As much as Prime Minister John Key has attempted to water down his ‘Wellington is dying’ aside, at the very least it has provided a good opportunity for some capital introspection.
One thing Key might be doing is confusing busyness with business – and on that count with its larger population and vastly improved motorway network, well Auckland’s way ahead.
But looking under the bonnet of commerce, while Wellington can always do better, here’s a few facts John.
(Disclaimer: some of these are pretty hair-splitting in nature, but nevertheless!)
- Wellington has the most NZ companies in the Deloitte Asia Fast 500 (Wellington 17, Auckland 16)
- In 2012 Wellington had four new additions to the TIN 100 (Wedgelock, Fraser Engineering, Xero, Catalyst), versus Auckland with three and Christchurch two (Source; TIN 100)
- Companies based in Wellington generate as much revenue as the entire South Island and have a slightly better revenue per population than Auckland (Source; TIN 100)
- In 2012 the Wellington region ranked first in the country for business growth (Source: BERL Regional Rankings 2012)
- Information media and telecommunications was the largest industry in Wellington in 2012, accounting for 9.9% of total GDP. The second largest industry was public administration and safety (9.5%) followed by financial and insurance services (7.6%). (Source: Infometrics, Wellington Region annual economic profile)
- In 2011/12 the Wellington food and beverage sector grew at almost twice the national rate (growth of 4.2% compared with national growth of 2.1%). (Source: Infometrics, Wellington Region annual economic profile)
- In 2011/12 Wellington’s screen and digital output grew by 2.2% compared with national growth of 1.2% (Source: Infometrics, Wellington Region annual economic profile)
- Wellington outperforms all regions on GDP per employee, showing significantly higher output per employee – at $78,719 compared with a weighted average of $64,898. (Source: Infometrics, Wellington Region annual economic profile)
- In 2012 the Wellington region ranked 4th in the country for resident population growth (Source: BERL Regional Rankings 2012)
And finally – Lonely Planet Best in Travel – 4th best destination worldwide
The main point is, supported by facts, that Wellington’s alive and kicking.
We, as in Wellingtonians and non-Aucklanders should be careful to avoid too much navel-gazing and taking to heart of John Key’s off-the-cuff comments.
We want Auckland to be doing well of course.
We also want the rest of the country to be doing well.
It isn’t an either/or argument. It is an also.
If John Key really wanted to make a useful aside, it would be around the likes of ‘this is what we should be concentrating on to create more wealth for our country’.
But that would mean committing to a course of action; and that as we all know is not a modus operandi for any sort of political party in New Zealand.