CBD streets open to people next Sunday 28 October

23 October 2018

Wellingtonians will have the opportunity to enjoy their city in new ways at Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke – Open Streets this Sunday 28 October from 9am to 1pm, where parts of some central city streets will be opened up for people and closed to cars.

Illustration of people walking, on bikes and other wheeled modes of transport.

Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke is a free, active event for people of all ages and abilities to take over the streets and walk, play, ride and roll in places where it’s not usually safe or possible.

There will be a small ceremony in Te Aro Park at 9am, when Taranaki Whānui will be present, with Mayor Justin Lester, to open and bless the event.

Mayor Lester says this is the first Open Streets event on this scale to be held in the central city.

“It’s exciting for Wellington and a great opportunity for people to come and enjoy the novelty of using public space in a different way – we’ve got everything from e-bikes to try, dance, music, street art, yoga and making your own reusable bag.”

Community groups and local businesses will run these and other activities at eight hubs and elsewhere along the 1.4km route between Hunter Street and Jessie Street, via Victoria, Wakefield, lower Cuba, Dixon and Taranaki streets. There's no official start or finish - people can travel the route in either direction or join at any point.

“Open Streets events help to make local communities healthier and more resilient, support local businesses and encourage greater transport choices.​ The central city is our fastest-growing residential neighbourhood – a place where thousands of people live – so it’s the perfect location to close the streets to cars and turn them into a temporary urban park for half a day.”

Councillor Sarah Free, Wellington City Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the concept of Open Streets is worldwide and regular events held in many other cities are mostly organised by local communities.

“People are welcome to come and set up an activity on the day where there’s room. We’ll also have around 50 volunteers helping out on the day, including groups from Wellington Girls’ College and Wellington East Girls’ College.

“Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke fits perfectly with our aspirations for Wellington to become an even more sustainable, healthy and people-centred place to live and visit.”

People coming into the city are encouraged to plan their travel ahead of time. Parking restrictions will be in place from 12 midnight on Saturday 27 October until 3pm on Sunday 28 October.

These streets will be closed to all vehicles from 6am to 3pm on Sunday and traffic management will be in place:

  • Victoria Street (Hunter to Wakefield)
  • Wakefield Street (Victoria to Cuba)
  • Lower Cuba Street (Wakefield to Manners)
  • Dixon Street (Cuba Mall to Taranaki)
  • Inglewood Place
  • Ghuznee Street (Taranaki to Marion)
  • Taranaki Street (Dixon to Jessie). 
  • Manners Street (Taranaki to Cuba) will be bus-only. 

Bus services will run as normal except for routes 3 and 21. Diversions will be in place –check the details on the Metlink website.

Information is also available at: http://bikethere.org.nz/te-ara-tapere/