Paenga-whāwhā | April 2024

Kia ora koutou, and welcome to our April panui | eNews for 2024

Our work programme is entering an exciting stage with several of our key regional plans shifting into delivery.

This shift represents the progress we have made collectively as a region, achieving collaboration and buy-in on complex issues. These plans all align to the objectives of the Future Development Strategy – to ensure well-functioning urban environments in our existing and future towns and cities, while being responsible ancestors.

WRLC’s completed and endorsed plans include:

This month’s eNews features:
  • Q&A with Tom Fitzgerald, Project Lead – Regional Adaptation Project
  • Regional Economic Development Plan (REDP) Update

Upcoming Webinars & Talks

  • How workplace culture drives team success webinar, Collin Ellis – 8 May
  • Successful cross-sector collaboration, Sandra Mandic – 14 May
  • Rethinking Urban Infrastructure, Geoff Cooper – 15 May

Q&A with
Tom FitzGerald

Regional Adaptation Project Lead

Tom FitzGerald recently joined the WRLC Secretariat team in the role of Project Lead for the Regional Adaptation Plan. WRLC Communications Advisor Freda Wells sat down with Tom to ask about his background, his plans for this project, and his motto for life…

Regional Economic Development Plan Update

Above: Climate Tech Summit Aotearoa

WellingtonNZ and initiative leads are continuing to progress implementation of the initiatives in the Regional Economic Development Plan (REDP) on behalf of the WRLC. Recent highlights include:

  • The technology start-up/scale-up business hub is being designed as place for ambitious and innovative companies to collaborate and scale. The hub will be at Victoria University’s Pipitea Campus, a stunning spot with views of downtown and parliament, and bookable meeting rooms, event spaces and all the extras. Office space is still available alongside some of our region’s best founders and eco-system builders – contact to arrange a tour.
  • The visitor economy sustainability programme kicked off in April. Hospitality businesses from across the region, ranging from food trucks to breweries to fine dining, will participate in a series of site visits and workshops over the next five weeks. This provides participants with a practical framework to better understand their impacts and consequently take action to deliver sustainability benefits.
  • Screen Attraction programme activities continue, including the release of a locations directory and an animation showreel. In March Screen Wellington partnered with Women in Film and TV, New Zealand Film Commission and others to host the Canada-New Zealand co-production summit in Wellington for the first time – an opportunity to discuss potential ventures and showcase local studios and film festivals. Screen Wellington also presented on a panel at the Big Screen Symposium in Auckland in April, showcasing how the film offices in NZ work together towards a NZ-Inc approach including international attractions, and highlighting the benefits of Wellington to a room full of industry, sector organisations, screen agencies and producers.
  • A Pasifika networking breakfast was held at Victoria University on 19 April, featuring presentations from two local Pasifika business owners followed by networking activities between Pasifika students and professionals.
Upcoming events:
  • Summer of Engineering launch – at the Hutt Chamber of Commerce, 4:30pm on Wednesday 29 May. Summer of Engineering is run by the team behind Summer of Tech, to address skills shortages in the engineering and high value manufacturing sector, by connecting engineering students with local employers for internship opportunities. Employers interested in finding out more can register to attend the event here.
  • Climate Tech Summit Aotearoa – at St James Theatre, 2pm Thursday 20 June. This premier event showcases the brightest minds and most groundbreaking climate technologies emerging from New Zealand, aimed at tackling our planet’s most pressing challenge: climate change. Find out more and secure tickets online here.

Upcoming WRLC Webinars:

Building a Healthy Team Culture

Colin D. Ellis – global expert in workplace culture

When: 11am – 12pm, Wednesday 8 May – online

“Whether you focus on it or not, every workplace has an emotional culture.” ~ Lotty Roberts. 

Evidence from decades of research, states that managing the emotional culture at work, is a key factor for success in a work programme, team and organisation.

Join global workplace culture expert and author Colin D Ellis as he breaks down the six pillars of a vibrant culture and how they contribute to team success. From collaboration and setting expectations to navigating diverse personalities and communication styles, these insights will help you to understand how and why to create a team culture that works.

Colin D Ellis is an award-winning international speaker, four-time best-selling author and renowned workplace culture and project management expert who works with organisations around the world to help them transform the way they get things done.

View more about Colin Ellis here: Workplace Culture Expert

Secrets of successful cross-sector collaboration

Built Environment & Active Transport to School (BEATS) Research Programme: A Real-World Example of a Successful Cross-Sectoral Collaboration

When: 12pm – 1:30pm, Tuesday 14 May
Venue: WCC – 113 The Terrace, 16th floor, room 16.11 (or online)

Many challenges faced by modern society require extensive partnerships and collaboration of organisations, teams and individuals from multiple disciplines and sectors. The BEATS Research Programme is a world-class example of a successful partnership and collaboration between academia, local government, schools and the wider community. 

In this talk, Dr Mandic will share insights and key findings from the exciting 10-year BEATS Research journey, from a pilot project to an internationally recognised, highly productive research programme. The power of cross-sectoral collaboration – linked with a shared vision, great teamwork, transformational leadership and strategic planning – have been key to the programme’s success to deliver value, adapt to challenges, embrace new opportunities, maintain quality and productivity, and remain sustainable in the long-term.

Read more about BEATS Research Programme here:

Urban infrastructure – how should we right size priority & need?

Geoff Cooper, General Manager, Strategy New Zealand Infrastructure Commission

When: 12pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 15 May
Venue: GWRC Council Chambers, 100 Cuba Street, Wellington (or online)

The demands on our transportation infrastructure are ramping up.

Not only do we want to get where we are going as fast and safely as possible on uncongested and well maintained roads; but we also want to do it while reducing carbon emissions, with infrastructure that can withstand the effects of changing weather patterns (but are easy to reinstate if needed); to give a hand up to the most disadvantaged and increase housing supply, but without annoying the neighbours in the process; and for it all to fit within prudent fiscal limits.

It’s a lot to ask. So how should the transport sector be thinking about prioritisation and need?  

Geoff Cooper is the General Manager of Strategy at the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. He holds a Master of Economics with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland, and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University.

WRLC Publications

Keep in touch

One of our guiding proverbs at WRLC is, ‘He waka eke noa‘ – we’re all in this together. If there is anything you’d like to share or know more about, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

About the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

The Wellington Regional Leadership Committee is a union of councils, iwi and central government in the Wairarapa-Wellington-Horowhenua region, formed to work collaboratively on our shared, cross-boundary challenges, in order to positively shape the future of this region.

WRLC exists to enable better ways of working together to cultivate a region where people want to live, work and thrive.

Our projects cover the five broad key areas of iwi capacity, housing, climate, transport and economic development. Find out more on our project page. You can get in touch at

Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

100 Cuba Street, Wellington
New Zealand

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