News | 9 July 2021
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Feedback invited on review of activities in public places

Wellington City Council is reviewing the policies that set the framework for managing trading and event activities in public places – and is inviting the public to have their say.

Panoramic view from harbour to the city.

Currently there are two policies that govern these activities and the Council is proposing to integrate both into one Trading and Events in Public Places Policy.

The new combined draft policy will be much broader in scope and set out the rules and guidance on how activities on all public spaces are managed.

Mayor Andy Foster says: “Our public places are important – we use them to live, work and play, and while we want them to be lively and vibrant, we want them to be safe for everyone too.

“Sometimes there is competing use of public places which can increase the risk of accidents, hazards, or misuse, so these rules will provide better guidance to manage trade and event activities in public spaces.”

Councillor Jill Day, who chairs the Pūroro Rangaranga – Social, Cultural, and Economic Committee, says that trading and events in public space is an important aspect of the city.

“Exciting, entertaining, and energised public spaces drive people into the city, and encourages people to participate in all there is to offer – which is positive for the local economy, the creative communities, and hospitality industries.

“But our priority must be to ensure the area is safe, inclusive, and celebrates diversity – so it’s inviting for all.”

The Council is inviting people to have their say on the proposals from Wednesday 7 July until 5pm, Monday 16 August 2021.

Some of the recommendations are to:

  • Develop a framework for assessing and approving licensed activity on reserves, city parks, and the Wellington Town Belt, which meets legislative requirements and enables a proactive and positive approach.
  • Widen and future proof the policy scope.
  • Ensure the value of trade and event activities in Wellington’s public places is recognised.
  • Provide consistent decision-making criteria and fee structure for assessing approvals for activities in all public places and improve the application process.
  • Identify and promote more public space trading sites, review licence periods, and invite Expressions of Interest when opportunities arise.
  • Align accessibility requirements with national and international guidelines.
  • Make sure all approvals are smokefree and vapefree.
  • Encourage quality busking and street performance (including pavement art).
  • Make information about street appeals and charity face-to-face fundraisers in public places publicly available.
  • Require approval for activities that exclusively use public space and/or have an impact on the land or other people using it, such as commercial group fitness, commercial tours, bulk bins, professional dog walking, pavement art, and commercial filming and photography.
  • Provide guidelines for creative hoardings in public places.

How to share your views

You can read the full Statement of Proposal 

  • an online survey submission, or
  • download a submission form or pick one up from any Wellington Library or Community Centre and:
    • email it to or
    • post it to us to Freepost 2199, Trading and Events in Public Places Policy, PO Box 2199, Wellington 6140.