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Wellington Joins Digital Cities Network Agreement

media release

20 February 2008

Wellington Joins Digital Cities Network Agreement with San Francisco

Wellington has signed a Digital Cities Network Agreement with San Francisco that will help commercial organisations, scientific and research institutions in each city do business with each other.

The agreement was announced on Wednesday 20 February at the Local Government New Zealand Broadband Forum in Wellington by Mayor Kerry Prendergast.

The agreement has been brokered by Grow Wellington, the Wellington regional economic development agency, which is committed to growing broadband connectivity as part of implementing the Wellington Regional Strategy.

Grow Wellington sees the agreement as helping promote and support the establishment of digital connections between the two cities, the exchange of digital content, and digital collaboration via high speed broadband linkages.

Chris Lipscombe, Grow Wellington's General Manager of Creative Business and Technology, says this type of collaboration opens up the possibility of being a virtual suburb of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, which could be a boon for the region's film, gaming, animation, and other creative industries.

Weta Digital's General Manager Tom Greally has welcomed the agreement, saying: "As more and more film production becomes wholly digital, so the ability to collaborate on production becomes even more critical. For us, this alignment makes good business sense."

Mayor Kerry Prendergast says building a digital city relationship with San Francisco is a fantastic opportunity for our city and region. "We are delighted to join San Francisco in this growing international network of cities dedicated to collaborating in the digital age. It's a magnificent opportunity for us and will help to further internationalise Wellington and its business community for the digital economy."

Wellington will be the fourth city to enter into a digital partnership with San Francisco, which has existing agreements with Shanghai, Dublin and Toronto.

"These interrelationships may provide additional opportunities for global connection over time," Chris Lipscombe says.

"San Francisco could be a portal to wider opportunities on the US West Coast and hubs of commerce elsewhere in the world, as Wellington city provides a gateway to the wider Wellington region."


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