Victoria Street project paves way for growth

6 August 2015

The new parks and public spaces created as part of the Victoria Street transformation project will be blessed and officially opened tomorrow (Friday 7 August) – paving the way for an estimated $1.5 billion of private investment in the area.

The blessing by June and Peter Jackson of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust will begin at 12.15pm in Te Niho Park at the corner of Victoria and Vivian streets and move to Volunteer Corner near Dixon Street.  The opening ceremony will celebrate the improvements to the area, which is set to become one of Wellington’s busiest inner city neighbourhoods.

The name Te Niho, which was recommended by the Trust, translates as “the tooth”. The name reflects the triangular shape of the park and also has historic and other significance linking mana whenua and earlier iwi settlement.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Council’s investment in Victoria Street is an excellent example of how the Council can make the city a better place and also enable economic growth.

“Our investment has paved the way for a massive rejuvenation of this area. We now anticipate there will be more than 2500 new apartments and 200,000sqm of new commercial space built in this part of Te Aro in the next 5 to 10 years,” she says.

“It’s very exciting to see a start has been made on the new WelTec/Whitireia creative arts campus, which will bring more than 1000 students into this area, as well as new apartments going up and people making use of the wide footpaths, new southbound cycle lane and public spaces.”

Mayor Wade-Brown says the project is just one of the ways the Council is investing for growth, proactively encouraging and providing more housing and transport choices and making the inner city more vibrant – in line with the city’s new long-term and urban growth plans and cycling framework.

“With the wider footpaths, parks and dozens of street trees, we’ve created attractive usable spaces where cafes can provide outdoor seating and small events can happen. At the same time, we have coordinated the upgrade of underground pipes, putting in some nine kilometres of new ducting for the existing and future services people and businesses in this area will require.”

The Mayor says the Council took the opportunity to work with the Memorial Park Alliance, the experienced alliance of companies that built the city’s Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, which had allowed the project to be fast-tracked and built in just over seven months.

The transformation would have taken at least a year to complete using more traditional project management and contractor arrangements.