04 July 2008
Wellington leading the world for sustainability and quality of living
Leaders from several major cities around the world gathered at the World Cities Summit in Singapore last week to discuss sustainable development. Being at the forefront of sustainable approaches and practices, Wellington’s Mayor Kerry Prendergast was asked for advice on how to create a sustainable city, reports The Jakarta Post.
According to the Mayor, there is no "one size fits all" approach to creating a sustainable city, but says Wellington has maintained its high quality of living by focusing on the city’s individual constraints and strengths. Now, the city's standard of living is what draws thousands of people to emigrate to New Zealand every year.
Ms Prendergast identified three challenges to Wellington’s sustainability; climate change, a skills shortage, and economic change. The Government is currently addressing these problems through public transport and housing initiatives, and a building program focusing on the city "as a destination of choice for business and visitors" while keeping it uniquely Wellington.
The Government’s aim is "for Wellington to be an affordable, globally competitive world-class city... We want Wellington to be enjoyed by all who visit, live and work here," Ms Prendergast told the newspaper.
Recent studies show record numbers of Aucklanders are moving to Wellington for a better quality of life. Researchers attribute this to Wellington’s smaller population, better climate (despite being called the "windy city"), and its world-renowned arts and culture.
The capital city is also the home to 100,000 overseas-born migrants, which makes up one quarter of Wellington’s population. The local Government is actively encouraging immigrants to make the move to Wellington to ease shortages in the skilled workforce. Just this week, New Zealand’s Immigration Minister announced plans for a settlement strategy in response to the high levels of immigration to New Zealand and Wellington; he believes the Government, local community, and businesses should cooperate to help immigrants settle easily and contribute positively to the economy.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.