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“We’re good, but we’re not that good.”

“We’re good, but we’re not that good.”

Positively Wellington Tourism Challenges Auckland Magazine’s Claims

Metro magazine’s claims that Wellington’s cultural capital reputation is simply a result of the city doing ‘a good job of talking it up’ is a nice pat on the back, but still complete rubbish, Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says.

In a smart bid to up sales when their next issue hits the stands next week, Metro today issued a press release claiming Auckland is the new cultural capital of New Zealand.

Positive Wellington Tourism thought it would be useful to provide some balance to their points of ‘cultural comparison’:

Metro: “With all of Auckland’s other attractions and distractions, it’s too easy to lose sight of the city’s role as a powerhouse of arts culture.”

PWT: How can it be a ‘powerhouse’ if it’s so easy to lose sight of it?

Metro: While Wellington is still the base for some heavy hitters — Peter Jackson is an obvious example — Metro’s analysis finds the ranks of cultural leaders are thinner than in Auckland.

PWT: It depends on how you define ‘cultural leaders’. Are we talking internationally- acclaimed Oscar and Grammy winners or Shortland Street Stars?

Metro: Wellington is rightly known for the people in funny costumes at the Sevens rugby but it shouldn’t be seen as the nation’s cultural hub.

PWT: And Auckland shouldn’t host international soccer matches.

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Metro: Auckland is host to at least 19 major or nationally significant arts events. Wellington has 5.

PWT: We would be interested to hear what Metro considers a ‘major or nationally significant arts event’ given lists the Helensville A&P show and a Teddy Bears Picnic in their major events section.

Metro: 11,000 people saw the New Zealand Opera production of Turandot in Auckland last year. In Wellington, 6000 attended.

PWT: Or you could say 0.85% of Auckland region's population saw it and 1.4% of Wellington’s – don’t you just love how you can twist statistics. By the way, 35,000 people from around NZ and the world see the Montana World of Wearable Art Awards Show in Wellington, 0 see it in Auckland. The Cuba Street Carnival attracts about 150,000 people and the Auckland 'equivalent' - Cross Street Carnival - apparently gets about 3000-5000. In Auckland 6000 people went to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibition in 50 days, in the 37 days to date 10,500 have seen it in Wellington.

Metro: There are 14,000 artworks at the Auckland Art Gallery. At Te Papa, there are 11,000.

PWT: In Wellington we believe in quality, not quantity. We also believe in engaging with the public. Auckland Art Gallery has an average of about 200,000 visitors per year. Te Papa had 1.4milion last year.

Metro: Auckland has nearly all NZ’s leading dealer galleries.

PWT: That's nice. You also have more branches of The Warehouse.

Metro: This year Auckland will host 25 touring acts exclusively. Wellington will have no exclusive acts.

PWT: So one of the world’s top opera stars and some of the globe’s most famous paintings don’t count?

Metro: In 2005, Auckland City had 13,616 people working in the creative sector. Wellington had 4,540. The Auckland figure represented 5.1 per cent of the city’s population; in Wellington it was 4.1 per cent.

PWT: If you use the Auckland city population on Auckland City Council’s website, we calculate that to be 3.3% not 5.1%. But who’s being picky!?


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