City Council Housing Team Takes Top Award

4 October 2013

Wellington City Council’s Housing team took out the top Australasian Professional Excellence in Housing Award for New Zealand – the Excellence in Social Housing Award – in the Capital last night.

The Australasian Housing Institute awards acknowledge social housing projects that are judged to have made a significant and lasting difference to tenants and their community.

The Council also won the Leading Housing Project Award for the upgrade of Central Park Apartments, which has been transformed into a place where neighbours can get to know each other.

Last night’s awards follow a string of accolades for the Council’s housing upgrade programme since 2010. As New Zealand winners, the Council team will now be up against finalists from across Australia, with the winners to be announced on 30 October 2013.

Wellington City Council Manager of City Housing Vicki McLaren says the Excellence in Social Housing Award is a real feather in the cap for everyone who’s been involved in this major upgrade project.

“This is great recognition and reward for our team, all of whom have done such great work in helping to transform social housing facilities in Wellington and improving the lives of so many tenants.

“We’d also like to acknowledge our tenants, who have had to move out while the upgrade work on the various buildings is done, and for their contribution to the project as a whole – bringing ideas and solutions to create revitalised communities.”

The Council’s transformation of the monolithic 1960s Central Park flats in Wellington into modern stylish homes is an impressive construction project. Improvements included reconfiguring 213 units into 190 warm, dry, affordable homes, earthquake strengthening, modernising kitchens and bathrooms, enhancing communal spaces, and improving access, safety and security.

Vicki McLaren says the Central Park upgrade is another example of how it’s possible to change the lives of people who live in social housing.

“The transformation of these old buildings into 21st century homes has brought new community spirit, comfort and enjoyment for those who live there.

“We’d also like to acknowledge our project partners LT McGuinness, Novak + Middleton Architects, and RCP project management for their hard work and commitment to making these projects a reality. It’s a great achievement and it’s also of huge benefit for Wellington City.”

The $34 million Central Park upgrade project started in June 2010 and was completed in August 2012. It has also won the Wellington Civic Trust Award 2013 for Enhancement or Protection of the City’s Built Environment.

Central Park is one of the largest Wellington City Council social housing complexes to be upgraded as part of the Council’s 20-year joint project with the Crown to upgrade their social housing portfolio.