Direct Long-Haul Flights to Asia Key to Draft Economic Strategy

22 September 2011

Councillors at today's Strategy and Policy Committee meeting voted to consult on a draft Economic Development Strategy which aims to create 10,000 more jobs and attract long-haul flights to the Capital.

The draft Economic Development Strategy, part of a wider framework - Toward 2040: Smart Green Wellington, identifies urgent priority activities in the short-term to 2015 that the Council, together with key partners, can undertake to grow the city's economy.

The priority actions identified include:

  • Clearly defining Wellington's competitive advantage and developing an integrated talent, business and investment attraction strategy
  • Strengthening international linkages by attracting a direct long haul carrier by 2013
  • Creating 10,000 new jobs across the economy by 2015
  • Promoting a business-friendly culture
  • Adopting business improvement districts (BIDs) for suburban centres
  • Building internal economic development capacity.

The Council's Economy Portfolio Leader Councillor Jo Coughlan says Wellington needs a bold target for growth and to build on its strengths to create 10,000 more jobs.

"We have a world-class and talented public sector but our economy has been transforming and now 80% of people are employed in the private sector. Wellington is open for business.

"We need to actively promote Wellington as an international business destination and ensure we address key infrastructure so businesses can operate globally and families want to live here. Securing direct flights to Asia and a talent, business and investment attraction strategy, are top priorities."

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the city's economic strategy is about playing to our strengths.

"As the nation's capital we have valuable international connections, we have New Zealand's most highly educated population and our creative and digital sectors are flourishing," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

"A smart green Wellington grows our low carbon knowledge-intensive sectors to drive our economy forward. Wellington is the city where world-class talent wants to live.

"With direct flights to Asia and excellent digital infrastructure Wellingtonians can connect and work globally from their Wellington base. We must also ensure that there are jobs for our young people," she said.

The draft Strategy will replace the Council's current Economic Development Strategy, and form one of the seven Council strategies as part of the 2012/22 Long Term Plan.

The strategy focuses on four key strategic areas:

  • Destination Wellington - developing and promoting the city in a way that attracts the visitors, skilled people, business and investment needed to achieve greater prosperity including through events, amenities and promotional activities
  • Smart capital - generating a significant proportion of future economic growth from smart, innovative, knowledge-intensive businesses
  • Connected capital - increasing physical and virtual connectivity within the region, with other parts of New Zealand, and internationally
  • Open for business - delivering the Council's services with a 'can do' attitude, providing a world-class built environment and fostering a business environment where it is easy, efficient and affordable to invest and do business.

The Strategy will go out for public consultation from Tuesday 11 October to Friday 11 November. It will be available on the 'Have Your Say' section of the Council website. You can also phone the Council on (04) 499 4444 to have a copy posted out to you.