Part B: Our work in detail

Whanaketanga ōhanga
Economic development

We want to grow and diversify the city’s economy.



We support Wellington’s economic growth by supporting high-quality events and promoting tourism, attracting and supporting business activity, and delivering major economic development initiatives.

These activities make Wellington a more vibrant place to live. They improve residents’ quality of life, prosperity, identity and the opportunities available to them.

In this section

This section includes what’s changing since we released Our 10-Year Plan, other key projects coming up, key performance measures and what it costs. There is one group of activities in this section:

3.1 City promotions and business support.


Snapshot. 928,692 international visitors to Wellington (measured as international airline passengers entering wellington). 5.5 million domestic visitors to Wellington (measured as domestic airline passengers entering wellington). 440 major conferences and events held per year. 700,000 attendees at Council-supported events.

What we do – an overviewTop

In collaboration with the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) we:

What’s changing and whyTop

Convention and exhibition centre: The Council has long-identified the need for modern and purpose-built facilities in Wellington for our community to host events in, particularly business events. A convention and exhibition centre will bring business delegates and visitors to the city and provide a venue to host and showcase Wellington’s key industries. The development of the centre will be a catalyst investment in what is a largely under-developed precinct. We expect other developments to occur in the area as a result of this investment.

The current long-term plan included $165.5 million of capital expenditure for a convention centre, based on concept plans. We have now confirmed the design and have more accurate project costs. The project incorporates a new purpose-built convention centre on a Council-owned site on Cable Street. It will be combined with an exhibition hall to host large international touring exhibitions, and have public spaces on the ground floor. The revised capital project cost is $157.8m. Planning is well advanced and ground works will begin in 2019.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs): A BID is a partnership between a local authority and a defined local business community. It provides a vehicle for local business-led initiatives that support key city objectives of vibrant centres, business creation and development and increased employment.

The process to establish a new BID in Karori is in its final stages. Representatives from the existing BID, Marsden Village Association (MVA), were key to this process and the new organisation will include the businesses which previously made up the MVA. A steering group of Karori business representatives have engaged the business community and the BID will be established as a result. We will continue to support the BID’s programme by agreeing to several targeted rates each year. The existing BID targeted rates total $275,000 (excluding MVA), and a further targeted rate valued at $60,000 will be added for 2019/20 to support the Karori BID.

Our work programme in 2019/20Top

City Growth Fund: This fund supports events, partnerships and programmes that contribute to the economic growth of the city. In 2019/20 the fund will also support the following initiatives:

Looking aheadTop

Indoor arena: A site has been identified at Harbour Quay and concept plans completed for this significant project, which aims to add a 12,500-seat indoor arena to the city’s venues, bringing more high-profile music acts and events to Wellington. The plan aims to stimulate growth in an under-utilised part of the city, and act as a catalyst for new development. A precinct of residential, commercial and retail buildings is envisioned as part of the plan. Given the size of this project, the identified site is likely to be the only suitable location. However Centreport owns the site and more discussion is required with the associated stakeholders about the future development of the port land and whether the land is available and suitable for an indoor arena. Work to date by engineers shows that there are solutions to the land resilience challenges on this site. However, further work will be carried out once we have a better understanding of the port development plans.

The capital budget of $511,000 in 2019/20 has been removed, after consultation on the Annual Plan. This budget can be removed without delaying progress on the arena.

North Kumutoto waterfront space: The final stage (Site 9) of development of the North Kumutoto waterfront space is currently being planned. This follows on from the completion of the new PwC building (site 10) and upgrade of public space (site 8), with work anticipated to start in 2020/21.

What it costsTop

2019/20 Annual Plan $000
Operating expenditure 38,108
Capital expenditure 3,0891

Measuring our performanceTop

We use performance measures to track how well we are delivering services against targets. The following represents the groups of measures we have for each group of activities. For details of individual performance measures and targets, see Detailed performance information in Part D: Appendices.

We also have outcome indicators to monitor progress toward desired results for the city. These indicators are at least partly out of our control. For these indicators, please refer to Our 10-Year Plan on our website,

Rationale What we measure Activities
3.1 City promotions and business support
  • To attract and retain talented residents.
  • To grow tourism spend and economic returns from events.
  • To grow inward investment and exports.
  • To sustain city vibrancy.
  • Business improvement districts.
  • Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) performance (12 measures).
  • Wellington Regional Stadium Trust performance (6 measures).
  • 3.1.1 WREDA and venues.
  • 3.1.2 Wellington Convention Centre.
  • 3.1.3 Retail support.
  • 3.1.4 City Growth Fund.
  • 3.1.5 Major economic projects.
  • 3.1.6 International relations.
  • 3.1.7 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

1This excludes capital expenditure for the convention and exhibition centre, the capex for this project is in the cultural wellbeing strategy area.