The impact of COVID-19 has caused local authorities across the country to re-assess their long term planning assumptions and documents in an environment of extreme uncertainty. The next couple of years will see economic activity slow, followed in all probability by a sluggish recovery to 2030.
To enable Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Wellington territorial local authorities to plan for an uncertain future BERL produced three scenarios based on the health and economic responses to COVID-19.
In the short term, the Wellington region will have falling GDP, rising unemployment, a decrease in household income and consumer spending, and lower than expected population growth.
COVID-19 has, and will continue to, impact upon the role of central and local government. As household and businesses’ spending decreases, it will be left for government to underpin spending and provide confidence in future plans. Continued spending and a focus on the four wellbeings (social, economic, environmental, and cultural) will improve outcomes for people and communities. As COVID-19 increases uncertainty, it is paramount that the kaupapa remains unchanged.