News | 5 July 2023
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Courtenay Place scrubs up well after community clean-up

Over 50 people helped give Courtenay Place a spruce up - removing over 90kgs of rubbish, scrubbing away graffiti at hotspots, wiping down building exteriors and more.

Two workers standing on the street in orange high vis jackets.

The clean-up saw a massive collaborative effort across businesses, local residents, Pōneke Promise partners and Council staff.

A lot of time and effort went into identifying the areas of focus for the clean-up, with areas for cleaning allocated ahead of time by the street cleaning crews, says Central City Manager Prak Sritharan.

“Our street cleaners are out cleaning our central city daily, so we asked them to help us identify the areas that needed the most work. 

“We then did multiple walk-throughs before the day and went through the street with a fine-toothed comb to figure out where we needed to focus our efforts.”

Jobs completed during the clean-up: 

  • Graffiti was removed from hotspots
  • Awnings above shop-fronts were brightened up with some TLC
  • More than 90kgs of rubbish was picked up
  • Building exteriors were given a polish 
  • We spruced up the gardens and planted more durable, native plants
  • Bus stops and bus shelters were given a deep clean
  • Rubbish bins were scrubbed clean

While the goal was to give the area a good clean, Prak says it was also chance to breathe life into one of Wellington’s most popular streets as a community and see people take ownership of the area.

“We heard many concerns from people about the area, and it felt good to bring together so many different groups of people to tackle this together.

“We had some passionate business owners and workers involved, from Mas at Lucky Chicken, who often volunteers to clean in his own time, and popular bars like Mish Mosh and Dakota. 

“We also had a lot of involvement from businesses across Council, like our Horticulture team in Parks, Sport, and Recreation.”

 Prak believes that people bring vibrancy to the street, so working with them is critical for the future of the precinct. 

“This event showed how many people are willing to contribute, with lots of people asking how they can be involved next time around. We think that people can take ownership of the city they inhabit all the time and become active participants in upcoming community-based activities within Wellington.” 

Water blasting outside of a bar.

Pōneke Promise Project Manager Clara Breitenmoser says that this is the start of a future plan for Courtenay Place. 

“The clean-up was a great catalyst for starting to dig more into the specific precinct plan for Courtenay Place. The precinct is a priority area within the Pōneke Promise, and we have just had the two-year anniversary, so we are evaluating how we want to move forward. 

“We want to keep working towards the same long-term vision as our partners, stakeholders and businesses. We’ve really built some strong partnerships because we can’t do it alone. I think that’s why the clean-up worked because there’s no substitute for people power.

“It was great to recognise that Courtenay Place is a special part of our city, and even though it has its challenges, we are aware of them and want to put in the care, attention, and support as kaitiaki of the area. Council is only one piece of the puzzle, and we want to empower people to see the central city as their neighbourhood.”