Auckland as a Creative City

Internationally, investing in the creative sector has proven to have significant economic and social benefits. This has encouraged cities around the world to invest in their creative resources, knowledge, talent and diversity to spur innovation and generate wealth.

Investment in the creative industries can result in the regeneration of neglected urban space, the celebration of a diverse cultural scene, as well as economic development. How a city measures the benefits that the creative industries bring depends largely on the rationale behind targeting the creative sector in the first place. Some cities wish to improve sustainability, increase tourist numbers or promote participation in the arts. Others focus on benefits to social cohesion or developing small businesses. Most see benefits in terms of attracting skilled migrants.

The Committee for Auckland is investigating the full potential of creative industry initiatives with the aim of increasing Auckland’s GDP and contributing to social outcomes to help make Auckland the world’s most livable city.

The project looks at a range of studies that address the potential of a creative city to impact on many areas of development including:

  • Urban design
  • Public spaces
  • Public art
  • Vitality of the city
  • As a driver for innovation
  • As a means of improving social outcomes
  • Economic benefits including the ability to attract tourists and migrants

Metrics – Measuring Success

A key part of the report is ascertaining how to measure success in order to offer recommendations on tracking, quantifying and qualifying development as the city evolves. This involves researching other international cities and literature to understand how other cities have approached the subject.

World-class public spaces, transport and infrastructure to support the city’s creative industries are must-haves in order for any city to compete for the title of the “world’s most livable”. Hamburg, Brisbane and Bogotá are three of the seven case studies of the “Auckland as a Creative City” report that are investing in public space and public transport as part of broader strategies to make the cities more exciting, creative and attractive. The value of such investment can be measured through contributions to a city’s sustainability and environmental impact (Hamburg), surveys of public enjoyment of the new developments (Brisbane), the increase in the use of transport options and reduction in pedestrian and cyclist injury (Bogotá). All of these measures could be applied to Auckland in order to benchmark our progress towards becoming the world’s most liveable city.

Cities of Migration


"I have a vision for Auckland of becoming the world’s most liveable city, and our migrants are a vital part of that." - Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland

Cities of Migration showcases good ideas in immigrant integration and promotes innovative practices that create inclusion and urban prosperity. Cities of Migration is led by the Maytree Foundation in partnership with international foundations active in the migration and integration field: the Barrow Cadbury Trust (United Kingdom), Bertelsmann Stiftung (Germany), the Tindall Foundation (New Zealand), the Fundación Bertelsmann (Spain) and the J.M. Kaplan Fund (United States).

The project focuses on four key themes:

  1. Work – Practices which enhance the economic contribution of migrants to the city through employment, recognition of qualifications and skills, vocational and skills training, workforce diversity.
  2. Live – Practices which support successful settlement of migrants in the city including housing, settlement, health and social services, culture, sport and recreation.
  3. Connect – Practices which promote the civic and political participation of migrants in city life and cross-cultural understanding between migrants and the broader community: electoral rights and participation, volunteering, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.
  4. Plan – How urban planning, built form and infrastructure design can support social integration and economic integration and build vibrant cities. It includes: transportation and public spaces, urban planning, zoning, neighbourhood renewal projects etc.

Good Ideas for Inclusive Cities

The Cities of Migration website is anchored by a collection of international “Good Ideas in Immigrant Integration.” These city profiles showcase outstanding local integration practices that provide innovative and practical solutions to common problems and challenges. Under the themes of Work, Live, Learn, Connect and Plan, users discover promising practices that can be adapted locally or inspire new thinking about this important dimension of city prosperity and growth.

Learning Exchange (webinars)

The Learning Exchange offers a monthly series of online webinars that help practitioners learn about good integration practice from peer networks and cities around the world. Participate in a live event or view past sessions from your desktop.

Conversations in Integration

Conversations in Integration is a monthly online newsletter about innovative, successful local integration practices from global cities, related regional news, interviews and opinion, as well as research and policy initiatives related to good practice in urban contexts.


Super Diversity to Compete in a Global Economy (published by the NZ Herald on 24 July)

Contact Information

Cities of Migration Website

New Zealand
Vicki Holder, Communications Executive, Committee for Auckland
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Kim Turner, Project Leader, Cities of Migration, Maytree
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Enabling Future Auckland

Auckland comprises over a third of New Zealand’s population and economy. It is also growing much faster than other regions.

The 2010 local government reforms created an Auckland unitary council to better manage Auckland’s growth and improve economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes. A new city governance model has been implemented that provides coordination and momentum through strategic city planning and agendas. The previous (rates dominated) funding model remains the same. Getting funding from central government may be further constrained in the future. So an effective funding model is an essential part of managing Auckland’s growth in a credible and sustainable way.

The Committee for Auckland brings together local and central government leaders, business leaders and thought leaders to consider issues surrounding a funding framework for Auckland to realise its aspirations. This is a significant issue and work to address it is underway in 30 cities across four continents.

Key to this framework was a symposium which convened key influencers of Auckland funding and investment to promulgate ideas and international best practice for city funding.

Enabling Future Auckland Symposium - February 2014

The Committee for Auckland brought together 80 members and invited guests for a Symposium, 'Enabling Future Auckland'. They represented a diverse range of Auckland's thought-leaders, drawn together to discuss how to make Auckland become a high quality city'.

The results have been developed into a programme of activities which extend the Enabling Future Auckland project with short and longer term objectives.

It found significant challenges facing our country: limitations of scale and distance, boosting productivity, a greater focus on exporting and attracting investment, increasing skills and education to tackle disadvantage in our communities.

For each problem, Auckland is a vital part of the solution. Getting it right in Auckland removes some national overhead and unlocks the nation's assets. Making good decisions for Auckland as a city of scale will improve the future for all New Zealanders.

The Committee for Auckland would like to recognise and thank members: BNZ, WT Partnership, Hawkins, EY, and Beca, for supporting this project.

pdfDownload Greg Clark's presentation here (2.28MB)

The China Project

As New Zealand’s economic engine and the primary destination and gateway for Chinese migration and tourism, Auckland needs to play a leading role in developing and strengthening ties with China. Business leaders see opportunities to coordinate and combine China-focussed activities to strengthen alignment and deliver efficiencies which would result in greater economic value. This report seeks to ensure the domestic economy benefits from the rapid growth and expansion of the Chinese economy.

The aim of the report is to first establish Auckland’s role in New Zealand’s relationship with China, by providing an overview of previous reports as well as statistical analysis of data regarding Auckland’s share of Chinese-bound exports, in-bound imports and foreign direct investment from China, Chinese international students, tourists, migrants and the resident ethnic population. Coupled with a review of the most successful initiatives from several case study cities, the analysis will provide the context for recommendations as to how Auckland can compete with international destinations in attracting Chinese interests. The cities chosen are Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane in Australia, San Francisco in the USA, Vancouver in Canada and Singapore.

By conducting a series of interviews across a range of Auckland businesses engaged with China and representatives of the Chinese community, the report aims to identify gaps, inefficiencies, opportunities and areas of duplication in order to establish what actions Auckland needs to take, so the city, in its role as a gateway to the rest of the country, continues to strengthen its ties to China.

Auckland has many advantages in developing a sustainable, long term relationship with this key partner. The project will deliver achievable, practical recommendations to establish Auckland’s position as an attractive destination for Chinese interests.

Auckland Facts

24 new homes are built every day in Auckland.

Contact Us

By Post: PO Box 3403, Shortland St,
Auckland 1140, New Zealand
By Phone: +64 9 300 1234
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