News | 7 June 2024
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Demolition work in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct set to ramp up this month

Wellington’s Te Ngākau Civic Square precinct will see increased demolition activity from late June as significant work ramps up on two big projects in the area.

Civic Admin Building in Civic Square before demolition work required.
Civic Administration Building

The main demolition of the six-storey Civic Administration Building (CAB) begins, with Wakefield Street closed to through traffic between Victoria Street and Cuba Street, and the temporary closure of the Victoria Street pedestrian entrance to Te Ngākau Civic Square for health and safety reasons. The demolition of the quake-damaged building is expected to be finished in December. 


From 20 June to October (updated 12/6) a large crane will operate in Wakefield Street as an essential part of the demolition process. From September, one lane will reopen to vehicles heading west toward Victoria Street. In early January, the road will completely reopen to vehicles. There will be pedestrian access during this entire period.


The Victoria Street entrance to Te Ngākau will be closed from 20 June till either December (at the earliest) or February 2025 (at the latest). The square itself will remain open, with access via Harris Street and the City to Sea Bridge.


The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) temporary building in the Michael Fowler Centre car park will also be dismantled and stored while Wellington City Council investigates alternative uses and locations for it.


Deconstruction of the RNZB building will begin on 24 June and is expected to finish in October, with minimal disruption to local businesses and residents. The temporary building was constructed in 2019 to host the RNZB during the earthquake-strengthening and restoration of the St James Theatre. The RNZB moved back into the St James when it reopened in 2022. The temporary building has not been in use since.


Meanwhile, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi is scheduled to receive an earthquake-prone building (EPB) notice, with remedial maintenance, including earthquake-strengthening, starting in February 2025.


Due to the disruption caused by the works around Te Ngākau, particularly the demolition of the CAB which will limit access to the gallery, Experience Wellington has decided to relocate City Gallery Wellington from 30 June. It will continue to bring art to new spaces around Wellington, including upcoming exhibitions at Te Papa and the Dowse Art Museum, until the gallery returns home in 2026.


The Council will take the opportunity to undertake required maintenance works, as well as the minor works required to strengthen the building, throughout 2025.


Meanwhile momentum towards the restoration of Te Ngākau is gathering pace, with work well under way on the quake-strengthening and upgrading of Te Matapihi Central Library and the Town Hall.


For more information on the CAB demolition including road closure details and access route maps, please visit