City to City Connection

City-to-city connections, nationally and internationally, that support Wellington’s economic, social and cultural goals.

Wellington needs strong links with other parts of New Zealand and connections with international centres to ensure the city’s future growth and prosperity and contribution to wider national goals.

Wellington needs to identify what role it will play as part of a national and international network of cities and regions.  Wellington’s unique characteristics include: quality of life enjoyed by Wellingtonians; capital city status and links with central government and foreign embassies; home to national organisations; location of tertiary education and research institutions; and a highly educated workforce.

Wellington plays an important role in New Zealand’s network of cities and regions as the capital city of New Zealand.  Wellington is host to the head offices of most of the country’s government departments and agencies and, of course, New Zealand’s Parliament.  It is where national social, economic and cultural policy is developed and influenced.  The shape of Wellington’s local economy, and many of the connections the city has with other parts of the country, will continue to flow from Wellington’s position as New Zealand’s capital city. 

Wellington is home to the largest concentration of ‘knowledge workers’ – working in occupations that require degree-level skills or higher – in the country.  They provide a pool of specialised expertise that can be accessed by other parts of the country (and internationally) in the development of products, services and ideas.  Wellington’s success in the screen industry provides a stand-out example of how Wellington-based workers can contribute specialist skills to a wider workforce through connections to other cities. 

International city-level connections

Wellington must be able to sustain and grow active, mutually beneficial, connections internationally.  A New Zealand Treasury report notes:

‘the pace of technological progress is likely to continue, resulting in greater gains from international connections and higher risks should New Zealand fail to provide an environment conducive to knowledge creation and acquisition’

In the past, Wellington’s international relationships have been largely organised around traditional sister city or ‘partner’-city arrangements.  New city-to-city relationships can be developed to connect Wellington internationally on issues or industries of importance to the city eg film, earthquake technologies, climate change, research and knowledge exchange. 

Wellington’s international connections support the following aims:

  • Economic through commercial opportunities in global markets and international investment in Wellington
  • Educational, enabling access to international best practice on (for example) climate change, city leadership, earthquake and green technologies
  • Social by contributing to diversity and tolerance – city ‘openness’ and retention of existing populations and new skilled migrants to support a creative-knowledge-based city.

Wellington’s city-to-city connections, nationally and internationally, should be supported by:

  • A collaborative approach to inter-city relationships, based on developing connections, rather than competing.
  • Understanding Wellington’s unique characteristics (the Wellington ‘story’) and role in wider networks, nationally and internationally.
  • City-to-city relationships that support international economic, social and cultural connections.