Te Whai Oranga Pōneke – Open Space and Recreation Strategy

Te Whai Oranga Pōneke – Open Space and Recreation Strategy was adopted at the Council’s Kōrau Mātinitini Social, Cultural and Economic Committee meeting on 28 June 2023.

Te  Whai Oranga Pōneke, provides an overarching framework and strategic direction for Wellington City Council to manage  and develop public open space, recreation facilities and recreation programmes and services over the next 30 years.

Te Whai Oranga Pōneke – Open Space and Recreation Strategy – Word version (124KB DOCX)

The name Te Whai Oranga Pōneke means ‘in the pursuit of wellness’ and embodies the core purpose of Wellington’s public open spaces and recreational opportunities – to support the wellness of people to live and play, and the intrinsically connected health of the environment.

Mission and principles

The mission of Te Whai Oranga Pōneke is to create a flourishing network of parks and recreation opportunities, interwoven into everyday life, that supports Wellingtonians to live well and connect to nature and each other. This mission is underpinned by five overarching principles that are the foundations of the strategy; Manaakitanga, Wairuatanga, Whanangatanga, Pārekareka and Tiakitanga.

Focus areas

To meet the mission, the strategy sets out five strategic focuses with approaches for action, directing investment decision and actions in the open space and recreation sectors. The five focuses are:

Integrated: Well-distributed, multifunctional, and connected spaces, places and programmes that respond to Wellington’s current and future needs. 

Inclusive: Inclusive, equitable, and accessible spaces, places and programmes that make everyone feel safe and welcome.

Regenerating and resilient: The mana and mauri of our environment will be uplifted and will support the resilience of our city.

Re-indigenising: Te ao Māori, te tiriti o waitangi, and mātauranga Māori are reflected in the decision making, management, activities and the visual presence of our places, spaces, and programmes.

Diverse: Diverse recreation experiences across our places, spaces, and programmes equitably support our communities’ physical, social, and restorative wants and needs


The strategy also includes an action plan and performance indicators. 

Open space categories and provision targets

A companion document describes the eight types of open space the Council manages, and sets targets for their distribution and quality.

Open space categories and provision targets (17.7MB PDF)
Open space categories and provision targets – Word version (54KB DOCX)

How it was developed 

To shape this strategy, extensive research and engagement was conducted, including:

All up over 2,500 individual submissions were received from a diverse range of individuals and interest groups.