News | 2 December 2022
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Plans to rejuvenate Island Bay village take shape

More space for outdoor seats and tables and a place where kids can get creative are among plans shaped with the community to rejuvenate the heart of Island Bay.

Render of mural on public toilet and seating in Island Bay village area.
Render of mural on public toilet and seating in Island Bay village area

Wellington City Council last year approved funding for an upgrade as part of the Long-term Plan 2021-2031. Koata Hātepe, the Council’s Regulatory Processes Committee, will consider related traffic and parking changes at a meeting on 14 December and decide whether to proceed.

The planned improvements and upgrade for the area are designed to improve access, increase safety, and strengthen the suburb’s special identity. If approved, work is expected to start mid-next year. 

Island Bay upgrade project page



Following a Council decision earlier in the year, the plans have been developed in collaboration with people who live and run businesses in the area. The proposed design includes improvements to the main shopping centre, and areas around the library, and Empire Cinema & Eatery.

They include more outdoor space where people can sit, relax or have a coffee, better lighting, planter boxes and garden areas, and benches and seats. 

If approved, businesses will be encouraged to consider having their own outdoor tables, chairs, signs, and activities in line with the Council’s Trading and Events in Public Places Policy.

Island Bay Library will become a hub for children and people on foot, with a child-friendly area outside the building.

Two local artists will develop new murals on the public toilets at the intersection of Medway Street and The Parade, and in the pedestrian accessway between Clyde Street and The Parade.  

The design has a marked path that will connect with the bike lanes north and south of the shops for people who want to safely and slowly bike or scoot into or through the shopping centre.  

Render of space outside library in Island Bay village area.
Render of space outside library in Island Bay village area

The plans, which are up on our website and will be on display at the Island Bay community centre on 2 and 3 December, include: 

  • resurfacing footpaths in the shopping areas in a way that will show pedestrian areas and where people can ride 
  • ‘stopping points’ with new benches and bespoke site-specific seating near the bus stops or wider public spaces 
  • better lighting in the main shopping area and path between The Parade and Clyde Street
  • up-lights on trees to make them more of a feature at night
  • more plants and improved landscaping near the intersections and public areas
  • wayfinding signs and changes that celebrate Island Bay’s history and coastal connections.

Outside the Empire Cinema and Eatery, planter boxes and seating would be used to emphasise pedestrian priority of the footpath. The shared space around the bus stop would also be redesigned to be safer. It’s expected work in this area would start in 2024. 

Wellington City Deputy Mayor and Paekawakawa/Southern General Ward Councillor Laurie Foon says the design has been heavily influenced by discussions and a co-design process with the local Island Bay community.  

“Council staff talked with the wider community through a drop-in session, and then worked with a focused working group that included representatives from the Island Bay Residents’ Association, community groups, and business owners. 

“All these discussions were so valuable in developing this design and making sure it reflects some of the things that make Island Bay such a unique and special place.” 

Island Bay Resident’s Association Chair Sheila Hart, who has been part of the working group, says it is great to get this point and be able to share the plans with the wider community. 

“It has been a great opportunity to contribute to the plans for the Island Bay village upgrade, working alongside the public space design team and other members of the community. 

“I am excited to see the concept plans, which will add beauty and interest, enhance the area and hopefully encourage more people to visit and enjoy the village and beyond. 

“This will be great for our community connections and for local businesses.” 

The Council delayed making decisions earlier in the year on the traffic resolutions in these locations so a parking management plan could be completed, and to allow time for staff to work with businesses and people in the community on the co-design of the upgrade plans.    

For more information on the project, please visit