The introduction of shipping goods using containers and roll-on / roll-off shipping in the 1970s and the changing needs they brought with them meant that the waterfront quickly became an industrial wasteland, which in turn sparked interest in transforming Wellington’s waterfront.
So Wellington Harbour Board, Wellington City Council and some key players with a vision for the city came into play and - after many years, public consultations and draft plans and proposals - the waterfront started to be transformed into what it is today.
The first major step forward came in 1986 with the Harbour Board and the Council signing a joint venture agreement setting up two companies – Lambton Harbour Overview Limited and Lambton Harbour Management Limited. Their task was to manage and administer a project to develop the waterfront. In 1987 an Empowerment Act allowed the Lambton Harbour Development Project to proceed.
Wellington Harbour Board and Wellington City Council Vesting and Empowering Act 1987 - NZ Legislation