Waitangi Park

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Waitangi Park
Waitangi Park, Wellington, New Zealand, March 2007.jpg
Waitangi Park in March 2007. In the foreground is the Sunday market.
LocationWellington, New Zealand
Coordinates41°17′29″S 174°47′05″E / 41.29137°S 174.78482°E / -41.29137; 174.78482
Area6.5 ha (16 acres)
Operated byWellington City Council
The Waitangi Park wetlands. In the background are the Chaffers Dock Apartments (in the Former Post and Telegraph Building)
Waitangi Park showing walk-on world map and Les Arts Sauts performance dome

Waitangi Park, a re-modelled recreation-space in Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand, dates from 2006. It lies near Te Papa (the National Museum of New Zealand), Former Post and Telegraph Building and Courtenay Place. The facilities include a waka-launching area, a children's playground, a skateboard-zone, and a large grassy space.


Numerous events have taken place at Waitangi Park, these include:

Regular events include:

  • Waitangi Park Market. Fruit and vegetable market. Open hours: Sunday 7am - 12pm.[2]
  • Petanque
  • Skateboarding
  • Waka-launching


Wellingtonians formerly referred to the Waitangi Park area as Chaffers Park. Prior to 1855 the park area consisted of part of a gently sloping beach (Chaffers Beach), often covered in water from the harbour and stream.

Redevelopment into Waitangi Park[edit]

Wraight Athfield Landscape Architecture (WALA) won the competition held to design the park. WALA saw the design through to completion in 2005. The redevelopment of the park won a number of awards from the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects, the New Zealand Institute of Architects and the Wellington Civic Trust, among others.[3][4]

As part of the redevelopment, on the north-east side of the park the former Herd St Post Office was developed into lifestyle-apartments and into a commercial space called Chaffers Dock Apartments.

The redeveloped park was officially opened in March 2006. The redevelopment project cost a total of $22 million.[5]

The New Zealand Construction Industry Council (NZCIC) criticised the construction tendering process for the park, arguing that under-tendering caused problems. According to the NZCIC, the "initial tender accepted for the development at Waitangi Park was $2.1 million less than the estimated cost of the project, and at least $2.6 million below tenders from two other companies."[6]


The surrounding waterway (wetlands) is fed by the outflow from the Waitangi stream; recently lifted from stormwater drains and caused to flow through gravel and grass. The Waitangi stream flows from the Aro valley[citation needed].

Waitangi Park is near the historic Waitangi Lagoon, fed by the Waitangi Stream. The lagoon used to harbour eel, fish, and shellfish, and was used by Māori for food gathering, fresh water, and waka launching. "Early English settlers planned to dig a canal along the path of the stream to allow boats to be anchored in the Basin Lagoon (now the Basin Reserve)", but the plan did not come to fruition.[7]

In 1855, an earthquake raised the land around the stream several metres, forcing the stream underground.[8] Waitangi Park is hence on reclaimed land.[7]

Further reading[edit]

  • Price, Nina (2009). Waitangi Park: Public Land in Competition (Thesis).


  1. ^ Festival Of The Arts 2006
  2. ^ Waitangi Park Market
  3. ^ "Waitangi Park". Wraight + Associates landscape architecture and urban design. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Waitangi Park". New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Waitangi Park opens in Wellington". New Zealand Herald. 15 March 2006. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Waitangi Park costs: Value better than lowest cost". Scoop.co.nz (Press release). 1 March 2006.
  7. ^ a b Burgess, Dave (3 November 2010). "Group plans to slip a few eels downtown". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Waitangi Park – an urban wetland recreated". Enviro History NZ. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2015.

External links[edit]