Part C: Our work in detail

3 Economic development – Whanaketanga ōhanga me
4 Cultural wellbeing – Oranga ahurea

By the numbers

2.4%

Wellington City average annual GDP growth – 10 years to March 2013. This compared with 2.2% nationwide. Of New Zealand’s 66 local authorities, Wellington ranked 25th over the decade for GDP growth.

$86.3m

Contribution to Wellington’s economy during 2013/14 from major events supported by Wellington City Council.

21

Number of Wellington businesses ranked among New Zealand’s 200 largest.

5

Number of Wellington businesses ranked among New Zealand’s 10 fastest-growing.

The Council funds events and festivals, supports attractions such as Te Papa, the Carter Observatory and the city’s galleries and museums, markets Wellington to tourists from New Zealand and overseas, operates conference facilities, supports community art and cultural activities, promotes business, education and cultural links through sister city relationships and provides free weekend parking in the Central Business District.

We fund these activities because they matter to the lives of individual Wellingtonians and to the community as a whole.

They make Wellington a more vibrant place to live, and they matter to residents’ quality of life, their prosperity, identity and the opportunities available to them.

Our work in this area is guided by our Economic Development Strategy, our Arts and Cultural Strategy and the Events Policy.

In coming years, the Council plans to invest for growth, unlocking Wellington’s potential and making the city more vibrant and prosperous.

The strength of Wellington’s economy depends on its people, its entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, businesses and skilled workers.

The strength of its creative culture also depends on people, the output of artists, writers, musicians, and dancers and on the expressiveness of Wellington’s communities.

The Council can only play a small, but important, role in these sectors. We provide an environment in which creativity and innovation flourish, and an environment that enables business activity that supports artistic and cultural endeavours and celebrates the identities of the city’s many communities.

We also act as a catalyst for funding infrastructure, festivals, events and promotional activities that support economic and cultural activity.

The Council’s economic and cultural activities are funded through a combination of general rates, targeted rates, user charges and other income.

Key projects and initiatives

Investing for growth

Although Wellington’s economy is growing, it still has untapped potential, particularly in industries such as tourism, screen production and ICT. Tapping into that potential would bring more prosperity to the city, make it more vibrant, and provide a wider range of opportunities for residents.

Higher growth would also increase the rates base, allowing more investment in a stronger environment and higher quality of life.

Many of the new projects in this Long-term Plan are aimed at supporting growth in the economy, making it smarter, faster-growing, and more attractive to businesses and visitors, entrepreneurs, investors and skilled workers.

The key projects outlined in this section are at different stages of development. Detailed business cases will be developed for each of the projects in due course and these will set out the full costs and funding options. Further consultation will take place before final decisions are made.

A longer airport runway

Wellington’s economic prosperity depends on the strength of its connections with the rest of the world.

The lack of long-distance direct air connections reduces the region’s ability to attract tourists, international students, support business growth and make business connections.

We are working with Wellington International Airport Ltd (WIAL) on this project. The total cost of the runway extension is expected to be about $300 million. It is anticipated that funding will be drawn from those that benefit – the Airport, residents, and businesses across the wider region, and the Government in light of potential economic benefits to New Zealand.

We have budgeted $90 million as our contribution towards a longer runway. Spreading this investment over 40 years would result in an annual cost of around $6.5 million commencing in 2019/20.

The Council will make a final decision on this project and whether to commit funding to construction in a future long-term plan, once WIAL has obtained resource consent for the project and the Council has received and considered a cost-benefit analysis and business case from WIAL that will be independently reviewed. Other key considerations before the Council makes its final decision relate to:

The Council will also undertake further public consultation before making a final decision on whether to commit funding to construct the runway extension.

A central city tech hub

Information and communications technology is Wellington’s fastest growing business sector, contributing more than $2.4 billion in GDP to the region annually and supporting more than 15,000 jobs.

One of the critical conditions for success in high-tech industries is opportunities for people to connect with each other, sharing knowledge, ideas, innovation, investment, and pathways to national and international markets.

We will establish a ‘tech hub’ to help high-tech start-ups connect with funders, investors and international speakers. The Council’s contribution towards the Tech Hub will be up to a maximum of $3.2 million over the next three years.

Film and screen productions

Wellington’s screen production sector thrills, inspires and amazes people here and around the world. However, the industry is also heavily dependent on one-off productions. A challenge is to create a growing and more continuous flow of projects.

The Council will work with the industry more closely and explore opportunities to grow the sector in the city.

A joined-up regional approach

Wellington City’s economy is not separate from the economies of neighbouring cities – the region forms a single economy.

Nor can the various sectors of the economy, such as events, tourism, hospitality, screen production and ICT, be considered separate. The success of one sector inevitably contributes to the success of another, by making the city more prosperous, increasing opportunities available to residents, and attracting visitors, workers, and businesses.

For that reason, the Council has worked with Greater Wellington Regional Council and other local authorities to establish the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), a single agency responsible for economic development, events and tourism throughout the region.

This agency will be able to provide a clear direction for economic development across the region, leading to higher growth, more jobs and tourists, and stronger communities.

The inclusive and culturally diverse city

Of the 200,100 people who live in Wellington City, 29% were born outside of New Zealand, 24% speak a language other than English, and 29% identified with a non-European ethnic group.

Wellington is a city that celebrates diversity. As a city of government and business, we value the connections that a diverse population has with other parts of the world. As a creative city, we love when people express themselves, sharing their stories, sounds, pictures and identities.

In an increasingly globalised world, our willingness to embrace diversity is an advantage and one that makes us attractive to visitors, investors, entrepreneurs and skilled people from all parts of the world.

In coming years, the Council will continue to encourage and celebrate diversity, by supporting arts and cultural events and small arts organisations ranging from Tawata, Randell, Orpheus, Matariki and Diwali to WOW and the New Zealand Festival.

We have also increased our cultural grants fund from 2016/17 to increase our level of support to the Capital’s arts and cultural institutions.

Through the Destination Wellington programme, we are also promoting Wellington internationally as a place to live, learn and do business.

Increasing the range of visitor attractions

Wellington is one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing tourism markets, with a 39% increase in visitor guest nights over the 10 years to 31 March 2014. Higher visitor numbers means the city can support a wider range of visitor attractions.

While we have one of the country’s fastest growing tourism markets, there is still considerable untapped potential in the market. Not only can we attract more visitors, we can also encourage them to stay longer and spend more.

We are planning to invest in the following projects in the coming years:

Increased funding for major events

Wellington is New Zealand’s events and creative capital, but we face increasing competition from other Australasian cities for the right to host major events. To maintain our economic and cultural edge, we have increased the funding available to attract and support major events, ensuring that the city is able to bring in new attractions and retain those it currently has. We have increased our Events Development Fund (implemented through WREDA) to around $5 million per year for the 10 years of the plan.

The New Zealand Festival

The festival is New Zealand’s premier arts and cultural event. It’s currently held every two years and attracts world-class line-ups of performers. We have increased our grant to the festival by $500,000 to secure ‘off-year’ events or shows in the city. This complements the New Zealand Festival’s own success at raising the majority of its funding from ticket sales and other sources.

We will support another of the city’s cultural institutions – the Circa Theatre. We have budgeted a grant of $250,000 over the next three years to support the theatre and $15,000 per annum over the next three years for technical support of external groups.

An indoor arena

Wellington has no indoor venue capable of seating more than 5000 people. As a result, the region misses out on international artists who play in other cities such as Auckland and Christchurch.

This comes as an economic cost to the city as we are missing out on a range of events including rock concerts and other music events that can attract large numbers of people to the city.

The Council is progressing work to scope the feasibility of developing an 8,000-12,000 seat indoor arena in the central city.

If a decision is made to proceed further, a business case will be developed and partnership funding options explored.

Wellington Convention Centre

Conventions bring people to the city from throughout New Zealand and overseas to discuss ideas and make connections.

A new purpose built convention centre would allow the city to maintain and increase its market share in the lucrative conference market, creating jobs and bringing up to $21 million a year into the Wellington economy.

Increasing the number of conferences held in Wellington will also attract events, increase Wellington’s international profile, and encourage Wellington businesses and research organisations to strengthen connections with their counterparts overseas.

We will continue to explore options and work with the private sector to deliver a convention centre to Wellington. We have budgeted an operational grant of $4 million per year from 2019/20.

1st place​

In a 2014 survey of six NZ cities, Wellington residents were much more likely than residents of other cities to:
  • agree that cultural diversity made their city a better place – Wellingtonians said that cultural diversity made the city a more vibrant and interesting place
  • agree that Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene.
Wellington residents were also:
  • more likely to be in paid employment than residents of other cities
  • more likely to be satisfied with their work-life balance than residents of most other cities.

Economic development – group of activitiesTop

Group of activities Rationale Service offering Negative effects
3.1 City promotions and business support

3.1.1 WREDA

3.1.2 Wellington Convention Centre

3.1.3 Retail support

3.1.4 WIED fund/Economic Grants

3.1.5 Major projects - economy

3.1.6 International relations

3.1.7 Business improvement districts
Talent attraction and retention

Grow tourism spend and economic returns from events.

Grow inward investment and exports.

Sustain city vibrancy.  
  • Promoting Wellington to visitors
  • Attracting and supporting major events
  • Offering convention and concert venues
  • Building regional and international relations
  • Attracting and supporting business activity
  • ​Exploring major economic development initiatives such as the:
  • Runway extension and airline attraction
  • International film museum
  • Convention centre
  • Indoor arena
  • War and peace museum
We do not anticipate any significant negative effects associated with our role in these services.

Economic development – performance measuresTop

Economic development
Objectives Tourism spend

Investment attraction/digital exports

City vibrancy
Outcome indicators Number of domestic and international visitors (guest nights)

Average length of stay - international and domestic

Number of major conferences

Number of A-level events held in Wellington and their economic contribution

New Zealand's top 200 companies based in Wellington

Business enterprises - births and growths (net growth in business)

Domestic and international airline passengers entering Wellington airport

Free wifi usage (logons/day) - waterfront and central city

Pedestrian counts - average of various Lambton Quay sites

Businesses and employees in research and development sector

Secondary (international) and tertiary (international and domestic) students enrolled per 1,000 residents

​Events/activities held with international cities (in Wellington and overseas)
3.1 City promotions and business support

3.1.1 WREDA

3.1.2 Wellington Convention Centre

3.1.3 Retail Support

3.1.4 WIED fund/Economic Grants

3.1.5 Major projects - economy

3.1.6 International relations

​3.1.7 Business improvement districts
Purpose of measure Performance measure 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018-25
To measure the quality of our investments in promoting the city WREDA - Positively Wellington Tourism partnership funding Maintain council's funding at less than 50% of total income Maintain council's funding at less than 50% of total income Maintain council's funding at less than 50% of total income Maintain council's funding at less than 50% of total income
To measure the usage of WCC supported events Estimated attendance at WCC supported events 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000
To measure the quality of our investments in economic development Events Development fund - ratio of direct spend to economic impact 20:1 20:1 20:1 20:1
The proportion of grant funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 95% 95% 95% 95%

Economic development – activity budgetTop

3.1 City promotions and business support 2014/15 AP
2014/15
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP
2015/16
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP
2016/17
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP
2017/18
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP
​10-year total
Gross Expenditure
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
3.1.1 - WREDA 5,630 31,560 31,718 32,112 340,587
3.1.2 - Wellington convention centre 17,763 - - 2,046 34,871
3.1.3 - Retail support (free weekend parking) 1,449 1,356 1,391 1,427 15,473
3.1.4 - WEID, economic growth and economic grants 1,262 3,599 3,680 3,765 40,784
3.1.5 - Major economic projects 4,313 - 5,000 - 58,565
3.1.6 - Regional and external relations 4,881 572 583 593 6,358
3.1.7 - Business improvement districts 2,510 114 117 120 1,297
Total operating expenditure 37,808 37,201 42,489 40,063 497,935
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
3.1.1 - WREDA - - - - -
3.1.2 - Wellington convention centre 1,341 2,215 1,742 1,353 16,422
3.1.3 - Retail support (free weekend parking) - - - - -
3.1.4 - WEID, economic growth and economic grants - - - - -
3.1.5 - Major economic projects - - - - 64,908
3.1.6 - Regional and external relations - - - - -
3.1.7 - Business improvement districts - - - - -
Total capital expenditure 1,341 2,215 1,742 1,353 81,330

Cultural wellbeing – group of activitiesTop

Group of activities Rationale Service offering Negative effects
4.1 Arts and cultural activities

4.1.1 City galleries and museums

4.1.2 Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Carter Observatory)

4.1.3 Arts and cultural festivals

4.1.4 Cultural grants

4.1.5 Access and support for community arts

4.1.6 Arts partnerships

4.1.7 Regional amenities fund
The arts contribute to a vibrant CBD and provide opportunities for cultural expression.

Build a sense of place and identity.

Grow visitation and exposure to creativity and innovation.
  • Funding to Te Papa, Wellington Museum, City Gallery, Capital E, the Cable Car Museum, Carter Observatory and Nairn Street Historic Cottage.
  • Support major events and festivals that generate economic returns
  • Provide fund grants to arts organisations.
  • Manage the Toi Poneke Arts Centre, the City Art Collection.
  • Te Ara o Nga Tupuna Heritage Trail and Te Motu Kairangi Plan
We do not anticipate any significant negative effects associated with our role in these services.

Cultural wellbeing – performance measuresTop

Cultural wellbeing
Objectives Sense of place and identity

Diversity and openness

Visitation

Exposure to creativity and innovation
Outcome indicators Residents’ frequency of engagement in cultural and arts activities

New Zealanders’ and residents’ perceptions that ‘Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene’

Resident perceptions that Wellington’s local identity (sense of place) is appropriately valued and protected

Events held at key city venues

New Zealanders' and residents’ perceptions that “Wellington is the arts capital of New Zealand”

New Zealanders’ and residents’ perceptions that “Wellington is the events capital of New Zealand”

Residents’ (%) agreement with the statement that “Wellington is an easy place to get involved in the arts”

Te Papa visitors - total visitors, overseas visitors and NZ visitors from outside the region

Customer (%) satisfaction with the NZ Festival
  Total tickets sold to the NZ Festival and the proportion sold to customers outside the region

Total visits to museums and galleries (including Carter Observatory)
4.1 Arts and culture activities

4.1.1 City galleries and museums

4.1.2 Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Carter Observatory)

4.1.3 Arts and cultural festivals

4.1.4 Cultural grants

4.1.5 Access and support for community arts

4.1.6 Arts partnerships

4.1.7 Regional Amenities Fund
Purpose of measure Performance measure 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018-25
To measure the quality and usage of our arts and culture support activities Attendee satisfaction with Council supported arts and cultural festivals 90% 90% 90% 90%
User (%) satisfaction with Toi Pōneke facilities and services 90% 90% 90% 90%
Economic contribution ($) the NZ Festival makes to the city's economy (direct new spend) $40 million   $40 million $40 million (every second year)
The proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 95% 95% 95% 95%
Proportion of outcomes delivered (previous projects - weighted by $ value)   90% 90% 90% 90%
Venues subsidy - total number of performers and attendees at supported events Increase on previous year Increase on previous year Increase on previous year Increase on previous year
Cultural grants - % first time applicants who are successful 50% 50% 50% 50%

Cultural wellbeing – activity budgetTop

4.1 Arts and culture activities 2014/15 AP 2014/15
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2015/16
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2016/17
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 2017/18
Gross Expenditure
2015–25 LTP 10-year total
Gross Expenditure
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
4.1.1 - Galleries and museums (WMT) 8,412 9,208 9,445 9,914 102,353
4.1.2 - Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Carter Observatory) 2,981 2,840 2,864 2,878 29,013
4.1.3 - Arts and cultural festivals 2,597 2,692 2,745 2,805 30,237
4.1.4 - Cultural grants 1,053 858 969 981 11,540
4.1.5 - Access and support for community arts 613 659 719 728 6,516
4.1.6 - Arts partnerships 1,938 2,277 2,315 2,353 22,330
4.1.7 - Regional Amenities Fund 609 609 609 609 6,095
Total operating expenditure 18,203 19,142 19,666 20,268 208,084
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000) ($000)
4.1.1 - Galleries and museums (WMT) - 1,914 - 10,000 11,914
4.1.2 - Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Carter Observatory) - 180 - - 180
4.1.3 - Arts and cultural festivals - - - - -
4.1.4 - Cultural grants - 100 - 8 230
4.1.5 - Access and support for community arts 26 26 27 28 301
4.1.6 - Arts partnerships - - - - -
4.1.7 - Regional Amenities Fund - - - - -
Total capital expenditure 26 2,220 27 10,036 12,624