Wellington to get New Zealands first rainbow pedestrian crossing

9 March 2018

Wellingtonians will be walking on rainbows later this year when the city becomes home to New Zealand's first rainbow-coloured pedestrian crossing, with the city's Mayor announcing that work will commence on Cuba Street to prepare the site.

Mayor Jusin Leser walking across a rainbow on the road at the Cuba Street and Manners Street intersection with a group of children.

The announcement comes ahead of the city’s International Pride Parade tomorrow (Saturday 10 March).

Mayor Justin Lester says a desire for a rainbow crossing on Cuba Street has been a recurring piece of feedback from the community, both formally and informally.

“Wellington – and especially Cuba Street – is the home of New Zealand’s pride movement, and we want to be open and proud about the way we celebrate that.”

The Mayor says Wellington is looking to overseas examples like the Castro District in San Francisco.

“The rainbow crossing will be one piece of the puzzle. It would be amazing to have a pride precinct in Cuba Street. For that to happen we need the rainbow community to keep engaging with us and tell us what they think.”

In the coming weeks, the Mayor will be engaging members of the diverse groups of the LGBTQI community to come and give him their views on the future of Cuba Street as a pride precinct.

“My hope is to be able to meaningfully and visually tell this part of Wellington’s story.”

Maree Gray from Early Years Leeds Street early childhood centre around the corner from the site says the crossing is a welcome addition to their neighbourhood.

”We are a school that values tolerance, diversity and inclusion. Our kids will grow up with this as a normal part of their lives.”

The crossing will be on the intersection of Cuba Street and Dixon Street.

The Mayor says the process of choosing and preparing a site is not one that has been considered lightly, and that Council officers have been working on identifying the right site since mid-2017.

“Our Urban Design team has worked extensively to ensure the site is appropriate and that the use of colour is not disruptive to traffic flow and, most importantly, does not impact pedestrian safety.

“The fact this is a crossing sitting alongside pedestrian traffic lights means there’s an added level of reassurance."

He says he is hopeful this will set precedent for other cities wanting to follow suit.

Work on the site is expected to be completed by July, and will include road resurfacing before the site is painted.