News | 22 May 2017

Sevens decision an opportunity to refresh Wellington's events

The decision to send the annual Rugby Sevens Tournament to Hamilton is an opportunity for Wellington to refresh its events calendar, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says.

“The Sevens has been a big part of recent Wellington history but it was time for the event to move on. The feedback we’d been getting from the public was that the event in Wellington seemed to have lost its allure.

“Wellingtonians have been voting with their feet in the last few years and we’ve seen the result in dwindling crowd numbers and lower ticket sales,” says the Mayor.

“It might be that the best thing is for the event to get a fresh start somewhere else and re-invent itself.

“For us, Wellington’s events calendar needs to be constantly evolving to keep people’s interest and this decision gives us an opportunity to refresh our events and look at new opportunities.

“We’ll now be focused on developing new events that highlight the things we most love about our city - from our growing tech sector, our sports, our strong arts and culture scene and our world class food and drink offerings.”
Deputy Mayor and Events Portfolio Holder Paul Eagle says the Sevens decision will free up funding for other events.

“With great events like Wellington on a Plate, LUX, Beervana, the Jazz Festival, Homegrown as well as potential new events like tech festival Wellington X and recent major concerts like ACDC and Guns N’ Roses, Wellington’s event scene is humming,” he says.

“We’re working on what else we can do to add to this, including investing more in arts events like Re-cut and leading the country in making Matariki a major city event. The coming summer will be action-packed and we’ll be making more announcements about draw-card events in the months to come.”