News | 16 March 2023
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Have your say on future of parks, open spaces and recreation in Pōneke

Wellington City Council’s Open Space and Recreation Strategy Te Whai Oranga Pōneke aims to achieve big things over the next 10 years – and it’s open for feedback now.

Three young children running down hill in park area

From ensuring that a park is within 5-10 minutes of everyone, incorporating more Māori activities into everyday places, removing barriers to sport and recreation for vulnerable groups, and quiet streets being converted into rain gardens Wellingtonians are being asked to share their thoughts on the draft strategy for the future of parks and recreation in Pōneke, and to ensure their happy spaces and places are easy to get to, fun to be in and thriving in years to come. 

Consultation is open now until 14 April, and the results will help the Council finalise the Open Space and Recreation Strategy Te Whai Oranga Pōneke, providing an overarching framework and strategic direction to manage its public open space, recreation facilities and recreation programmes and services over the next 30 years.

Open Space and Recreation Strategy 

Te Whai Oranga means ‘in the pursuit of wellness’ and embodies the core function of open space and recreation: To support the wellness of people to live and play, and the intrinsically connected health of our environment.

Chair Social, Cultural, and Economic Committee Councillor Teri O’Neill says it is an exciting time ahead in this space for Wellington as we focus on the people and their environment, from the peaks to the coast and back again.

“We are lucky to have an abundance of reserves, gardens, bike and walking track networks, play areas, pools and recreational centres, and a stunning coastline which are all a valuable part of our daily lifestyle, and invaluable in keeping us mentally and physically healthy.

“As the population grows and the world changes, now is the time to ensure we continue to invest in these areas of open space and consider more recreational opportunities, so health and well-being is a priority and accessible for all in Pōneke.” 

Young boy in park playing with a football

Some of the strategy highlights include: 

  • Growing the open space network by providing more parks to ensure everyone is within a 5-10 minute walk of a neighbourhood park.

  • Reshaping some streets to provide for social and recreational use and increase greening such as rain gardens and street trees.

  • Prioritise reducing barriers where participation levels are low, such as amongst disabled people, girls and young women, Pacific and Asian communities, and in high deprivation areas.

  • Take an equity approach to increasing greening where there are inequities in the distribution of greening in Wellington, e.g. lower socio-economic areas.

  • Normalise and incorporate traditional Māori games and initiatives into our spaces, places, and programmes.


Mayor Tory Whanau says Wellington’s public open spaces and recreational opportunities are special and contribute a lot to our quality of life. 

“We shouldn’t take these spaces for granted and should think about how we best manage and utilise them in the future, and how they can continue to contribute to and improve our quality of life.

“I’m proud of the work the Council is doing in this space and will look forward to the benefits being felt by everyone as the input and plans come together over the next 10 years.”

The consultation is open until 14 April, 2023. Have your say here! Submissions will then be considered, and the final plan completed by mid-2023.