Media Releases

Bad news for retailers in Let’s Get Wellington Moving decision

16 June 2021.

Retail NZ says that the announcement that private vehicles will be banned from Wellington’s Golden Mile is disappointing news for struggling retailers.

“The proposal will make it harder for customers to travel into and around g CBD by car, and will likely further damage retail businesses in the CBD,” Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s Chief Executive, said today.  “Central Wellington retailers are already struggling as a result of reduced foot traffic as people work from home, and an outflow of customers as a result of carparks that are still out of service following the 2016 earthquakes.  

“Retail stores need to be easily accessible to customers – whether those customers want to travel on foot, by bike, by bus, or by car.  Many customers have already deserted the city in favour of suburban shopping malls where it is easier to park, and the proposal will just make things worse.   It is particularly disappointing that the transport bureaucrats seem to have failed to explore the opportunities for central city businesses that would come by reducing congestion and making it easy for customers no matter what mode of customers choose.  A key failing is that there is no research about the barriers that already exist to shopping in the central city, and whether the anti-car proposal will make things worse.

“Additionally, retailers rely on deliveries from goods vehicles, and it is important that these vehicles continue to have access to the Golden Mile.

“Let’s Get Wellington Moving started out as a well-intentioned programme to reduce congestion through the CBD, but has become fixated on delivering high-speed buses, at a time when the Regional Council is cancelling dozens of services.

“Many retailers will be fearful that the anti-car fervour will spread, with Wellington City Council set to debate a proposal to ban cars from the entire CBD, which would be the best thing Wellington City Council can do to support retailing in Porirua and Lower Hutt.”

For further information, please contact:
Greg Harford
Chief Executive, Retail NZ
[email protected]
027 243 2842

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