Cenotaph Precinct Improvements

The Cenotaph Precinct in central Wellington has a new look as part of a wider project to improve the area.

Artist's impression showing a bird's eye view of the redeveloped cenotaph precinct.

Illustration by Wraight & Associates Ltd.


The precinct includes the Cenotaph, at the corner of Lambton Quay and Bowen Street, and the plaza next to Parliament Grounds.

The work restores the national, historical and architectural heritage of the precinct and provides a more open and pedestrian friendly area for Anzac Day dawn services and other events.

Work undertaken 


  • restoring original features of the Cenotaph including garden beds and paving
  • new seats and lights
  • a new public artwork
  • new steps from the plaza up to Parliament Grounds allowing for a direct pedestrian route to the Beehive 
  • removing the public toilets 
  • removing some trees to open up the plaza and allow for the link through to Parliament 


A new in-ground artwork by Joe Sheehan leads pedestrians across the plaza, along the path of Waipiro Stream (now underground), with pieces of jade laid into the paving. The artwork includes the sound of flowing water from speakers set in the ground.


The Cenotaph was built in 1929 to honour soldiers killed in the First World War. Along with the Cenotaph's close links with Parliament and remembrance of both World Wars, the area's history goes back to Māori settlement. The Oamaru stone pou at Waititi Landing near the Cenotaph, by Rā Vincent, marks the old shoreline and waka landing beach used by Te Atiawa and other Taranaki Whānui iwi.


Work has now been completed.