News | 30 April 2024
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On a roll: Why skating is good for business in Pōneke

Raglan Roast manager Jed Wright believes skaters bring an energy to Pōneke that’s good for everyone, including businesses.

Person standing holding a coffee cup infront of a coffee shop.
Raglan Roast manager Jed Wright.

He employs plenty of skaters across the five Raglan Roast cafes in Wellington and says the skate community is a part of what makes the city interesting. 

“I think the energy they bring to the city is real good. There's massive crossover between skating, music and culture, it’s all kinda mashed up in this DIY way where people just get together and do cool stuff.” 

And as someone who runs a business with locations all over the city, he sees the economic benefit of having skaters around. 

“Skaters increase the liveliness of an area, and that in turn helps retail and hospitality. People forget that skaters are also consumers  they buy coffee, they buy food. We sell ice cream to them at our shop down by Waitangi Skate Park.” 

With lots of team members who skate, Jed’s pleased that they’re into something so healthy. 

“I see skating as a very active sport. You're physically exerting yourself, you’re sweating when you finish, you're tired, that's really positive. Plus all the falling over, and the bails, it toughens you up a bit too, and that's good.” 

He’s aware that some business owners might be nervous about skaters being loud or disruptive around their shop and he can empathise, but he suggests the solution is usually as simple as having a chat. 

“My advice would be instead of reporting it as a problem, just go and have a yarn with them  be normal. Most skaters are very reasonable people.” 

Person wearing a black tshirt making coffee.

And as for the stigma that used to exist around skating being anti-social, he says that there’s always a few troublemakers in any group of people, but it’s not fair to cast all skaters in a bad light if someone once had a negative experience. 

“Like when you're skiing and some young kid comes through and knocks you over. You don't start hating all little kids, right?” 

In his opinion, skaters are generally pretty considerate of other people on the street. 

“Skaters are more courteous on the footpaths than e-scooter riders! They’re the ones you need to look out for.” 

Some of his team mainly skate to get around, and this is another benefit that is sometimes overlooked. 

“One of my team used to live in Newtown and she worked on Taranaki Street. She said it was like two or three pushes and she was at work. So it can be a really great mode of transport too.” 

Wellington City Council Commercial Economic Wellbeing Manager Melissa Davey says having skaters in the city is a great thing. 

“Skaters bring energy and life to our city spaces, which in turn means more people around and more opportunities for businesses to do well. We want our city to be full of people doing interesting things, and making it more skate-friendly will definitely help with that.” 

Wellington City Council’s We Skate Pōneke campaign is part of our commitment to supporting all the ways we move and play in our capital city. This year’s campaign is focused on supporting street skating in the city.