Capital's Chinese Garden a symbol of partnership

21 November 2014

The proposed Chinese Garden for the Wellington Waterfront will be a symbol of the strong relationship shared between Wellington and its partner cities and regions in China, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said today.

The Mayor said she is delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mayor Liu Keqing from the Xiamen Municipal People’s Government to establish a Chinese Garden on Wellington’s waterfront. The signing took place in the launch of the China New Zealand Mayoral Forum attended by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Auckland today.

“Our Chinese Garden will signify the strength, warmth and ongoing prosperity of the relationship between Wellington and the people of China and Wellington,” said the Mayor.

“This project celebrates the true partnership between Wellington and our sister city Xiamen. Xiamen will provide Chinese technicians and construction materials to ship to Wellington. Wellington provides land and foundation work, and will manage the project here including resource consent and planning processes.”

Under the MOU, the design concepts will be confirmed by Xiamen by February 2015. Resource consents will be sought by December 2015 and, dependent on the outcome of the resource consent process, construction commenced as soon as possible thereafter.  It is the parties' current intention for the project to be completed by the end of 2016.

The Chinese Garden, to be known as the Garden of Beneficence, will be located in Frank Kitts Park and will include pailau (gateway), tea house, pavilion, terraces, ponds, and courtyard stone carving in harmony with natural planting in the Chinese style. The existing Waterfront Development Plan (2014-15) includes the Chinese Garden and was consulted on a number of times, most recently in the 2014/15 Annual Plan.

“The Chinese Garden will be a lovely addition to Wellington’s waterfront, offering a place of quiet contemplation amid natural beauty and contemporary Chinese design.

“More than three millennia of design heritage combined with the unique story of Chinese settlement in Wellington will contribute to a very special cultural addition to our waterfront, to join such loved features like the Wellington Writer’s Walk, the many sculptures and the wharewaka,” said the Mayor.

Under the terms of the MOU, Xiamen will provide the following support:

  • Confirm the project design known as the Garden of Beneficence, including pailau (gateway), tea house, pavilion, terraces, ponds, and courtyard stone carving.
  • Provide Chinese construction materials such as bricks, tiles and stones, consistent with the requirements of NZ laws, and ship them to Wellington.
  • Send Chinese technicians to Wellington to assist with the construction of the Garden.

The Wellington City Council shall provide the following assistance:

  • Facilitate the land-use approval procedures.
  • Seek funding from the local Chinese community.
  • Construct foundation works including earthwork modelling, vegetation, premises, wall structure, permeation-proof treatment of the ponds, and water and power supply.
  • Provide project management and logistical leadership to assist design and construction technicians from Xiamen during their stay in Wellington.
  • Manage other relevant procedures and transport the construction materials from the Port of Wellington.

Mayor Liu Keqing was this afternoon scheduled to arrive in Wellington at the head of a 20-strong delegation from Xiamen for a two-day visit to its sister city.