Wellington Mayor to strengthen ties with Canberra

27 April 2016

Wellington’s Mayor Celia Wade-Brown today leaves for Canberra for talks to establish stronger economic ties and formalise a relationship with the Australian capital.

The Mayoral delegation will meet with the Australian Capital Territory’s Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, and other ACT government officials, including the Director General of Economic Development, David Dawes, on signing an economic and cultural cooperation agenda.

“Australia is our nearest neighbour and our capital cities must have closer and stronger cultural, economic and political ties,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.

“My ultimate aim is a formal city relationship with Canberra, one that delivers real benefits for Wellington. The recent deal with Singapore Airlines, flying from Singapore to Wellington with a brief stop-over in Canberra, is an example of what can be achieved together. The route opens up further opportunities between the ANZAC capitals.”

The Mayoral delegation will meet with CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN), which supports and promotes innovation in Canberra. CBRIN has successfully connected and supported entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, students and established businesses which has strengthened the local economy.

The work of CBRIN is similar to Wellington’s new Tech Hub in Tory Street, which delivers the Collider programme. Collider’s aim is to transform Wellington into an innovation capital and an internationally recognised smart city. Collider helps creative, digital and technology companies to converge, collide and collaborate.

The delegation will discuss opportunities for a cooperative approach to inbound tourism on Singapore Airlines through Canberra to Wellington.  It will also explore with the National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial the possibility of a cooperative approach to exhibitions, education and curatorial exchanges and discuss the Australian approach to bringing students to the Capital.

Mayor Wade-Brown will meet Community Services to learn how they aim to end chronic homelessness in Canberra and visit the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust to discuss mutual learning about restoring biodiversity in cities.

The delegation visit was approved unanimously by Council’s Governance, Finance and Planning Committee last month.