Wellington Waterfront's Chief Executive Officer, Ian Pike, says the wharf needs substantial repairs and before planning is done for the work, they need to know what will be done with the Outer T.
"The restorative work that's to take place on the wharf will differ depending on the winning idea - be it for a building or for open space," says Ian.
Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says this is exactly the sort of thing Wellington Waterfront should be doing, and that it demonstrates great foresight.
"I have seen the eroded timber piles beneath the wharf myself," says Mayor Prendergast. "The Outer T will not be safe within 18 months if we don't spend the money on it soon. We won't know how much to spend until we know what the public wants, so we need to hold the competition now,"
The competition is the first part of the master plan for the Queens Wharf area. The plan decides what will be done to enhance the wharf over the next 10 years. Ian says that in light of the economy being the way it is, people should be aware that the work on the Outer T may not take place for several years.
"The main reason we are holding the competition now is so we can properly plan the urgent restorative work on the sub-wharf. There's no point in strengthening the wharf for a large building if the winning idea is to reserve the area for open public space," he says.
"We're looking forward to checking out all the ideas that will come pouring in."
The Outer T, constructed of hardwood timber piles and beams with a concrete deck, was built in 1865 and had various additions made to it between 1878 and 1898. Some of the timber piles urgently need to be repaired or replaced.
The ideas competition for the wharf is likely to start next month and the results are expected to be announced in August.