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Encouraging greater public transport use: give people the tools they want, says Yan

Wellington, July 24 (JY&A Media) Mayoral candidate Jack Yan believes that opening up Wellington’s public data, especially for transport, can play a role in innovation and economic diversification, as part of a greater plan to build the city’s economy. ‘Opening up Metlink data,’ he says, ‘would encourage greater public transport usage for a start.’
   He says that by providing public data, Wellington developers to create apps and other programs. He identifies the real-time information used by Metlink as a prime candidate, from which a Wellington company can use the data for live maps of where buses and trains are, helping commuters and encouraging greater use of public transport.
   ‘We can encourage greater use of public transport if people have tools that appeal to them,’ he says. ‘People want predictability, and the ability to plan their day. Right now, we still don’t have enough when it comes to public transport.’
   Mr Yan is in favour of opening more of the city’s data to the public, and points to a competition in Maine earlier in June where netizens took public data and created projects to help the community.
   ‘Opening up data can not only show off our creative abilities as a city, but bring people together,’ he says. ‘It’s a small part of a much wider plan.
   ‘We can innovate and ensure that everything that the city currently measures with water and power usage is made public, so our best and brightest minds can come up with conservation and energy solutions.
   ‘We keep saying we are the creative capital, yet we don’t seem to tap in to this very creativity,’ he says.
   Mr Yan says that with more older voters than younger voters, some of the fresh ideas to make our services more appealing to “wired” users have been ignored by some candidates. ‘They are under a mistaken belief that older voters would not find such ideas useful, or they are choosing to ignore younger voters because they do not provide enough votes.’
   He says, ‘The best ideas have the potential to go global, and similar ones in New Zealand’s past—such as the computer graphics used to track America’s Cup entrants or TV weather maps—have gone on to be export earners for us.’
   Apps are already a major export earner for New Zealand presently.
   Other public data should be made available, he says, including public documents that currently are only available to citizens with official information requests. ‘They should be searchable, too,’ says Mr Yan. ‘The cost of putting them online is far lower than printing them out and posting them to people.’
   He says that if Wellington is to be a creative capital, it needs to get its fundamentals right.
   Mr Yan’s manifesto features more ideas on transparency and transport.
   He was the first mayoral candidate to publish a manifesto in April on his website ( or It has a 10-point plan on kick-starting Wellington’s economy. He is the only candidate regularly conducting international business, with a strong entrepreneurial record, and has formally mentored Wellington businesses since 2006.
   In 2010, he had campaigned on free wifi for the inner city and waterfront, now a reality and used by a record number of people in Wellington.
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Jack Yan
Publicity shot for Jack Yan’s mayoral campaign (2013)
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About Jack Yan
Jack Yan founded Jack Yan & Associates (, one of the world’s first virtual firms, in 1987, operating internationally. Among his company’s interests are business consulting, imaging, software and media, including the fashion magazine brand Lucire. He writes on topics, ranging from branding and business responsibility to fashion and typography, in numerous publications and journals worldwide and is a regular international speaker. He serves on the editorial board for The Journal of Brand Management. He has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Beyond Branding, Typography and Branding and, most recently, Nation Branding: Country Concepts and Cases. His personal site is at He is a director of the Medinge Group (, a think-tank in Sweden devoted to cutting-edge branding. He was one of the parties behind the successful bid for Miss Sweden in 2003 for Panos Emporio, and is general counsel of the Miss New Zealand Consortium, the New Zealand licensee for Miss Universe. Since 2006, he has been a mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand. In 2013, he announced his second bid for the mayoralty in Wellington, New Zealand, after netting 12 per cent of the vote on his first attempt.
Jack Yan
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Hamish McConnochie
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