Digital Strategy Aims to Create Prosperity

16 September 2011

Wellington's Mayor and City Councillors this week unanimously supported a digital strategy that aims to attract investment and generate jobs, setting a course for the Capital to achieve global recognition as a creative digital city.

The strategy focuses on three areas:

  • Make Wellington the place where talent wants to live
  • Inspire shared knowledge and development of ideas and creativity
  • Make Wellington a world-leading place for digital activity

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the strategy positions Wellington well as a smart, green city.

"We will work with Wellington businesses and education institutions to create more jobs, prosperity and higher incomes for Wellingtonians," says the Mayor.

"Our digital strategy allows the Capital to focus on investment that plays to our strengths.

"We are a city full of talented, knowledgeable people, so we can overcome size and distance issues by being very clear about what we are good at and how we differentiate ourselves from other cities around the world.

"To achieve success we must punch above our weight - in the same way we continue to do in the film industry and arts and culture sectors," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

Possible initiatives include:

  • Digital installations, such as art, in public areas in Wellington 
  • Hosting international conferences that will enhance Wellington's digital reputation
  • Extension of free-to-use wifi into libraries and community spaces.

Wellington will next year host the 2012 Digital Earth Summit. The Council also recently launched free wifi in the city's CBD which, in the week ending 14 September, attracted 22,859 user sessions - a 25 percent increase on the previous week. The busiest day attracted 4383 sessions.

Peter Griffin, manager of the Wellington-based Science Media Centre, says the digital strategy is an ambitious and coherent plan.

"It puts the city in a great position to grow its digital sector and could help all of those companies and scientific institutions in the region that are involved in research and development, particularly in the online space."

Mike Usmar, the chief executive of Computer Clubhouse, says he is delighted that Councillors voted unanimously to support the digital strategy.

"It sets a direction for Wellington, and in particular for the city's young people, as earlier adopters of technology, to establish meaningful digital careers and higher learning opportunities," says Mr Usmar.

"The modern broadband economy is much about visionary, pragmatic partnerships and collaborations which clearly this strategy is, and we look forward to continuing the very positive discussions we have had with the Council to date around establishing a Clubhouse in the Capital."