News | 16 August 2022

Bringing the hustle and bustle back to the Capital

Picture this. You’ve jumped off the bus to meet a friend for lunch. You head to your favourite cafe on Cuba Street before spending the afternoon rummaging through vintage shops. Afterwards, you wander into a dinky bar, where you sit and chat over an espresso martini before you car-share a ride home. A day well had.

Three people shopping.
Image of Hunters and Collectors, from WellingtonNZ.

That’s economic activity in action.

From your place of work, to the restaurants you like to visit, or the local green grocers where you stock up on vegetables – every business adds to the landscape of the city. 

Wellingtonians have told Wellington City Council that they want a vibrant and safe city that provides opportunities for all, while protecting the environment.

They want to see businesses getting the support they need to bring the hustle and bustle back in the city and in their suburbs. To address this, the Council have developed the Economic Wellbeing Strategy. 

It’s a way of recognising the relationships between people, the economy, and the environment. It also focuses on making it easy to have a business in Wellington, while seeing Wellington businesses as partners in building the city.

People drinking on a rooftop bar.
Image by Celeste Fontein.

What do businesses think of the strategy? 

Sustainability Manager at Sustainability Trust and member of Waste Free Welly Polly Griffiths, sees the strategy as a chance to tackle global issues.

“To meet the big challenges of our time, we need an economic strategy that sees the need for a change and moves people away from business as usual. 

My hope is that the strategy will connect how important zero waste strategies are for climate action and community resilience. That it provides support for the collaboration and knowledge transfer that will enable greater ways of working, based around circular economy principles.”

Wellington City Youth Councillor Nīkau Edmond-Smaill can see the how the strategy can change the future careers of young people.

“Currently, as seen in the strategy, many young people end up moving away from Wellington once they finish either High School or University. This is not necessarily because they want to leave, but because there is a lack of entry-level job opportunities. 

“The new strategy aims to combat this in positive ways, including more opportunities for students in a number of areas, and partnering with groups (including schools, government agencies, and mana whenua) to support young people into their chosen career pathways. If all this can be achieved, I believe that Wellington can become an even better place for young people to live.”

Students working on a project.
Image from Victoria University.

Team Leader for Strategy at Wellington City Council Kerryn Merriman, says that businesses in Wellington are ready for a change. 

“I discovered a willingness in our city to do this, which is how we’ve been able to come up with a strategy that is quite progressive and forward thinking. We’ve been able to see where we can support businesses and make shifts that will flow through to the next level of things, like how our waste system works, and what can the Council do to enable people to run their businesses how they want it to work.”

The voices of local businesses are at the core of the strategy, with their experiences guiding the way it was developed, says Kerryn.

“We had many conversations with businesses throughout the whole process so we can understand how different sectors are involved. 

"By doing this, we can figure out how to tackle the future in a unique, Wellington way.”

Read the Economic Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan