Originally hailing from Perth, Ben and his wife Helen made the move to Wellington in January last year. He instantly fell for the city and started @WhyWellington on Twitter and Instagram as a way of showcasing what makes Wellington unique and special, encouraging Wellingtonians to use the #WhyWellington hashtag to share what we love about the capital.
Just months into the project, @WhyWellington now reaches over 9,000 people every day and continues to grow quickly. Ben took time out from his busy schedule to grab a drink with FishHead at Oriental Bay.
If it’s been a hard week at work and I’m in need of a drink I’ll be at… Cuckoo Cocktail Emporium having an Old Fig, which is a fig-infused Old Fashioned. Otherwise I’ll be at Burger Liquor having a $10 bourbon and beer combo with the pork belly burger.
If I need a slap-up feed and a cup of Wellington’s finest coffee I’ll be at… Boon Brothers’ Crumpet having the Gentleman’s Pairing, which is an espresso and a grappa for $9. It’s a good little heart-starter in the morning! Then I’ll move along to Five Boroughs for the South Pacific eggs and bottomless coffee.
On weekends you will find me… walking, walking, walking. I love a good walk! My favourite is the City to Sea, mainly because no matter where you are on that route, if you change your mind along the way there’s a suburb you can drop into and get a beer.
My favourite Wellington landmark is… the Mt Vic swing, but it’s been taken down! Let’s change that. Tweet #BringTheSwingBack and #WhyWellington to start a movement.
The Wellingtonian that I would take to a pub quiz is… Taika Waititi. He’d be my Kiwiana pop culture wingman!
I started @WhyWellington because… before I moved here so many people kept asking me, why Wellington? About the thousandth time I was asked the question, I decided to start a Twitter account to help answer it.
@WhyWellington can also be used for… promoting events, finding lost pets, asking questions about the city. It’s not just about posting images, but also about bringing the community together.
The future of @WhyWellington looks like… telling more stories. It’s about how to move past just posting awesome pictures, to being able to better tell the stories of our city. It might be about a little kid’s sports team or somebody who has been writing a book for 20 years and has just had it published. I want there to be more depth behind it all.
I do what I do because… I freaking dig this town! I love it and it’s the place that feels like home. I’ve now been here just over a year and for both myself, and my wife, our last 12 months has been the happiest of our lives, and that’s because of Wellington. I love the walkability, the sunsets, the eating and drinking places, and the people. I want to give something back to the city and help others enjoy Wellington as much as I do.