The Infometrics index looks at the proportion of a city’s workforce involved in creative and artistic occupations and industries, and points to a link between the creative arts and economic development.
Wellington had a Creative Index of 6.9 in 2022 meaning 6.9 percent of Wellington City’s workforce (12,403 people) were employed in the creative sector last year.
The index puts Wellington well ahead of Queenstown, Auckland and Dunedin, and four of its neighbours (Porirua, Lower Hutt, Kāpiti Coast, South Wairarapa) are also in the top ten, making it the most creative region of Aotearoa.
Mayor Tory Whanau says the creative community is the beating heart of Pōneke, and this result shows it remains strong.
“Wellington has always embraced its creative capital status, it’s what sets us apart from other cities.
“It also shows Wellington City Council’s on-going commitment to the sector has supported it through some challenging times – particularly our Aho Tini 2030 Arts, Culture, and Creativity Strategy which is providing a strong platform for innovation and creativity in our city.
“We’re also proud and thankful to our talented creative community who help make Wellington the city that it is.”
According to Infometrics data, Wellington City’s creative sector had been declining for three successive years to 2021. The sector bounced back strongly in 2022 with employment in the sector growing 3.7 percent. Strong employment growth helped push the city’s Creativity Index to 6.9 in 2022 from 6.0 the previous year.
Infometrics Chief Executive and Principal Economist Brad Olsen says Wellington City remains the most creative city in New Zealand, with the strongest concentration of creative jobs as a share of total employment in the area, of any area in New Zealand – and by quite a margin!
“Over the last year, there has been an additional 440 creative jobs created in Wellington, with a large number of those additional roles being in post-production services and other film-related work, alongside contributions from museum operations, and advertising and architectural services.
“The fact that Wellington has now been the most creative city for every year since Infometrics has been tracking the sector in 2000 speaks to the sustained strength and importance of the creative sector to Wellington City. Wellington’s position in the top spot hasn’t been threatened, with a big gap between Wellington’s creative concentration and other areas. The concentration of creative jobs in Wellington is also self-reinforcing, creating a creative culture that helps to build talent over time.”
Screen Wellington Manager Tanya Black says Wellington’s thriving screen industry was a key part of the city being recognised for its creativity.
“From blockbusters like Avatar to the charming local comedy Red, White and Brass, the Wellington screen industry continues to punch above its weight internationally making a significant contribution to our culture and economy.
“The industry attracts talented and experienced people who want to move here for what the sector offers them. Wellington is also home to cutting-edge innovative technology in animation, VFX and gaming which is being exported to the world.
“Wellington has also been recognised as UNESCO Creative City of Film which acknowledges the significant cultural contribution the screen sector makes.
“The latest example of this strength is the six-part drama After The Party, which started screening on TVNZ at the weekend. Made in Wellington, it will soon be shown in the UK and Australia and is another example of how our stories have global appeal.”