The region is home to almost 500,000 people. About 200,000 or 41 percent live in Wellington City.

The city is the fastest growing part of the region as well as its economic, cultural and education epicentre.

More than 30 percent of the people who work in Wellington City live elsewhere. Many businesses rely on customers who travel from other parts of the region.

The universities and important regional destinations such as the airport, hospital, and port, attract people from the whole region. So do our museums, theatres, festivals and sporting events.

This close relationship between the city and region influences decisions about public transport and roads, as well as investment decisions by institutions and the private sector.