News | 13 June 2023
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Courtenay precinct getting some TLC

Wellington City Council is working with local businesses and community groups on a big co-ordinated clean up day for Courtenay Place.

Bollards in CBD with Know Your City Limits advertising

The Courtenay Place Clean Up is part of the wider work under the Pōneke Promise, working towards a safe, vibrant and welcoming central city.


Pōneke Promise


Shared ownership of the Pōneke Promise is key to the success of the programme says Mayor Tory Whanau.

“There has already been significant mahi to address the legitimate concerns of the public and businesses in the CBD, including increased lighting, urban design improvements, two new community spaces, and a youth hub due to open, plus on-going support and increased funding for stakeholders like Take 10 and DCM.

“The eyes of the world are turning to Wellington with the FIFA Women’s World Cup coming to town, and we want Courtenay Place to be pride of place for visitors and residents alike.

“As the heart of our entertainment district, it needs a bit of TLC to reflect that in a better light,” adds the Mayor.

The aim of the clean up is a focused team effort to make a visible improvement in the area, and that includes input and support from local businesses and property owners, says Council’s CEO Barbara McKerrow.  


“The city is going through a significant period of transformation and investment in aging infrastructure, improved transport networks, planning for growth and plans in place to make Wellington fit for the future – the Courtenay Place Clean Up is one of these many projects.”

Council’s new Central City Manager Prak Sritharan’s role is to make it easier for businesses and other key central city stakeholders to engage with the Council, and to support Council to engage with businesses on the city’s priorities.

His first project will be working with Courtenay Place stakeholders on this clean up, followed by a longer-term vision and plan for the area, a key outcome of the Council’s Economic Wellbeing Strategy.


“One of the number one concerns we hear from businesses across the city is regarding the cleanliness of our central city streets, especially around the Courtenay Place precinct.


“With the opening of Tākina and the FIFA World Cup on the horizon, now is the time to make sure our streets are looking fresh and sparkling as we head into this busy time. 


“Working with businesses and residents, we’ve identified a range of ways to freshen up the area including a deep street clean, graffiti removal, empty shop activations and installing artworks.


“There has already been a strong level of positive response from the Courtenay Place businesses, a testament to their community spirit.”


The project is funded through reprioritising existing Council budget and currently exploring all external partner opportunities.


The Courtenay Place Clean Up will take place on Monday 19 June. If you’re keen to be part of it get in touch at


History of Courtenay Place


The north-eastern side of Courtenay Place was beach until the 1855 earthquake when it became swamp drained by the stream from the Basin Reserve between Kent and Cambridge Terraces.

A railway station between Tory, Blair and Allen Streets was the main site for produce delivery to the local markets and for milk to be processed before distribution from upper Tory Street.

Rail's passenger traffic took to the trams when they were electrified in 1904 and the station closed during the first world war.


The 1920s saw Courtenay Place become an entertainment hub with the city’s first parking places installed and known as ‘theatre parks’, and the De Luxe (later renamed Embassy) 1800 seater cinema opening in 1924.


The mid-1990s saw the area confirmed as the city’s entertainment precinct with a boom in cafes, restaurants and bars, plus a surge in inner city living.