3.1 City promotions and business support
Ngā whakatairanga tāone me ngā āwhina pakihi
By supporting city promotions and major events, we underscore Wellington’s reputation as a great place to live and visit
What we do
Tourism promotions (Positively Wellington Tourism)
Events attraction and support
Convention venues (Positively Wellington venues)
Retail support (free weekend parking)
Regional and external relations
Grants and creative workforce
People-centred – Our activities connect people with places and ideas, make Wellington an attractive place to live and do business, and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city every year.
Connected – Major events and our performance spaces and conference venues connect us to artists and events of national and international significance, and Wellington’s story is connected to the world by Positively Wellington Tourism’s marketing and promotion. Event-based websites and social media platforms are connecting people to what is on and how they can be there.
Dynamic central city – Our events, festivals, spaces and venues anchor Wellington’s appeal as a place of creativity, exploration, innovation and excitement. Iconic events such as the World of WearableArt® awards show (WOW), the International Festival of the Arts and the Hertz Sevens are world class and an integral part of our Dynamic Central City.
We worked closely with Wellington Waterfront Limited to deliver a number of successful events on the waterfront, which included New Year celebrations, the Hertz Sevens Rugby Tournament, Homegrown, the Pinot Noir Festival, AMI Round the Bays, Dragon boating, the Asian Night Market, Fringe Festival events, and Chinese New Year.
During the year:
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiere was a key focus area during the first half of the year which included hosting the worldwide premiere. Around 60 of the 100-strong media contingent travelled from over 20 countries in addition to Australian and domestic journalists. A report commissioned by the Council estimated the world premiere of The Hobbit contributed over $11.5 million to Wellington's economy during the premiere week.
- The fourth annual Visa Wellington On a Plate was enjoyed by 20,500 festival-goers who participated in 106 festival events and dined at 108 DINE restaurants over the 17 days of the festival. New spend by visitors outside of the Wellington region generated $1.41 million dollars in direct spending.
- PWT brought the Spoil Yourself in Wellington campaign to life in our biggest visitor market by ‘Spoiling Auckland’. The experiential and digital campaign – run in partnership with Air New Zealand, Mojo and Whittaker’s – saw a team descend on Auckland to surprise locals with a range of gifts from Wellington. The campaign resulted in record Auckland online traffic with over 28,000 visits to the campaign landing page on WellingtonNZ.com.
- PWT launched a Winter Events campaign to promote winter weekend travel to Wellington and in Australia PWT’s campaign saw a $1million joint venture campaign with Tourism New Zealand take place focusing on creating awareness of Wellington and its neighbouring regions – Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough – as the food and wine centre of New Zealand.
- WOW was once again a success with all performances selling out and more than 30,000 people from out of town attending the event. WOW has signed a nine year contract to remain in Wellington. WOW makes a huge economic contribution to Wellington with the last economic impact study estimating $15.1 million spent in the city, and $4.9 million of that going directly to the city’s retailers. In addition to this it also brings further jobs to the city, employing over 400 people each year for the production.
- The red-carpet world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was on 28 November. The Council ran a number of events including the five-day Hobbit-inspired Artisan Market in Waitangi Park with 19 stallholders plus food and drink outlets. There were outdoor public screenings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, also at Waitangi Park.
- We hosted the Hertz Sevens which was again a great success with over 21,000 visitors in Wellington specifically for the event. The 2013 tournament was the fourth leg in the HSBC Sevens World Series, and featured 16 international teams.
- Wellington Fashion Week ran in early April. This was the second time the event has been held and this year almost 40 designers, including up-and-coming local brands took part.
- The historic Australian Football League match between St Kilda and Sydney was played at the Westpac Stadium on ANZAC Day with over 22,000 supporters attending the match.
- The Council, in association with the Wellington Returned Services Association (RSA) ran a series of ANZAC Day events on Thursday 25 April. The dawn parade, dawn service and wreath laying ceremonies have become popular events and draw attendance from a large cross-section of the Wellington community. Over 7000 members of the public attended the dawn parade and service, joined by the New Zealand Prime Minister and two Australian Federal Government Ministers.
- Wellington hosted New Zealand’s Hottest Little Jazz Festival from 6-8 June. The festival was headlined by eight-time Grammy winner Chucho Valdés and two-time Grammy winner Cassandra Wilson. Over 9000 people enjoyed over 50 shows held in a number of the city's music venues.
- The LUX Wellington Light Festival was held in late June, and despite the stormy weather 14,000 people enjoyed 18 artworks that use light, set up along the waterfront and in back alleys in the CBD.
- We continued to support other events such as the Oceania World Cup Orienteering Festival, the Hertz Sevens Parade, the Homegrown music festival, Nitro Circus, State Capital Classic Ocean Swim, Pinot Noir 2013, Contact National Triathlon, and the New Zealand-England test cricket match at the Basin.
Positively Wellington Venues (PWV)
- PWV delivered over 950 events across all venues. Performance and exhibitions included: Ed Sheeran, Neil Young, Glenn Miller, Madame Butterfly, Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella (St James Theatre), Hairspray (Opera House), Agatha’s Christie’s The Mousetrap, and Royal NZ Ballet’s production of Giselle.
- PWV received international ISO Quality and Environmental Management certification across all its venues. They are currently the only New Zealand venues management organisation to have received this certification across all their venues.
Regional and external relations
- The city received 34 delegations over the year from Japan, China, Singapore, Korea, South East Asia, Thailand and Australia. We had eight outbound delegations to Singapore, UK, China, USA and Japan.
- The Memorandum of Cooperation for Strategic Economic Partnership between the Zhejiang Province and the Wellington region was signed.
- Zhejang Radio and Television Group filmed a documentary entitled Beautiful Wellington.
- We celebrated 25 years of our sister-city relationship with the Chinese city of Xiamen with a visit to Wellington by Xiamen Deputy Mayor Kang Tao and city officials, and the opening in Wellington of Charming Xiamen - a photography exhibition.
- We helped Wellington companies do business with our sister/friendly cities overseas. The Formary connected with a local partner in Tianjin who has created an upholstery fabric that blends Chinese rice production waste product with New Zealand wool. The fabric will be sold in the USA. The Village Goldsmith from Wellington signed a deal to supply designs to Chinese bridal jewellery chain Hiersun.
- The Council won the 'Best Cultural, Sport or Recreation project' at the 2013 Sister Cities Awards for the Japan Festival.
- We organised and hosted the Kia Kaha! Japan Festival of Wellington 2012. More than 30 delegates from Sakai visited Wellington to take part in the festival. Approximately 30,000 visitors attended festival events.
- We held the India Workshop: Wellington/Delhi Strategy to discuss a possible city-to-city relationship with Delhi. The workshop attendees included New Zealand stakeholders, the High Commission of India, universities and local India organisations.
- We supported the Wellington Chinese New Year Festival by organising the Shenzhen Song and Dance Troupe to visit Wellington and perform. The performance added a new element to this dynamic and exciting festival.
The Council established a programme of work to attract, retain and grow investment, to create jobs and to support sustainable economic growth. A collaborative team was formed by involving the Council, Positively Wellington Tourism and Grow Wellington to run the programme. The roles of the three parties are as follows:
- PWT has a responsibility to raise Wellington’s profile in target markets and support attraction efforts through marketing activities.
- Grow Wellington is to identify and target business, talent, students and investment, and convert opportunities into business deals.
- The Council is to coordinate the overall programme and provide market analysis and intelligence.
Some key year one achievements include:
- Extensive research undertaken by PWT which documents stakeholders’ perceptions of Wellington.
- A targeted Wellington education strategy to attract international students and develop the education offering in the city.
- A competitor city audit of 25 competitor cities, their economic development agencies, sectors of focus, incentive offerings and promotion activities, and the cities’ rankings on international indices.
Although the emphasis of the programme in year one has been on background research, strategy development and campaign development, the programme had an early success with the relocation of a contact centre from Australia to the CBD. The contact centre is already employing 85 staff, and has forecast to increase to 200 jobs next year, bringing in an additional $10 million in economic value to Wellington.
Business improvement districts
- In March, the Council approved a business improvement district (BID) policy which provides a framework for establishing and implementing BIDs in the city. We started working with the first BID in Miramar and this work is ongoing.
- As part of a review of our grant funds the Council agreed that the Economic Grant Pool from 1 July 2013 will be focussed for a two-year period on the development of BIDs in the city.
- We developed an action plan for the Open for Business programme of the Economic Development Strategy. As part of this ‘can-do’ programme we will engage with key businesses across the city to further our understanding about the challenges and opportunities they face.
What it costsTop
|Operating Expenditure ($000) ||Actual |
|3.1.1 Tourism Promotion || || || || |
|Expenditure ||5,740 ||5,740 ||– ||5,740 |
|Revenue ||– ||– ||– ||– |
|Net Expenditure ||5,740 ||5,740 ||– ||5,740 |
|3.1.2 Convention Venues1 || || || || |
|Expenditure ||17,952 ||4,515 ||(13,437) ||3,439 |
|Revenue ||(14,659) ||– ||14,659 ||(410) |
|Net Expenditure ||3,293 ||4,515 ||1,222 ||3,029 |
|3.1.3 Retail Support (free weekend parking) || || || || |
|Expenditure ||1,281 ||1,286 ||5 ||16,170 |
|Revenue ||– ||– ||– ||(13,415) |
|Net Expenditure ||1,281 ||1,286 ||5 ||2,755 |
|3.1.4 Grants and Creative Workforce2 || || || || |
|Expenditure ||1,512 ||1,718 ||206 ||1,826 |
|Revenue ||(40) ||– ||40 ||(50) |
|Net Expenditure ||1,472 ||1,718 ||246 ||1,776 |
|3.1.5 Events Attraction and Support3 || || || || |
|Expenditure ||4,923 ||4,631 ||(292) ||4,922 |
|Revenue ||(96) ||– ||96 ||(344) |
|Net Expenditure ||4,827 ||4,631 ||(196) ||4,578 |
|3.1.6 Regional and External Relations || || || || |
|Expenditure ||643 ||514 ||(129) ||590 |
|Revenue ||(40) ||– ||40 ||(9) |
|Net Expenditure ||603 ||514 ||(89) ||581 |
|3.1.7 Destination Wellington || || || || |
|Expenditure ||982 ||1,000 ||18 ||– |
|Revenue ||– ||– ||– ||– |
|Net Expenditure ||982 ||1,000 ||18 ||– |
|Capital Expenditure ($000) ||Actual |
|3.1.2 Convention Venues4 || || || || |
|Expenditure ||3,313 ||3,699 ||386 ||212 |
|Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward ||N/A ||3,531 || ||N/A |
- Under budget due to receipt of unbudgeted sub-tenant revenue upon the transition of St James Trust assets to the Council, as well as lower depreciation than budgeted as a result of the 2011/12 asset revaluation process. Revenue and expenditure variances as a result of the consolidation of Wellington Venues Ltd.
- Under budget due to lower expenditure on promotional advertising and unbudgeted income for CBD WiFi.
- The use of internal labour for The Hobbit premiere has resulted in a higher organisational overhead allocation than budgeted for this activity.
- Under budget due to delays in the start of temporary venue fit-out due to the need to complete initial earthquake and pile strengthening work, and delays in completing deferred maintenance at the Opera House.
How we performedTop
We measure our contribution to the development of Wellington as an events hub and tourist destination by monitoring the number of visitors to the city, attendees at key facilities and by the strong return on events investment. By supporting strategic projects and by representing the city’s interests to Central Government and overseas, we aim to improve Wellington’s economic competitiveness. To assess success, we monitor the projects we are involved in and support.
International visitors – guest nights
International visitor room nights decreased to 667,760 in the year to April 2013, a decrease of 13.6%. (target: maintain international visitor nights).
There is a continuing decline in visitors from the UK and US markets. This decline is offset somewhat by growth in visitors from China, but these visitors tend to stay for shorter periods in New Zealand.
Source: Positively Wellington Tourism
Average length of stay – international and domestic visitors
Result: 2.04 nights (target: 2 nights; 2011/12: 2.05; 2010/11: 1.96)
Source: Statistics New Zealand
New Zealand market visitors
Domestic visitor room nights increased by 4.4% to 1,373,613 for the year to April 2013, compared to the same period in 2012 (target: increase by 2% on previous year).
The Some Like it Hot summer campaign (led with a ‘Kids Stay Free’ hotel offer), Game Masters at Te Papa and other events over the summer led to December and January being record months in terms of commercial guest nights, with an 8.7% growth in the domestic market across the two-month period.
Source: Positively Wellington Tourism
Positively Wellington Tourism – partnership funding
The Council’s funding amounted to 49% of total income (target: maintain the Council's funding at less than 50% of total income; 2011/12: 48%; 2010/11: 50%).
Source: Positively Wellington Tourism
Events/activities held with formal international partnership cities (in Wellington and overseas)
There is no target for this measure.
Source: WCC International Relations
Wellington venues occupancy
Result: 953 hire days (target 1032).
Source: Positively Wellington Venues Ltd
Estimated attendance at Council supported events
Result: 549,128 (target: 500,000).
Source: WCC City Events
To measure the success of our investments in economic development
Residents’ satisfaction (%) with Council supported events and festivals
Result: 90% (target 95%).
Source: Residents' Monitoring Survey
Events Development Fund – ratio of spend to economic impact
Major ticketed events attracted significant visitor numbers and economic benefit. We met our overall goal of economic benefits outweighing costs by a ratio of at least 20:1. We achieved 24:1.
Source: WCC City Events
The proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met)
In 2013/14 criteria for this fund will be aligned to support community economic development projects wanting to establish local BIDs.
Source: WCC Community Networks
To measure the standard of the provision of parking
On-street car park turnover rates – weekdays and weekends
Source: WCC Infrastructure