Capital Aims to be NZ's First Fair Trade City

18 September 2009

Wellington City Council unanimously voted last night to become New Zealand's first Fair Trade City.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast moved a resolution that the Council commit to achieving the required goals for becoming a Fair Trade City.

Earlier this month the Council's Strategy and Policy Committee received a petition signed by more than 1,100 Wellingtonians advocating that Wellington become the first Fair Trade City in New Zealand.

Mayor Prendergast said she wanted to acknowledge Paul Barber who coordinated the ePetition, and whose enthusiasm and his passion for the concept of fair trade had prompted her to move the resolution last night.

"Wellington already has many business serving and selling fair trade products and there are also several workplaces and city institutions that have taken the step to get Fair Trade Certification, including:

  • the Ministry for the Environment
  • the City Gallery
  • Victoria University's School of Government
  • the Ministry of Education
  • Lush Cosmetics.

"So starting the Council process to make Wellington a Fair Trade City is simply adding to the growing commitment to fair trade shown by many elements of our community and the more than 600 cities worldwide including London, Brussels and San Francisco.

"It also makes us the first Council in New Zealand to publicly declare support for the principle of fair trade and the first Capital City in the Southern Hemisphere."

Mayor Prendergast said in passing this resolution, Wellington was sending a message that it wanted to promote equity and make a difference in the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries by making choices about products and services.

"We hope it will motivate more individuals, schools, business and workplaces to support fair trade. We appreciate fair trade doesn't provide a complete solution to the issue of equity in international trade, but it's a great start."