Island Bay town centre plan

Looking at issues and opportunities to improve Island Bay town centre.

There are several smaller groups of shops and dairies throughout Island Bay


Issues and opportunities

Our preliminary investigations have highlighted several issues and opportunities for the town centre. We need your help to understand these issues better and identify other issues or opportunities we have missed.

The Parade and traffic

The Parade is the significant arterial route between the southern suburbs and the CBD. It is heavily used by cars, has a high volume bus service and we’re building cycle lanes along it. The Parade is wide and has street parking.

The road width is not naturally conducive to creating a tight-knit pedestrian environment. However, Island Bay has a 30km per hour speed limit through the centre which slows the traffic sufficiently making it safer for pedestrians. The Parade needs to balance its role between effectively moving people to and from the CBD; and as the town centre’s main street, enhancing the successful local centre.

Island Bay New World

The local supermarket anchors the retail and services businesses of the area.


Island Bay’s centres

The centre has good retail and services businesses. The local supermarket anchors these and there are several well-known and specialty shops. There are several smaller groups of shops and dairies throughout Island Bay which reduce traffic in the town centre.

A number of smaller centres and dairies throughout Island Bay complement the town centre. These alternate shops and activities have the benefit of keeping unnecessary traffic away from the town centre, but at the same time, limit the patronage of the town centre shops. The Empire Cinema is the most significant type of business not in the town centre.


The Council previously modified Island Bay footpaths with brick paving. There is some public seating, cycle stands and other street furniture, and local retailers take the opportunity to use the footpath.

We could build on these improvements to improve the centre’s visual and pedestrian appeal, which in turn benefits the local retailers and the suburb.

Important individual buildings

The centre has a defined heritage area and some important buildings. These are distinctive in Island Bay and help to create the local character. This appeals to many people, which building owners could maintain and enhance.

Other buildings have very little impact on the street. For example, the library offers no engagement as a building frontage, and the community centre is behind the shops and has no street presence. Improvements could be made to promote these community assets better within the centre.

Island Bay cinema

The Empire Cinema is the most significant type of business not in the town centre.


Work happening

The cycleway is being built and will pass through the Island Bay centre. The New World supermarket is expanding its car park, and replacing the building on The Parade facing shop. It’s important to maximise potential of the work being done, especially on the existing land, as the centre has little room for outward growth due to established housing.

Council’s role in improving the town centre

We have a regulatory role through land use zoning in the district plan (which manages land use in Wellington) and the resource consent process for new development. Some ways we can help improve the town centre are to: 

  • improve street and public spaces 
  • set up a business improvement district 
  • improve pedestrian safety 
  • upgrade infrastructure, eg pipework, transport 
  • make better use of Council-owned land 
  • change public parking time limits 
  • work with land owners and developers to enable good quality developments.