The next few months will see a host of exciting new initiatives joining established events to add extra festive colour to the city and support downtown retailers.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says the capital has New Zealand’s best, most vibrant central city but, like other central cities around the country, it’s been impacted by Covid-19.
“We wanted to do everything we can to make downtown Wellington the place to be. The lead-up to Christmas is the first part of this story with more to come in the New Year.”
There will be a new Love Local Pop-Up Shop on the corner of Willis and Mercer Streets. It will feature a unique partnership between famous local peanut butter makers Fix and Fogg and Wellington Children's Hospital Foundation, along with a revolving cast of other local artisan offerings. It will open in early December.
A free Shop-on Shop-off bus repurposes three of Rover Tour Group’s tourism vehicles to offer a free city loop bus service around the Golden Mile including the Railway Station, Courtenay Place and Lambton Quay. It will run on Saturdays and Sundays from 5-20 December between 10am-4pm, with pick-ups approximately every 15minutes.
You can also enjoy free weekend parking at Clifton Carpark with the first two hours parking free, then $2 per hour (or part there-of) to a maximum of $6 a day. The offer is available every weekend until 25 January.
Wilson carparks have come to the party with a half price deal at all CBD sites using the ParkMate app (code LOCAL). The offer is valid after 6PM each night on weekends and public holidays from 23 November until 20 December.
A dynamic programme of free local live music, circus and other performances will appear in shops, parks and streets to make shopping more entertaining on Thursdays till Sundays throughout December.
The always popular A Very Welly Christmas returns to Lambton Quay on Saturday 28 November (noon-5pm) and Sunday 29 November (noon-4pm) with Santa the big drawcard for kids. Carols in Midland Park from 5-7pm on Saturday will be a highlight.
WellingtonNZ’s digital online Wellington Advent Calendar is back to open doors from 1 December with 24 outstanding retail and hospitality offers valid until the end of February 2021. Last year nearly 100,000 advent calendar vouchers were redeemed.
Love Local Christmas is supported by a $80,000 marketing campaign across digital media, print, radio and outdoor.
Mayor Foster says Wellington is recognised as the most creative city in New Zealand so it’s only appropriate Wellington injects creativity into its Christmas offering.
“Christmas in Wellington this year will be the perfect way to step into the 2020 festive season. Coming into the city will be a real memorable shopping experience full of fun for the whole family hosted by the Creative Capital of New Zealand.
“We are thinking outside the Yuletide box to provide Wellingtonians with extra reasons to come into the CBD to do their Christmas shopping and enjoy what else the city has to offer at the same time.
“We want to make it easier for people to shop in the city with parking and transport initiatives and make it fun by adding entertainment. It’s all about making it enjoyable for people to come into the central city and support local retailers in-store rather than online.”
WellingtonNZ General Manager Anna Calver says supporting central city retailers is more important than ever this year.
“Retailers have faced arguably one of their toughest years on record. There have been cancelled, postponed and reduced-capacity events which negatively impacted the number of people coming into the city. The uptake of people working from home and lack of international visitors has also contributed to fewer people in town.
“Love Local Christmas aims to help turn those trends around and boost retailers’ till takings whilst giving shoppers a gold-plated, Wellington-themed Christmas experience.”
First Retail Managing Director Chris Wilkinson says Love Local Christmas is creating a fresh, experimental offer that will add value to Wellington’s already exciting shopping experience.
“Wellington has a world class mix of retail, some of it unique to our city. Love Local Christmas adds a whole new layer of involvement for shoppers who will be entertained, able to access free and cheaper parking, or use the free shop-on shop-off bus while out buying their Christmas goodies.
‘The new Love Local Pop Up Shop will enhance the retail offering in that area and give local businesses who don’t currently have a footprint in the CBD the opportunity to also benefit from the Christmas retail opportunity.
“Retailers in the CBD support the campaign and the boost it’ll give them as they look to bounce back from the darkest of Covid times.”