Built form and Heritage

Wellington’s ‘story’ told through built form and natural heritage

Wellington’s built form and natural heritage contribute to what makes up our sense of a Wellington ‘identity’.  Our compact city form is enhanced by our natural setting as a harbour city surrounded by hills.  Our built environment is both an expression of the city’s history and where we are charting our future.

Future development of the city should continue to showcase what we value about Wellington, and how the city’s identity can be given physical expression in our new buildings, public spaces and interaction with the natural environment.  The physical environment should reflect the people that live in the city - past, present and future.  Valuing heritage features will be as important as showcasing where we’re headed (eg green innovations, smart buildings).

Wellington’s status as the capital city of New Zealand impacts on the City’s history; built form as home to Parliament and Government buildings, key national institutions (eg Te Papa) and embassies; and economy (as location of the head offices of most Government departments).  Being the capital city is an important part of the Wellington story and one that will continue to be reflected in the city’s urban landscape.

The place of Maori in Wellington’s story – past, present and future – is one that must be made visible in the built form and natural heritage of the city.  Wellington’s more recent colonial history also reflects many different cultures important in the shaping of Wellington today.  Reflecting the diversity of the city’s past provides a strong base for accepting the diversity of its future.

Wellington’s built form and natural heritage should:

  • Showcase what Wellington values – respect for the natural environment, heritage, creativity
  • Reflect the City’s status as the capital city of New Zealand
  • Reflect the diversity of cultures that are part of the City’s history.