Capital balances retail and creative sectors

Lambton QuayCollaboration between Wellington retailers and its film sector has helped ensure a big budget commercial could be shot over the busy pre-Christmas trading weekend that has just passed.

Initially, store owners voiced concern that an advertisement planned for filming in the capital’s central city compromise access, consumer enjoyment and retail performance over retail’s biggest weekend of the year. Some of these issues were shared in the media as businesses searched for a compromise.

Potential impact was further anticipated as over 4000 passengers and crew from cruise ship Celebrity Solstice were also expected to swell numbers on the cities streets and laneways.

The film-friendly capital was equally anxious to support the overseas production that was keen to capture Wellington’s unique CBD environment as a backdrop to the car commercial.

A rapid joint agency and stakeholder approach was launched by Wellington’s inner city guardianship group OurCBD. This brought together decision makers with a goal to find a solution that would work successfully for all parties.

Changes in the production team’s schedule meant filming started earlier and concluded by 0900 on both Saturday and Sunday. This enabled streets to be returned to full access by the time visitors hit the city for their Christmas shopping.

Chris Wilkinson, from First Retail Group, which works with Wellington City Council, said the successful outcome reflected the can-do attitude of the capital’s businesses and agencies in giving pace to opportunity and managing risk.

“The last weekend before Christmas is a critical time for Wellington’s city retailers and hospitality businesses. We are glad that the importance of this time to the sectors has been recognised and that various players moved swiftly to effect a solution,” Wilkinson concluded.

Nerine Zoio:

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