Kia ora and welcome to the June edition of our monthly eNews. This edition features:

  • Discussing our future over breakfast with our region’s MPs

  • Inaugural Annual Partners Forum a success! 
    Thought Leadership:

  • Spatial Planning for Resilient Regions – WSP

  • Why Density is crucial for our future – MR Cagney

Mānawatia a Matariki!
Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki
Mānawa maiea te Matahi o te tau.
Celebrate the rising of Matariki
Celebrate the rising of the new year. 

June 24th this year was the first year that we officially honoured Matariki in Aotearoa. Matariki, the Māori New Year, is when we farewell those who have passed in the last year, their spirits now immortalised as stars watching over us, and also when we celebrate and observe our connection to taiao (our environment), people and place.

The Māori environmental calendar system ties in phases of the moon, the trajectory of starts and position of sun and planets, to inform practices like navigation, planting, harvesting, food gathering and fishing. In light of the climate crisis, engaging with a way of intrinsic connection with our environment is more necessary than ever before.

2022 is the first year that Matariki has been officially enacted into law in Aotearoa, a significant cultural milestone.

MPs Briefing – Discussing our future over breakfast

In early June, members of the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee held a breakfast to present our work to MPs at parliament. All MPs from across the Wairarapa-Wellington-Horowhenua region were invited.

The purpose of the breakfast meeting was to present to MPs, what the Committee is, its work programme and how they can support and join in with that work. Our work programme was well received, with valuable ideas and thoughts shared during the Q&A. Creating the space to engage people at all levels in these conversations, is vital to ensure that we understand how and where we can better address our regional challenges.  We plan to hold these meetings on a regular basis. 

Read the full article here.

Korero & Collaboration: Successful First WRLC Partners Forum

On a chilly winter afternoon under clear blue skies at the Lower Hutt Events Centre, the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee held its inaugural Annual Partners Forum, this Monday 27 June.  The Forum bought together governance members of all partners to the Committee, to share an update on our work programme, as well as to support two-way engagement, to seek their views on upcoming work, and to create a space for connection, networking, and dialogue on our collective responsibility for building a healthy future for the region.

The 85 attendees included councillors from across the region, board members of iwi organisations in the region and officials from central government agencies, along with the teams responsible for delivering the projects.

Read full article here

Thought leadership article: Spatial Planning for Resilient Regions

Haley Hooper, Principal Urban Designer, WSP
Alan Whiteley, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design Director, WSP

Collaborative design coupled with strong decision-making processes and comprehensive spatial planning techniques can help support the growth of resilient future communities and environments.

This is the first in a series of articles by WSP exploring issues and opportunities for the design and development of regions across Aotearoa New Zealand. Read on to hear about how we can better approach the future visions and spatial planning for our neighbourhoods, towns and cities.

Growth, regenerative planning and resilience in a time of change

What happens next? At last count, Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua was home to over half a million people – residing mainly in the capital or in one of dozens of towns and villages peppered across the region, and this population is continuing to grow.

Just like other parts of the country, being able to thrive in the face of environmental and social change is a priority for people in the Lower North Island. Regenerative planning is becoming central to future-focused eco-systems and resilient spatial outcomes.

Read full article here

Thought leadership article: Why Density is Critical for our Future

Author: Malcolm McCracken, Transport Planner, MRCagney

The past two years have seen a significant shift in central government policy to intervene in land supply for intensification with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) and the Medium Density Residential Standards. While media discussion around these changes has focused on housing affordability, these moves are essential for many other reasons. We should view enabling density as an opportunity to improve our town and cities.

Density is essential to unlocking the vision of complete neighbourhoods and climate action

You may be familiar with “15-minute cities”, “complete neighbourhoods”, or perhaps another name. These concepts focus on enabling people to access daily needs by sustainable transport modes of walking, cycling, micro-mobility, and public transport. In doing so, we can reduce emissions from driving, improve equity of access to opportunities and create more vibrant and thriving neighbourhoods and communities. Crucially this is enabled through proximity to the services. If you have to bike for 30 minutes to a new shopping centre on the edge of the city, few will do so. If we have more small-scale grocery stores and speciality shops within our neighbourhoods, walking or biking to pick up a few bits for lunch and dinner becomes much more manageable.

Read full article here


About the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

WRLC is a joint regional partnership which brings together Iwi leaders, Mayors, Ministers of Government, and an independent chair, to join forces and work collaboratively on the cross-boundary, growth-related challenges in the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region.

WRLC brings a solution-focused approach to finding better ways of working together to positively shape our region’s future, ensuring it is a place where people want to live and work.  

Our work covers five key areas: Iwi capacity, housing, climate change, transport and economic development and recovery. You can find out more about our projects on our project page.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved, you can contact us at

Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

100 Cuba Street, Wellington
New Zealand

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