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“Don’t underestimate Wellingtonians” says ThinkPlace

Media release

Friday 7 September 2012

“Don’t underestimate Wellingtonians” say innovation practitioners ThinkPlace

Wellington has what it takes to stay competitive because it is filled with creative and innovative people who have a wider world view than just their city, says strategic design consultancy ThinkPlace.

ThinkPlace made the comments after a panel advising on the future of local government in the Wellington region commented that the Capital was in danger of becoming an economic “backwater”.

The panel, headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, is concerned that Wellington is struggling to maintain its competitive advantage, as the Auckland super city revitalises its economy and significant government spending is directed at Christchurch.

Jim Scully, the Principal of ThinkPlace, a firm which works to help organisations create innovative solutions across the public and private sectors, says Wellingtonians have the skills and expertise to stay impactful and relevant.

Wellington has a creative spirit which has come about because our businesses have a wider world view and are not just focused on Wellington.

“We are extremely lucky that a lot of Wellingtonians are tasked with thinking about the whole of New Zealand on a daily basis and connecting with others across the world. This helps Wellingtonians to be very human-centred, community-focused and globally aware. It also means we understand what is relevant to all New Zealanders as citizens and businesses,” Jim Scully says.

“An example is Sam Morgan, a Wellingtonian who created Trade Me, an extremely creative and successful business that provided a much-needed service for all New Zealanders. Another is Rod Drury and the Xero team, who have created an innovative service for all businesses whether in New Zealand or across the globe.”

“Wellington is already starting to use better practises around listening to communities for real insight and working alongside them to achieve real innovation. We need to do a lot more of that,” Jim Scully says.

Jim Scully says the key to not becoming a backwater is to keep growing a New Zealand-centric as opposed to a “head-office or Wellington-centric” perspective. To do this Wellington can apply people-centred design techniques which grow our creative businesses while at the same time improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders. Focusing on what really matters to people and users of services will help us co-design a compelling future for Wellington, and New Zealanders wherever they are. That creativity will also flow through to create an amazing public service that works well for everyone.


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