Wellington reacts to 'dying' comment

The Prime Minister's been criticised for an absolutely negative description of Wellington.

In a speech to Auckland business leaders, the John Key said the capital was dying.

Sir Robert Jones' office has sweeping views of Wellington's CBD. But the property tycoon says the Prime Minister's view of the city is a poor one.

"He shouldn't be saying that," says Sir Robert. "He shouldn't be saying that if it was true. He shouldn't be saying it because it's not – ridiculous."

Mr Key made the unfavourable remarks at a lunch with Auckland business leaders last week, saying "the reality is even Wellington is dying and we don't know how to turn it around".

Mr Key also said that all Wellington has is the Government, Victoria University and Weta Workshop.

"Actually Wellington's very vibrant, lots happening," says Mr Key. "I should have chosen my words better."

"This is absolutely negatively John Key talking about Wellington," says Labour leader David Shearer.

Mr Key has backtracked on the dying comment, but says many major companies have moved to Auckland.

"I think he is trying to show off to Auckland businessmen, to be honest," says resident Jonathan Alsop. "He's forgetting Xero, Trade Me."

Wellington's mayor says the capital still has plenty of other businesses.

"It's growing," says Celia Wade-Brown. "It's got a heart and it has a growing high-tech economy."

Public services cuts from Mr Key's government have hurt Wellington, and its economy lags behind Auckland's. But it isn't all gloom.

Almost all of the expensive Clyde Quay apartments have sold before completion – one for nearly $10 million.

3 News

source: newshub archive