The news that Wellington will bear the brunt of further job cuts at NZ Post is a clear signal the capital needs to accelerate the search for new economic lifeblood, says councillor John Morrison.
The postal services operator yesterday said it was cutting between 80 and 100 managerial jobs as part of a bid to flatten its corporate structure, and move from a centralised to regionally controlled business model.
The cuts would fall on its corporate centres in Auckland and Wellington, but since the capital serves as the firm's headquarters, they would fall hardest here.
"The loss of these sorts of jobs is a real loss for Wellington," said Mr Morrison, who is standing for mayor this year.
"It is vitally important the city must pursue all opportunities to diversify and encourage investors to come here."
The city has already been positioning itself as an affordable alternative for Australian firms, with ANZ, Call Active and Call Centres Australia all setting up shop here. By the end of the year they will employ almost 500 people.
Cloud software company Xero also said last month that it planned to take on 150 more staff at its headquarters in Wellington this year, adding to its existing staff of 210.
Raewyn Bleakley, chief executive of the Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce, said that although the recent job announcements were in a single sector, the city had other areas which could also drive the local economy.
"Wellington has a huge number of high-end companies filled with highly skilled people, the IT and film sectors being just two examples," she said.
Ms Bleakley stressed the key was not to become discouraged by announcements such as the NZ Post job losses, but to keep "working to make the city business-friendly so we can attract new companies to move here".
NZ Post's external relations manager, John Tulloch, said the restructure affected only about 6 per cent of the postal operator's 1300 corporate staff.
The move was not related to mail delivery.
- The Dominion Post
Is this the best summer ever?Related story: Wellington sizzles in January heat