About Us

What We Do

Our urban environments and transport systems are hugely influential over our lives, and we should be able to shape them too so they work better for everyone.  Quality information is what makes ordinary people into city-shaping forces for good, and for the past few years Wellington’s supply of quality information about transport and urban form has been patchy at best.

Talk Wellington aims to bring good quality information to the everyday person living in our region!

  • Facts, intelligent insight and fresh perspectives
  • The hot issues, and the underlying forces, shaping the places we live   
  • Maps, critique, photography, analysis, data-visualisation, commentary, personal stories, cartooning
  • The best of the internet, plus our new content, independent and accessible for busy Wellington people.  

We want to fuel and foster good discussion and accessible, intelligent debate so that we as citizens can better influence leaders’ decisions, and each other’s, in shaping our streets, neighbourhoods, towns.  This doesn’t preclude animal GIFs; in fact, a well-chosen cat GIF can enhance debate about complex issues like transport planning or urban development.

GIFs or otherwise, we’ll maintain a civilised and productive conversation space with as little moderation as we can.  Here is our comments tikanga.

Right across our region, 2018 is a big year for transport.

So this year Talk Wellington is focussing on how transport is influencing people’s quality of life – from our streets, neighbourhoods, suburbs, to our towns and region.



Who We Are – and how to join us

Behind the scenes of our online presence is a large team of nominally-paid folk – Team Kōrero Wellington.  They do this mahi on top of regular jobs because they believe that the Wellington region’s people, powered by good information, are a positive force that makes our place better for everyone.   (More on our business model below.)

Isabella Cawthorn is the convenor for Talk Wellington. She’s a lifelong fan of the Wellington region and a local of Porirua.  

Here are a few of the team

Our editorial team can be contacted here; drop us a line if you’d like to visit (our current physical address is Credenza shared workspace,  a six-month donation from The Wellington Company).

The mechanism for our work is a not-for-profit company, Kōrero Wellington Ltd. Our kaupapa (mission and ethos) is the only thing we can spend money on.  

Interested in coming on board? Check out what we have to offer.   

Would you like to help us steer our little ship? We’re seeking folks with subject-matter insight into how we shape our streets and towns. Here’s some info.

Keen to contribute content, or get exposure for something great?   We welcome poetry, econometrics, drawings, data visualisation, design drawings, video, policy analysis, maps, prose, financial analysis, audio, gifs…. Talk to our procurement team.

Want to see Talk Wellington continue?

We do too – and so do many others! It’s time for you, the great people of Wellington, to come to the party.

The first two years of our operation have been funded mostly by convenor Isabella, from her savings, with around $6000 from generous donors (see here). It’s time to find alternative resourcing, or with great sadness we’ll wind up Talk Wellington.

Why does Talk Wellington need money?

Pure volunteerism is a beautiful thing but it’s not enough to fuel the scale, reliability, and durability of service needed to become part of Wellington’s regular information diet.

Team Kōrero Wellington use nominal payment for services as a way to clarify obligations and secure commitments, and to honour the skills and energy our people contribute – on top of busy lives, and far more hours than they’re paid for.   

Our business model – we call it “augmented volunteerism” – is designed to:

  • combine the best of public-good volunteerism and social enterprise
  • be independent of the establishment powers that currently dominate the information landscape
  • draw on expertise and energy across Wellington’s geographic and professional communities
  • avoid the burn-out that typically handicaps blogs in this space
  • cultivate a strong, awesome organisational culture.

We run pretty lean, but won’t skimp on what matters. Paying the Talk Wellington crew, and paying people who create content, represents 90% of what it costs to provide a minimum viable service.

Keen to know more, including how to help secure our continued existence in 2019? See our Donate page.