News | 9 May 2016

Wellington's CBD in excellent economic heart

Wellington’s Central Business District – the region’s economic powerhouse – is thriving with its GDP growth in the past year outperforming that of Auckland and the national economy.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown welcomes the positive data and says confidence among the CBD’s businesses, workers and residents is high. 

“Our CBD is the most compact and vibrant cosmopolitan centre in the country.

“This is the first extract of economic data at this level of geographic detail and it confirms our commitment to the heart of the region,” she says.

Figures from an Infometrics Wellington CBD annual economic profile, commissioned by Wellington City Council, show the area’s GDP grew by 3.8% for the year to March 2015, compared to a year earlier. This was higher than in Auckland (3.4%) and across the country at 3.6%.

“The growing number of new buildings including No.1 Market Lane and heritage transformation projects like the Manthel Building are evidence of strong CBD confidence,” Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says.

Councillor Jo Coughlan, Chair of the Council’s Economic Growth Committee, says it is satisfying to see strong growth in financial and insurance services and the other service sectors that dominate Wellington’s CBD.

“Wellington City Council and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency have been supporting knowledge intensive sectors such as the development of the Tech Hub and Collider programme. We’ve also been investing millions to improve the quality of public spaces in the CBD and working with local businesses through the OurCBD initiative.

“As a result, people are telling us that the CBD service and retail economy is really healthy – it’s a big step up from the relatively tough times during the GFC.”

The Council’s City Growth and Partnerships Director, Derek Fry, says the Infometrics data is part of a comprehensive suite of performance information on the CBD that is being compiled by the Council. 

“This information is really useful – we now have baseline statistics to track the health of the CBD. Given it represents around 54% of the region’s urban economy, 68% of the Wellington City’s employment and 40% of the region’s employment, it’s essential we keep close tabs on how the economy is tracking.