Wellington Scoop

Residents campaigning to save small inner city park


News from ICW
A small pocket park containing seating and a small garden, facing northwest on the south-eastern corner of Dixon and Victoria Street, is at risk of disappearing to enable boundaries to align and wider footpaths with a signature building on the corner site.

A public-excluded council meeting in February 2016 required that officers undertake consultation prior to finalising the removal of the park. The council are now calling for submissions in this regard.

However, resource consent for a building on the site was approved in December 2016 with conditions on the type of plantings and screens to mitigate the wind effect, but nothing about the requirement for consultation.

Volunteer Corner garden on the opposite side of the street is proposed to be used to mitigate the wind from the new development with extra planting and screens. But an alternative option suggested by the developer of retaining the park and building in the airspace is not addressed in the consultation material.

A pocket park should not be removed on this basis, particularly when the revamped Denton Park provides an exemplar for how pocket parks in new developments should work.

Inner City Wellington does not support the removal of the park and has forwarded a submission to the council against its removal of the encumbrance contending, amongst other reasons, that:

· There is a need for parks, open space, green space in sunny areas in the inner city such as this one.

· The process implies a lack of commitment to true engagement as the resource consent approval is not subject to the outcome of the consultation process.

· The removal of the small park is counter to the intent of the Central City Framework

Submissions close 5pm Monday 29 April.


  1. Wendy, 26. April 2019, 23:20

    In this case it is vital to retain as much green space as possible as there are several large apartment developments underway or planned for this area. So far in the Victoria/Dixon Street area there are three 17 storey apartment buildings (two built and one underway) by Stratum, a proposed 19 storey Willis & Bond apartment development, and an Arrow 20 storey apartment building, with possibly one more across the road. These will add 2500+ residents, with little more than a small square of lawn at the back of one of the Stratum buildings.

    While Wellington is well served with its green belt there is an increasing need for green parks/spaces down in the city close to residential areas. The United Nations ‘New Urban Agenda’ calls on governments to “prioritize safe, inclusive, accessible, green and quality public spaces”. While the World Health Organisation states that “green spaces should be close to people” and “As a rule of thumb, urban residents should be able to access public green spaces of at least 0.5–1 hectare within 300 metres’ linear distance (around 5 minutes’ walk) of their homes”. Considering this, the current lack of any park or significant green space close by Victoria/Dixon Streets makes the very small area under discussion even more important.

  2. Ellen, 27. April 2019, 18:18

    Save the park – there is a need for way more green space in downtown Wellington. Should have been part of the Victoria St development that cost $14 million, not an afterthought of a building development. Will complement what is left of Volunteers’ Corner nicely.

  3. Andrew Bartlett, 27. April 2019, 21:31

    900mm of footpath widening could be achieved by removing the on-street parking on Victoria Street, which would also allow for a protected cycle lane.

    So therefore what we are really trading is green space for parking, which is a very bad trade-off.

  4. Keith Flinders, 28. April 2019, 9:35

    However, Andrew, whilst the bus services become more and more unreliable, then we will see an even greater upsurge in the use of cars by people who support businesses and who hence require parking. The city relies on commerce to survive.

    Wellington now has a dysfunctional public transport service run by a dysfunctional GWRC. Just the opposite of what we need to encourage people out of using motor vehicles.