News | 9 March 2023
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Sneak peek into Wellington’s major infrastructure projects

Mayor Tory Whanau and Councillors toured Poneke’s most exciting central infrastructure projects this week to see progress on the Town Hall, Te Matapihi | Central Library and Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Town Hall exterior area with elected members and project team
Town Hall exterior area with elected members and project team

Town Hall

First up was the tour of Wellington Town Hall. When it re-opens in 2025, the Town Hall will be a world-class musical and recording venue with improved rehearsal and performance space. It will be a base for civic and community events and part of a centre of musical excellence for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington’s New Zealand School of Music Te Kōkī.

Project Director Bede Crestani told Mayor Tory Whanau and Councillors how the earthquake strengthening, and upgrade work will future-proof the 100-year-old building for another century –  and more.

The grade 1 listed heritage building has undergone six years of base isolation and redevelopment work. The tour group witnessed sheet piling work as part of the excavation of the auditorium, with a team of Council and contractor experts updating them on the project’s progress.

Te Matapihi exterior under construction from Harris Street
Te Matapihi exterior under construction from Harris Street

Te Matapihi

Mayor Whanau and Councillors visited Te Matapihi to see the construction and design progress on Wellington’s Central Library. 

Construction on-site continues at full steam and in preparation for the base isolators arriving in August this year, continuing the essential work for future resiliency. Inside, the building already feels much lighter and brighter with the removal of parts of the original façade, and the opening of the new entrance on the corner of Victoria and Harris streets.

The major investment in this essential work on the physical structure of the building will provide an earthquake-resilient building that offers flexible spaces where people can choose from multiple options for engaging.

Athfield Architects, with a visual fly-through, talked about where the architectural design is now. Then, cultural co-design lead Rangi Kipa of Tihei brought the cultural aspects of the design to life, highlighting our inter-relationship with nature and this land, and a sense of place where curiosity is nurtured and can flourish.

Over three of the four floors, Te Matapihi project leads presented how people will experience these spaces when the library opens in 2026, visualising an exciting 21st-century centre of knowledge, diverse culture and creativity, that welcomes everyone.

Tākina exterior taken from Cable Street side
Tākina exterior taken from Cable Street side


The Mayor and Councillors were given the first walk through of the completed Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The capital’s largest built infrastructure investment since the Wellington Regional Stadium two decades ago, offers a powerful combination of facilities across three floors and 18,000 sqm that draw visitors to Wellington to learn, meet and be inspired.

Councillors and media viewed the impressive new facilities and heard how it would attract both leisure and businesses tourists to the city, major infrastructure projects boosting hospitality businesses to the tune of $44.8m a year.

Tākina, the Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre, will open in June with the internationally acclaimed LEGO® interactive exhibition, Jurassic World by Brickman® on display from June 3 – October 16 2023.