Chris Whelan spoke to the Electra Business Breakfast on Wednesday morning (1st of March 2017) at the Southward Car Museum to about 70 business people.

Chris is the CEO of WREDA (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency >>) and is tasked with realising WREDA’s vision for Wellington to be the most liveable, prosperous and vibrant city region in Australasia by 2025.

A futurist by training, Chris has consulted extensively in the interaction of business, design and technology, foresight and ‘ideal’ futures development, as well as enabling regional economic growth.

WREDA’s ambitious and exciting vision is: By 2025, Wellington will be the most prosperous, liveable and vibrant and prosperous region in Australasia.

On Wednesday’s breakfast Chris posed some thought starters on “what we should do differently to create our future?” – Is a population of 500,000 enough people for the Region?;

Where will a growing population live? Where will increased visitors stay?; What happens if predicted GDP of $30 billion grows to $40 billion?

Talking to the “experts of Kapiti in the room” he posed thought provoking ideas and said it’s all about being creative, sustainable and to be connected.

And he said that whilst global connection is important and why it’s important to identify what Kapiti is good at its also important to remember the vitals. “If you get these regions vitals right – you win”.
He said  “Things take time, and although global connection is important, focus on what Kapiti is good at”.

Chris emphasised the importance of talent. The 25 – 40 year old demographic, is the mobile demographic. He encouraged the group to work out how to attract that talent.

Bold, aspirational & provocative, this Vision challenges WREDA to lead a new phase of transformational change for Wellington’s economy. The vision demands that Wellington region exceed expectations, compete in a global context, and become internationally recognised as a leading region.

WREDA states it will use its resources to support, facilitate & contribute to a step-change in Wellington’s economic growth.

WREDA’s Business Growth & Innovation team work with business, government and other leaders to enable the economic growth of region, through funding initiatives and delivering projects.

They believe this creates an attractive region for students, investors, migrants, entrepreneurs and growing businesses, which helps drive prosperity. If you run a business in the region, or you think you’d like to, contact the team. 

WREDA >> is the regional economic development agency for the Wellington Region, which in 2016 combined the economic development activities of Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council into one organisation.

WREDA brings together the functions and activities of:

Grow Wellington
Creative HQ
Positively Wellington Tourism
Destination Wellington
Positively Wellington Venues
Major Events


Contact | Joanna Piatek, BDM, [email protected], 021 0222 8187