Economic Development

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

Destination Wellington

Our city promotions and business support activities contribute towards us beingTop

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.

Key projectsTop

During the year:

Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT)

Events attraction

Positively Wellington Venues (PWV)

Regional and external relations

Destination Wellington

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:

  1. PWT has a responsibility to raise Wellington’s profile in target markets and support attraction efforts through marketing activities.
  2. Grow Wellington is to identify and target business, talent, students and investment, and convert opportunities into business deals.
  3. The Council is to coordinate the overall programme and provide market analysis and intelligence.

Some key year one achievements include:

  1. Extensive research undertaken by PWT which documents stakeholders’ perceptions of Wellington.
  2. A targeted Wellington education strategy to attract international students and develop the education offering in the city.
  3. 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

What it costsTop

Operating Expenditure ($000) Actual
3.1.1 Tourism Promotion        
Expenditure 5,740 5,740 5,740
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
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
  1. 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.
  2. Under budget due to lower expenditure on promotional advertising and unbudgeted income for CBD WiFi.
  3. The use of internal labour for The Hobbit premiere has resulted in a higher organisational overhead allocation than budgeted for this activity.
  4. 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.

To measure the success of our investments in promoting the city

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)

Events/activities held with formal international partnership cities (in Wellington and overseas).

There is no target for this measure.

Source: WCC International Relations

To understand the reach of events and promotion activities

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)

Result: 100%

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

On-street car park turn-over rates – weekdays and weekends.

Source: WCC Infrastructure