The Wellington Town Hall is a grade one listed heritage building and is nearly 120 years old. It has been closed to the public since 2013, when it was deemed earthquake prone. By law, it had to be either demolished or strengthened, but its heritage status prevented it from being demolished. The Town Hall has a high level of support to be retained by Wellington City ratepayers and it is expected to be enjoyed by Wellingtonians again.
The Town Hall, one of the city’s most important heritage buildings, was resting on its original unreinforced concrete piles on reclaimed land. The Council has been reconstructing and redeveloping the building since 2019, to make it resilient and meet current earthquake standards. The redevelopment works mean that on completion, the building will look similar, but will have modern, improved services beneath the surface.
When it re-opens, the Te Whare Whakarauika will be a world-class musical and recording venue with improved rehearsal and performance space. It will be a base for civic and community events and part of a centre of musical excellence for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī. The redeveloped, much-loved Wellington Town Hall, with its wonderful auditorium and world-class acoustics, will be at the heart of the national music centre. The NZSO, NZSM and many of the Council’s civic activities will co-locate across the building. This will bring students, professional musicians and other industry creatives back into the heart of Wellington to provide some of the best performance and education experiences in the world.
Find out about the next stages of the project for 2023 in this Our Wellington update