In Tokyo on Friday 23 May, Mayor Wade-Brown signed a ‘memorandum of collaboration’ with Mr Takayuki Morita, Executive Vice President of NEC Corporation. Representatives from NEC’s New Zealand headquarters were also present.
NEC is producing digital technology that, at the highest level, can help cities like Wellington operate infrastructure and transport networks highly efficiently and enhance customer service.
Mayor Wade-Brown says the non-exclusive agreement with NEC could enable the company and the Council to test and perfect a range of technologies. “NEC needs to partner with real organisations – with real services and customer needs – so it can develop and fine-tune its technologies. “In a manner of speaking, Wellington City Council could be a ‘test bed’ for NEC technologies – this would be to the benefit of the city and its people.”
Mayor Wade-Brown visited the NEC global headquarters in Tokyo as part of her visit to Japan and China with a Wellington business delegation. She says the signing of the memorandum fits with Wellington City Council’s ‘Towards 2040: Smart Capital’ economic and technology strategy.
NEC is also highly interested in collaborating with Wellington’s digital and IT communities, particularly ‘start-up’ companies. “This is a truly global company that depends on, and thrives on, innovation. It really wants to work with the Capital’s creative minds – our best and brightest.”
Mayor Wade-Brown also visited Tokyo Haneda Airport – the world’s fourth busiest - with representatives from Mitsubishi to inspect the technology and methods used by the company on the construction of the airport’s fourth runway. Land reclamation in Tokyo Bay has been combined with extensive piling that enabled the runway to be built out over the sea – mitigating the runways environmental impact on the bay. The construction methods were of “great interest” considering plans for an extension of Wellington Airport’s own runway, Mayor Wade-Brown says.