Big ideas for economic growth

The Council has created an agenda for economic growth.

Excerpt from Writers Walk plaque on waterfront.

The Council's 'Big Ideas'

We’ll investigate each of our 'Big Ideas' and, if the business case for them stacks up, will recommend they are funded and consulted on as part of the 2015–25 Long-term Plan.


The overall aim of the 'Big Ideas' is to realise Wellington's economic potential. That can be achieved by:

  • growing the local economy, making it more diverse, and less reliant on the government sector
  • building sectors of the economy where we have a competitive advantage eg tourism, smart economy
  • building better connections between the tertiary sector and businesses to boost the knowledge economy
  • removing barriers to growth by improving our connections to the region, to the rest of the world and by making it easier to do business in the city.


8 Big Ideas Brochure (1MB PDF)

Here are the 'Big Ideas' for economic growth:

Aeroplane propellor.

Providing for large long-haul aircraft

International air connections

Wellington International Airport’s runway is too short to deal with large, long-haul aircraft. A runway up to 300m longer would: 

  • allow planes to fly direct to and from Asia
  • raise the prospect of one-stop flights to and from other destinations
  • help increase visitor numbers
  • strengthen education and business connections.
Enhanced view of keyboard.

Helping high-tech companies connect

A tech precinct

A CBD tech precinct would offer opportunities to:

  • foster growth in high-tech companies
  • encourage connections between creatives, business people, investors and the education sector
  • create an environment in which small start-ups have the tools and networks to grow. 
Chairs, long table and microphones.

Creating a larger conference venue

Conference and concert venues

At the moment we have good convention and concert facilities - but none large enough to compete for the biggest conferences or the biggest entertainment acts. A covered concert venue would also attract headline acts and more visitors to the city.

Robot clip from movie.

Building on the film industry already here

A Miramar precinct and film museum

Miramar is home to Wellington's international film industry, which employs thousands of people and contributes hugely to the region’s economy. 

The proposed runway extension and tax breaks on the filming of Avatar means there are opportunities to enhance the area, and its reputation as a centre of creative work, by supporting the development of:

  • a film precinct and associated education facilities
  • an enterprise zone

A film museum would:

  • celebrate the contribution Wellington’s film sector has made to the country’s economy and reputation
  • be a high-quality tourist attraction in the central city.
Person with open laptop.

Improving the services we provide

Open for business

Council’s services need to allow business to do what they do best - make money and create jobs so we need to:

  • make sure Council transactions are completed quickly and easily
  • make sure regulatory rules are clear and applied fairly
  • make information readily available
  • eliminate red tape and costs
  • encourage a positive, ‘can do’ culture
  • improve the services we provide
  • be innovative.

News - Wellington open for business, outlook looking good - 08.09.16

Wellington City Council Open for Business Survey

Wellington City Council has a focus on being ‘open for business’. Open for business means that the Council supports the business community by providing efficient services, facilitating growth and supporting businesses that would like to set up or continue business within Wellington. 

To work towards this, the Council needs to gain greater insight into what it is like to conduct business in Wellington. With this in mind, we have commissioned Nielsen to carry out a survey of Wellington businesses to achieve the following objectives:

  • Understand the benefits (and disadvantages) of having a business based in Wellington 
  • Measure future intentions in relation to remaining in Wellington
  • Understand what (more) the Wellington City Council can do to enhance Wellington as a great place for businesses
  • Provide an ongoing measure for a small number of indicators for businesses that can be monitored on an annual basis

Here are the key results:

Cyclist in cycle lane.

Making it safer and easier to bike

Better transport

Getting about the city and region can be made quicker and safer by:

  • developing cycleways between the suburbs and the central business district
  • completing highway upgrades in a manner that has minimal impact on surrounding neighbourhoods
  • improving the reliability and efficiency of public transport.

Enhancing our environment

A liveable city

When it comes to quality of life, the Capital City consistently ranks among the world’s top 20 cities. Keeping this ranking will be important as we compete to attract people and resources. We need to:

  • be socially inclusive
  • be open to differences and new ideas
  • reduce harmful emissions as we continue to protect and enhance the environment and our biodiversity.

Business forum

The Council, with the Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce, hosted a business forum in March 2014 to explore ideas for taking the city and the region's economy forward. Here are the notes from the forum:

Business Forum - Summary Document (139KB PDF) | Text version (3.6MB RTF)