Councillors Focussed on City Growth

18 December 2013

Tomorrow councillors will approve further work on a package of initiatives designed to expand the local and regional economy.

The projects - including an airport runway extension, convention and concert venue, film museum and tech precinct - are being investigated further as part of the city's  Economic Development Strategy.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the projects are in their early stages and business cases will be developed.

"The council is committed to driving investment and initiatives that will bring prosperity and jobs to the region.

"Telling the stories of film, especially our capital’s achievements with The Hobbit and Avatar series, will keep Wellington on the world map. We can build a  healthy economy in Wellington by playing to our strengths and investing in infrastructure and initiatives that support growth across a range of sectors.

“Our cultural leadership offers huge opportunities in the museum attraction sector plus direct flights to Asia will enable more investment and visitors to the region. “

The council's Economic and Arts Committee Chair Jo Coughlan says getting serious about these projects is the critical next step in delivering on an economic development strategy for Wellington.

"We are focussing on growing areas we have an advantage in – film, IT and design, research and education, tourism and digital creative.

"In addition improving transport for freight and people across the city to the CBD, port and airport; reducing red tape and being open for business, and developing underutilized areas into business parks are all ideas we are considering.

"Obviously the council can’t create jobs - but we can create a city environment that makes Wellington the best place in New Zealand to do business.

"Council has set a clear direction with its economic development strategy.  Through Destination Wellington we are focussing on attracting talent and investment to Wellington. 

The next step is prioritising infrastructure investment to support business and tourism in the city."

While each idea is at a different stage of development, collectively they have the ability to significantly transform the city.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the Priority Growth Agenda will give businesses and residents a "clear sense of direction and confidence that we are serious about improving the city's economy.”

The Priority Growth Agenda will be presented to Council this Thursday 19 December and is available here:
Council meeting - 19.12.13