Wellington residents could be facing a rates increase of 17 percent, as the council works out how to pay for a mass of infrastructure and resilience projects.
Mayor Andy Foster has today revealed a sketch of the council's 2021 Long Term Plan, which will be further discussed by the council next week.
"The planned investment is diverse, and will improve the foundations for a better city," Foster said.
"It will increase levels of service in key areas that matter, such as infrastructure, climate change, key civic buildings, and transport, broadly maintain levels of service everywhere else, and retain headroom for future generations."
The capital investment needed would be the largest the city has ever made, he claimed.
Wellington is currently facing a trifecta of big money issues: the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to spend on earthquake strengthening some of the city's most beloved buildings; the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to invest in an ageing and now frequently failing water network; and the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to pay for a billion-dollar decades-long transport programme.
Foster said with such crucial priorities, spending cuts would have to be found elsewhere.
"The council has needed to make some extremely hard decisions about what is in and out of the budget.
"This is to ensure we do not spend more money than we can afford, that future generations are not adversely impacted and that we have money for unexpected events."
The exact scale of rates increase has not been finalised, and will not be, until consultation has finished.
At the top end of the scale, a rates increase of 23 percent is suggested; but Foster said there were other options ranging from a 14 percent rise to a 17 percent rise, which would increase the level of debt repayment.