The Wellington Town Belt Bill

Aerial view of the city looking south.

Aerial view of the city looking south


The Wellington Town Belt is a large area of open space providing a scenic backdrop to the inner city and offering recreational opportunities to residents and visitors.

Today it includes 520 hectares, stretching in a horseshoe shape from Mount Victoria / Matairangi in the north-east, to Berhampore at its southern end, then north-west to Te Ahumairangi Hill between Wadestown and Thorndon.

Map of Wellington Town Belt (1105KB PDF)

For over 170 years the Town Belt has been a reserve for the public to enjoy.

Key features include:

  • parks, reserves and vegetated slopes visible from the central city
  • the continuous horse-shoe shape of undeveloped hills between the central city and surrounding suburbs
  • a wide range of sporting and recreational activities.

Legislative change - the Wellington Town Belt Bill

We propose to strengthen the protection of the Town Belt. To do this, we have drafted a local Parliamentary Bill called the Wellington Town Belt Bill.

The Bill will help to modernise the governance arrangements for the Town Belt under the Town Belt Deed, and would allow land to be added and, in some cases, removed from the Town Belt.

We sought public comments on drafting instructions outlining what the local Parliamentary Bill would look like and aim to achieve. These were approved in 2013.

What will not change?

  • The proposed Bill replaces the provisions of the Reserves Act 1977, meaning the Town Belt will no longer be a recreation reserve under that Act. Some existing local statutes are also repealed.
  • Future management plans will be prepared under a process contained within the proposed Bill.

What are the key things the Bill does?

  • With the Town Belt Deed, it establishes a legal framework for the Council's trusteeship and management of the Town Belt that is self-contained (does not rely on the Reserves Act 1977) and easily understood.
  • It is consistent with the Town Belt guiding principles adopted by the Council in December 2011.
  • It recognises the history and significance of the Original Town Belt.
  • It provides the Council with powers to manage the Town Belt, provided that it does so in a way that is consistent with both the charitable purpose of the Town Belt Deed and the management plan in force at the time.

Public consultation on the draft Bill

The draft Bill was publicly consulted on in April/May 2014:

Council approval of draft Bill

The final Wellington Town Belt Bill was approved by the Council on Tuesday 30 September 2014. The final Bill contains changes as a result of submissions received.

Further changes to the Bill were approved by the Council on 25 February 2015 following a review by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives: Wellington Town Belt Bill - approved by Council (229KB PDF)

Progressing the Bill in Parliament

Between 29 May 2015 and 6 June 2015, the Council gave notice under the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives that it intended to promote a local bill in Parliament called the Wellington Town Belt Bill.
Wellington Town Belt Bill - Inspection copy (3MB)

View a copy of the public notice as it appeared in the newspaper (90KB PDF)

First reading of the Bill

Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central moved that the Bill be read for the first time on 16 September 2015. The House voted unanimously to refer the Bill to the Local Government and Environment Committee. View the first reading:
Wellington Town Belt Bill - First Reading

Enactment of the Wellington Town Belt Act 2016

The third reading of the Wellington Town Belt Bill took place on 4 May 2016. The House voted unanimously to support the Bill. The Wellington Town Belt Act 2016 was enacted on 9 May 2016.

History of the Town Belt

For information about the history of the Town Belt, refer to: History of Town and Green Belts

More information

Bec Ramsay
Manager Open Space and Recreation Planning

Phone: (04) 499 4444