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Backing Wellington through provocative debate


Backing Wellington through provocative debate

Wellington’s most innovative and influential identities are banding together at Massey University’s Wellington campus this week, to celebrate the city and brainstorm the best way for it to secure its future.

The Wellington Debate, being held on Wednesday July 17 in conjunction with The Dominion Post, will blow away any perception that the city is dying and encourage an evening of provocative debate by dedicated Wellingtonians including comedian Raybon Kan, broadcaster Sean Plunket and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. They have been challenged to come up with brilliant and inspiring ideas to move the city forward.

Other speakers include Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson, Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Raewyn Bleakley, Weta Digital chief financial officer David Wright, Grow Wellington chairman Paul Mersi and Kim Wicksteed, the former chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, which created the Absolutely Positively Wellington brand.

Some instantly recognisable symbols of Wellington city will be on display at the debate venue, The Tea Garden of the Museum Building, as the capital is proudly put in the spotlight by some of its biggest supporters. There will be a full house: the free event has been so popular that public registration closed within days of the first advertisement.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey who is moderating the debate, says the evening will celebrate the city’s past successes, where it is now and how best to capitalise on its boundless potential.

“The diversity of the Wellington population – gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, political views, even geekiness - makes Wellington the place for innovation and creativity,” he says.

“Being the seat of Government is also part of the strength of Wellington. Hosting the political leaders of the nation never did a city any harm. But too little is made of this strength. Politicians should be proud to be in Wellington and the city should be proud to have them.

Add in the waterfront, the green belt, Te Papa, restaurants, art galleries, festivals, the commitment to sustainability, education and research and you have one of the most liveable and progressive cities on earth. But we need to understand that these attributes are the precursor to economic growth not the outcome so we need to make more of the now.”

The Wellington Debate, being hosted by Massey University in conjunction with The Dominion Post, is on Wednesday July 17 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Tea Garden of the Museum Building, Entrance D, Buckle St, Wellington.

This is a free event, but prior registration is required. If members of the public wish to go on the waiting list for the event please email: conferences @massey.ac.nz

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