Markets and Knowledge

Connecting people internationally to support market access and knowledge exchange

Wellington’s researchers, businesses, creative sector, education institutions, students and migrants all link the city to international markets, knowledge and ideas.  International connections are essential for Wellington and the city’s emerging high-tech industries and research base. 

Wellington does have some strong international connections, but not all are linked to city or regional development goals.  Universities and Crown research institutes (CRIs) have good international research links which need to be more fully exploited. Wellington has some outstanding export business success stories, but the majority of Wellington’s economy is domestically-focused. 

Wellington businesses need to be supported to work and partner with businesses in similar industries in other parts of New Zealand who may have greater international access. 

Wellington’s strong and well-regarded creative sector links between the city and the rest of the world.  Wellington is internationally connected as home to national arts sector institutions, including the New Zealand School of Music, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  High profile events, including the International Festival of the Arts, the World of Wearable Arts and the New Zealand International Comedy Festival are all important opportunities for showcasing Wellington to the world.  Sporting events, such as the New Zealand Sevens and Rugby World Cup 2011 connect Wellington with international audiences. 

We need to take this to the next level through the development of a deliberate and strategic approach to increasing the international profile of Wellington’s arts and events offering.

Wellington is also connected internationally through the many embassies and consulates located in the city.  We need to realise the potential for moving these relationships beyond the diplomatic realm and introducing a more commercial focus.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NZ Trade and Enterprise already provide good support to Wellington businesses that embark on offshore travel to secure export markets.  Forming connections earlier between local businesses and the Wellington-based diplomatic community will result in stronger connections and access to export opportunities and markets.

New migrants have an important role to play in connecting Wellington to the world.  The role of migrants is discussed more fully elsewhere.  However, we also need to recognise the valuable, and largely untapped, resource that is the Wellington and New Zealand expat community.  Wellingtonians living or working in other parts of the world can be a rich source of information, market knowledge, networking opportunities and facilitators of connections.  We need to work more deliberately to understand and value the role of the Wellington diaspora in supporting the city’s international connections to markets, knowledge, investment and ideas.

Connecting people internationally to support market access and knowledge exchange requires:

  • A strategic approach to connecting Wellington’s existing international links with local business and communities.
  • Using Wellington’s arts and events successes to increase the city’s profile and reach to international audiences.
  • Using Wellington’s national institutions, government agencies, embassies and consulates can be used to connect Wellington to markets and knowledge internationally.
  • Work with networks such as Kiwi Expats Abroad (KEA) to connect to Wellington’s expat communities.