Wellington Scoop

City streets without cars – but only for four hours


News from WCC
Wellingtonians will have the opportunity to enjoy their city in new ways at Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke – Open Streets this Sunday from 9am to 1pm, when parts of some central city streets will be opened up for people and closed to cars.

Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke is a free, active event for people of all ages and abilities to take over the streets and walk, play, ride and roll in places where it’s not usually safe or possible.

There will be a small ceremony in Te Aro Park at 9am, when Taranaki Whānui will open and bless the event with mayor Justin Lester.

This is the first Open Streets event on this scale to be held in the central city.

“It’s exciting for Wellington and a great opportunity for people to come and enjoy the novelty of using public space in a different way – we’ve got everything from e-bikes to try, dance, music, street art, yoga and making your own reusable bag,” says mayor Lester.

Community groups and local businesses will run these and other activities at eight hubs and elsewhere along the 1.4km route between Hunter Street and Jessie Street, via Victoria, Wakefield, lower Cuba, Dixon and Taranaki streets. There’s no official start or finish – people can travel the route in either direction or join at any point.

“Open Streets events help to make local communities healthier and more resilient, support local businesses and encourage greater transport choices.​ The central city is our fastest-growing residential neighbourhood – a place where thousands of people live – so it’s the perfect location to close the streets to cars and turn them into a temporary urban park for half a day.”

Councillor Sarah Free, Wellington City Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the concept of Open Streets is worldwide and regular events held in many other cities are mostly organised by local communities.

“People are welcome to come and set up an activity on the day where there’s room. We’ll also have around 50 volunteers helping out on the day, including groups from Wellington Girls’ College and Wellington East Girls’ College.

“Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke fits perfectly with our aspirations for Wellington to become an even more sustainable, healthy and people-centred place to live and visit.”

People coming into the city are encouraged to plan their travel ahead of time. Parking restrictions will be in place from 12 midnight on Saturday 27 October until 3pm on Sunday 28 October.

These streets will be closed to all vehicles from 6am to 3pm on Sunday and traffic management will be in place:

· Victoria Street (Hunter to Wakefield)

· Wakefield Street (Victoria to Cuba)

· Lower Cuba Street (Wakefield to Manners)

· Dixon Street (Cuba Mall to Taranaki)

· Inglewood Place

· Ghuznee Street (Taranaki to Marion)

· Taranaki Street (Dixon to Jessie).

· Manners Street (Taranaki to Cuba) will be bus-only.

Bus services will run as normal except for routes 3 and 21. Diversions will be in place – check the details on the Metlink website. Information is also available at: http://bikethere.org.nz/te-ara-tapere/


  1. Sekhmet Bast Ra, 28. October 2018, 4:43

    In the famous movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Dorothy turned to her faithful four pawed friend and said “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”. Today, the friends of Dorothy turn to our four pawed friends and query if we are indeed still in Wellington. The WCC media team make an attempt to make this imposition on the city sound like a gift, it is anything but koha. Most interesting, the mayor has organised a Maori blessing to begin this social engineering operation which imposes the will of the ruling caste upon the customary rights of Wellingtonians to drive their vehicles through the city. As a spiritual elder with decades of hands on experience with the Hermetic, Kabbalistic and Kemetic traditions, I can state with certainty that any wielding of spiritual energies by an individual or group done with the intention of imposing the will of the few upon the many is not so much straight karakia. Indeed, that sort of working is more karakia kikokiko or makutu. In other words, black magick.

    We’d love to know who the ‘community groups and local businesses’ are who are supporting this disruption to citizens going about their normal business. The usage of the two terms ‘resilient’ and ‘sustainable’ by the WCC media team is true to form. Both are a prime examples of globalist socialist communitarian speak. We thought the council would have learned its lesson about closing thoroughfares in the central city from the upset created by the ‘art’ installation in Tory Street wrapped-up a few months ago, but no sir, it appears they are going for broke. [Abridged]

  2. Traveller, 28. October 2018, 10:27

    Streets without cars are great. Wellington needs more of them – permanently. (And I’ve experienced vehicle-free days in Paris and New York – they’re always hugely popular.)

  3. Citizen Joe, 28. October 2018, 14:51

    Well said Sekhmet – spiritual nonsense to give one group ascendancy over the rest.

  4. Alf the Aspirational Apterxy, 29. October 2018, 7:54

    Well said Sekhmet. It’s bizarre how in a time of declining religious attendance the city authorities turn to neolithic animism as an official worldview to sanctify restricting access to the city for many. I guess nature abhors a vacuum.

  5. Concerned Wellingtonian, 29. October 2018, 10:25

    The point is that the Mayor seizes any chance to get personal publicity.

  6. Dave B, 29. October 2018, 17:07

    Well said, all those who oppose the favouring of one group of people over another. For decades, official policy has favoured people-in-cars over those not. I fully agree this is unacceptable and it was great to see people-in-cars briefly de-privileged over a tiny proportion of the city’s streets for a few token hours on a single token day.

    If this trivial restriction really causes so much angst to people-in-cars, how on earth would they handle it if some serious restrictions were applied?