News | 14 November 2022
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Demolition of Te Aro Park toilets under way

Demolition of the Te Aro Park toilet block in central Wellington begins today, with new toilets to be built over the road in Inglewood Place in 2024. The demolition is expected to take three weeks and be completed mid-December.

A group including council staff and Mana Whenua posing for a photo in Te Aro Park toilets.

The decision to remove the toilets comes as part of The Pōneke Promise, a joint commitment to improving safety and vibrancy in the central city.  

The design and location of the toilets creates a secluded and unsafe space, making it a hotspot for anti-social behaviour. The toilets have also been a long-standing cause of hurt for mana whenua due to their proximity to Te Aro Pā, an ancestral site of great significance to the descendants of the Pā. A whakamoe ceremony was held at dawn today to acknowledge the removal of this cause of hurt and to prepare the space for the future. 

Te Aro Park lit up pink at dawn.

Mayor Tory Whanau says this work marks a significant milestone for the Pōneke Promise in making our central city safer, while creating a more inviting space to spend time in the area. 

“Prior to the Pōneke Promise, many conversations about safety centred around Te Aro Park and the toilets. Once the Pōneke Promise was formed, this area became the heart of the programme. 

“This work is about intentionally reshaping the space using urban design principles to bring life back to the area and restore a sense of vibrancy. We know that more eyes on a space reduces the likelihood of anti-social behaviour happening, so that’s what we’re doing in the park. 

"It was an honour to be part of the whakamoe ceremony, to acknowledge the hurt from the past while working collaboratively for the future.” 

Te Aro Pā descendant Leslie Brown says descendants will be looking forward to further improvements to the area. 

 "We are already pleased with what has happened on Dixon Street. The removal of the unsightly park toilets is another step in restoring respect of this place and space." 

Group of people standing out the front of Te Aro Park toilets.

Engagement and a co-design process is underway with mana whenua to determine exactly what changes will be made to the space once the toilets are gone. Initially the area will be tidied up and the Council be facilitating on some summer activations with the local community, before the official urban design upgrades begin in spring 2023 after the FIFA World Cup. A concept plan for these changes will be shared with the community for feedback early in the new year. 

The demolition marks the next stage of design improvements to the area, following the recent completion of the Dixon Street upgrades – also part of the Pōneke Promise project.  

Work will start on the new toilets in Inglewood Place in early 2024 once Wellington Water has completed installation of a new pump station. The new toilets will be designed with safety and accessibility front of mind using CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles.   

Toilets will be installed on the corner of Dixon Street and Victoria Street early in the new year to bridge the gap until the Inglewood Place toilets are built. There will be wayfinding in place so people can easily find them from the old location.  

Until the Victoria Street toilet block is in place, people can use the nearby public toilets in Civic Square, Grey Street or at the eastern end of Courtenay Place. Te Pokapū Hapori and Arapaki Service Centre are also options during open hours.  

Check out the map of inner-city public toilets.