Wellington Scoop

Mayors approve planning for 12,000 seat multi-purpose arena “important for arts”


News from WCC
A new indoor arena for Wellington is a step closer today, with mayors instructing the region’s economic development agency to begin work towards a business case for the project.

At today’s Wellington Regional Strategy Committee, the region’s mayors viewed concept designs produced by arena designers Cox Architecture, supported by Opus Architecture, for a 10,000 seat multi-purpose arena, with the ability to increase capacity to more than 12,000 as required.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the arena is important for the development of the arts in the capital.

“A major new arena will be a big boost for Wellington and help us attract even more international acts. Currently we have capacity for just 5600 people at an indoor concert, compared to 12,000 at Spark Arena in Auckland and 8800 in Christchurch. A bigger venue will mean we can compete for the big acts and be a long-term boost for the local economy.”

Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy says the region has been missing out on the growth in live events.

“Since 2012, the revenue from live performances in New Zealand has grown by nearly 100 per cent, while growth from the same source in Wellington has been hampered due to a lack of venues. A new arena will help our region get its share of this growing industry, which will mean more money and more jobs, as well as more options for concert goers.”

Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace says the mayors have instructed the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) to begin the work on a proposal for the stadium.

“We’re keen to see a city location that could accommodate more than 12,000 people. We’ve instructed our economic development agency to work with the regional and city councils to assess the various options for a location, design, cost and funding and to develop the feasibility study.

“It’s great to see all the councils in the region working together on a major project like this. This shows the benefits of working together, and what we can achieve when we think and act as a region.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson says tourism in the region will also benefit.

“We know that major concerts mean more money in the pockets of local hoteliers, motels and accommodation providers. Bigger events will mean more guest nights and more tourism spending. This isn’t just a win for concert goers, this is a boost for economic development.”


  1. Cackle McFee, 29. August 2017, 19:15

    But we don’t need it. We already have all the venues for indoor concerts and the stadium. Waste of ratepayers’ money.

  2. Lindsay, 29. August 2017, 19:29

    Justin says Wellington is “to get” the huge new arena. He’s jumping several guns, again. The announcement says only that there is another feasibility study. As yet: no location, no design, no costing, no funding.

  3. Andy Mellon, 29. August 2017, 19:52

    Great. Ray Wallace throwing around ratepayers’ money like confetti again. Sigh.

  4. KB, 29. August 2017, 21:47

    Good idea – do it. I’m sick of having to spend upwards of $500 on flights and accommodation in Auckland/Christchurch/Dunedin for my partner and I to see acts.

  5. Dave, 30. August 2017, 9:18

    This is somewhat of a rehash of old news by the mayors. Provision for capital spending for an indoor arena has been in the WCC long term plan since 2015. But with estimates that this arena could now cost up to $200 million to build, why is there not consideration of investing that sum into turning Westpac Stadium into a covered venue and killing two birds with one stone?

  6. Si, 30. August 2017, 13:17

    This is fantastic news for Wellington – I hope it goes ahead.

  7. Mark, 30. August 2017, 20:59

    Enquiring minds would like to know:
    Where are they proposing to put it (that’s a bloody big building with massive crowds, and the neighbours are going to be mightily upset)?
    What transport/parking facilities are available for a 12,000 attendance?
    Is it self-funded, or will it require massive and continuing taxpayer “investments”?
    Will the design, architecture, construction and management be put to open bid, or will it be more jobs-for-the-boys?
    Will the public be permitted access to concept designs, costing briefs, reviews and project planning?
    Most of all:
    Do we the ratepayers get to vote on this all-new vanity project?
    So many big-dollar projects – repairing the town hall, subsidising a private movie museum, upgrading public transport, earthquake strengthening, airport extensions, motorways and tunnels, the enormous Shelley Bay developments, reworking the waterfront again – delusions of grandeur, cause we know we can’t afford all of them.
    Is this just another ill-considered passing distraction, because just doing the basics of good city management is too boring for our aspiring genius councillors?

  8. Michael Gibson, 31. August 2017, 7:18

    With regard to the question “Where are they proposing to put it?” the answer is for the Mayor to go to Auckland and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Garden Society. Then decide not to stand again.

  9. Guy M, 31. August 2017, 7:45

    Dave – you may have missed the news, but Westpac Stadium can not be converted into a closed stadium. There is zero chance of a roof on it, ever. Just not going to happen.