News | 5 May 2023

City building: A look at Wellington’s past, present, and future

From the Wellington Waterfront to Te Ngākau Civic Square – Wellington wouldn’t be Wellington without the buildings and spaces that make up the city’s landscape.

St James Theatre with writing that reads 'City building.'

As the city embarks on its biggest transformation programme in more than 30 years, we’re highlighting some corners of the capital that help make Wellington a better place to live, work, and play through our City Building series. 

The city is packed with iconic buildings and spaces that Wellingtonians and visitors alike know and love. While they are now fixtures in both the cultural and physical landscape, some of these building projects were initially met with controversy.

The Wellington Regional Stadium took 21 months to build and the ambitious project sparked uncertainty from some Wellingtonians with concerns around expense and disruption. However, the stadium has gone on to become a beloved, prosperous part of the city's identity, bringing millions of visitors and dollars to the region. 

Other buildings in Pōneke became so iconic that work continues to be done to restore them for future generations, including Te Matapihi Central Library and the Town Hall.  

The St James Theatre, which was opened in 1912 and featured performances of slapstick comedians, balladeers, jugglers, and acrobats, was recently given a new lease on life with major restrengthening and refurbishments.

Wellingtonians want a city that is climate-friendly, affordable, and a welcoming place to live for generations to come. We’re making that happen now, with many major infrastructure upgrades on the go.

We’re highlighting some of these projects in our City Building series, where we’ll look at how our city has developed and will continue to change.

Black writing on a yellow background that reads 'Positively Pōneke'.

Check out Our Wellington and our social media channels for more Positively Pōneke articles, videos and interesting snippets looking at Wellington’s past, present, and future.