Wellington City Council has released a Digital Strategy and Action Plan, which sets an ambitious target – to achieve global recognition as a “creative digital city”. Wellington already has a number of successful creative businesses, building on on the work of Weta Ltd, who won Oscars for Lord of the Rings and followed up with a string of blockbuster hits including King Kong, Avatar, District 9, I Robot and Tintin. Last month, another Wellington company, Catalyst IT, was awarded the contract to redevelop the website for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.
Many national governments have created plans for their digital aspirations – both for the use of techology by the government (e-government), and also outlining the role of ICT within the economy and society. In the future, individual cities will be looking to differentiate themselves, and more cities across the region are developing their own digital blueprints.
Wellington’s strategy is focused in three areas; firstly to “make Wellington the place where talent wants to live”, which recognises that there is a global competition for talented people, and that decisions by the city council can influence how people see the city; secondly, to “inspire shared knowledge and development of ideas and creativity”, and the open source community is a good example of this; thirdly to “Make Wellington a world leading place for digital activity’ by ensuring quality digital infrastructure such as ubiquitous broadband and wifi.
Celia Wade-Brown, Wellington mayor, was at the FutureGov Summit in October, and welcomed the opportunity to understand how government leaders are planning for the future. “It was great to be able to interact with peers from other countries” said Celia, “and I made some valuable connections with people who can be part of a network of digital leaders. Wellington already has twin city arrangements with Beijing, Xiamen and Sakai; I am looking to strengthen our links with countries in the region.”
The challenge was not to come up with ideas for projects to support the Strategy and Action Plan, says Philippa Bowron, Senior Strategy Advisor: “We have a long list of activities that will deliver results for the City, and huge support and enthusiasm from business, government and the community; the challenge is to make sure we prioritise and start to demonstrate the impact.”