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RiverLink







The RiverLink project will deliver better flood protection, better lifestyle and improved transport links for the people of central Lower Hutt.

You can use this site to read the latest news from the project team and to gain more information about the project and how it affects you.

Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and the NZ Transport Agency are combining their skills and working together on the project, which will bring big benefits to the local and regional Hutt Valley community.







The RiverLink project will deliver better flood protection, better lifestyle and improved transport links for the people of central Lower Hutt.

You can use this site to read the latest news from the project team and to gain more information about the project and how it affects you.

Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and the NZ Transport Agency are combining their skills and working together on the project, which will bring big benefits to the local and regional Hutt Valley community.

  • River of light

    2 months ago
    Image1



    The RiverLink engagement container and project team were at Lower Hutt City’s Highlight - Festival of Lights in October 2017. RiverLink partnered with Victoria University Wellington landscape architect students Nicole Crawford and Kadin Hegglun to create Down to the River, a river themed light and sound landscape inspired by the RiverLink designs and the River. Thousands of people walked through the experience and talked to the RiverLink design team.

    Down to the River was one of around 20 exhibits and dozens of entertainers that attracted tens of thousands of people to central Lower Hutt over four nights.

    Hutt City Council’s...



    The RiverLink engagement container and project team were at Lower Hutt City’s Highlight - Festival of Lights in October 2017. RiverLink partnered with Victoria University Wellington landscape architect students Nicole Crawford and Kadin Hegglun to create Down to the River, a river themed light and sound landscape inspired by the RiverLink designs and the River. Thousands of people walked through the experience and talked to the RiverLink design team.

    Down to the River was one of around 20 exhibits and dozens of entertainers that attracted tens of thousands of people to central Lower Hutt over four nights.

    Hutt City Council’s Urban Design Manager, Paki Maaka, was delighted with the amount of interest in RiverLink and people’s understanding of the project and its potential.

    “For Lower Hutt, RiverLink is so much more than making us safer from floods. It’s great to see so many of our residents taking an active and informed interest in the project and sharing their ideas about making Lower Hutt better. Later this year we’ll share with the community more of the preliminary design and a model of what RiverLink will look like when the city turns to face the river,” he says.

    RiverLink provides an opportunity for Lower Hutt to refashion the area between the city and the river into
    a lively recreational belt around the Hutt City centre. A promenade will be created that connects to and
    over the flood protection stopbanks and will include a pedestrian bridge from Margaret Street to Pharazyn Street, opportunities for urban living in new apartments and space for cafes and retail overlooking the river.
  • Weather protection, walking and cycling access and security are top-rated amenities for new Melling station

    2 months ago
    If a new Melling station is built south of the current station, there are opportunities to preserve what people like about the current station and to consider additional amenities. The RiverLink team conducted an online survey to learn what people would like to see at or nearby a new station. Forty-three people took part in the survey.

    Topping the wish list of amenities were weather protected waiting facilities, good pedestrian and cycling access to the station and security measures such as security cameras and lighting. Suggestions of ‘other’ things people would like to see included: ticket kiosk, public toilets, bike...

    If a new Melling station is built south of the current station, there are opportunities to preserve what people like about the current station and to consider additional amenities. The RiverLink team conducted an online survey to learn what people would like to see at or nearby a new station. Forty-three people took part in the survey.

    Topping the wish list of amenities were weather protected waiting facilities, good pedestrian and cycling access to the station and security measures such as security cameras and lighting. Suggestions of ‘other’ things people would like to see included: ticket kiosk, public toilets, bike lockers and post boxes.

    The two most popular businesses and services people wanted to see near the station were a mini-mart and restaurant/take-away. Consistent with what the project team heard when talking to commuters, there were also numerous suggestions to extend the hours and days of operation and extend the line further north.

    The survey asked if people would use the station ‘more’, ‘the same’ or ‘less’ if the station were moved. Sixty percent of respondents said moving the station wouldn’t change how much they use it, while 26% said they would use it more and 14% said they would use it less. Those who said they would use it more cited the better access to the city centre and Queensgate that would be provided by the pedestrian and cycle bridge across to Margaret St. Most of those who said they would use a new station less, cited the
    additional walking distance from the western hill suburbs as the reason.

  • Moving the Melling train station: Rail commuters have their say

    2 months ago
    The week of 20 November, the RiverLink engagement container was set up at the Melling train station and commuters were invited to tell the project partners what they thought about moving the Melling station south of its current location.

    “The people who use the station every day have important insights that will help us shape the next steps of the project. We were delighted to hear that people largely support moving the station and are enthusiastic about our opportunity to rejuvenate Hutt centre,” says Rebecca Polvere, RiverLink project manager.

    The project team were available at the container during the morning...

    The week of 20 November, the RiverLink engagement container was set up at the Melling train station and commuters were invited to tell the project partners what they thought about moving the Melling station south of its current location.

    “The people who use the station every day have important insights that will help us shape the next steps of the project. We were delighted to hear that people largely support moving the station and are enthusiastic about our opportunity to rejuvenate Hutt centre,” says Rebecca Polvere, RiverLink project manager.

    The project team were available at the container during the morning and evening commute to explain the proposal to commuters and hear their thoughts on how such a move would impact their commute. During this time about 200 people visited the container and talked with the project team.

    While most commuters said that shifting the station 250 to 500 metres south of its current location wouldn’t significantly impact their commute, many raised the merits of extending the Melling line further north so that additional suburbs would have access to public transport. A number of commuters also suggested extending the hours of operation later into the evenings and offering weekend service.

    Walking to the station and crossing SH2 from the western suburbs was one of the most frequently raised topics “There was strong support for addressing how people walk across the SH2 at the Melling intersection and we heard many comments about the safety and crossing wait time problems people currently experience, we heard so many stories about watching the train pull away from the platform while standing on the wrong side of the highway. People are very keen to have a new intersection that would
    be safer, quicker and easier to cross,” says Rebecca.

    Parking was another hot topic. People strongly supported the proposal to provide additional parking at a new station but some wondered how the loss of the riverbank parking would impact parking availability for commuters. Several people mentioned that station parking is currently being taken by people who don’t actually use the train but instead work in Lower Hutt and are attracted to the free parking. The project team were encouraged to consider ideas on how parking at a new station could be managed to meet the needs of the community.
  • Riverbank Beach Summer Events

    2 months ago
    At a time when water quality has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, The RiverLink flood protection project is gearing up to improve the water quality of Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River.

    Do you have fond childhood memories of playing in the Hutt River and enjoying everything the river park corridor has to offer? The great news is that things are going to get better!

    RiverLink will improve the health and habitats in and along the Hutt River. There will be more fish habitat, with a mix of pools, fast flowing shallow water, vegetation, rocks, and...

    At a time when water quality has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, The RiverLink flood protection project is gearing up to improve the water quality of Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River.

    Do you have fond childhood memories of playing in the Hutt River and enjoying everything the river park corridor has to offer? The great news is that things are going to get better!

    RiverLink will improve the health and habitats in and along the Hutt River. There will be more fish habitat, with a mix of pools, fast flowing shallow water, vegetation, rocks, and undercut banks - all the things that short-fin eel (tuna), trout, whitebait (inanga) and common bully (toitoi) need to thrive.

    One of RiverLink’s main goals is to make Lower Hutt safe from major floods. This means widening the river channel, raising the height of stopbanks and making more space for floods under Melling Bridge. These big changes present us with opportunities. Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and the NZ Transport Agency are exploring how to maximise the benefits of working together to achieve our goals of better flood protection, transport and lifestyle for Lower Hutt.

    Come see us at the RiverLink engagement container and have a play at the Riverbank Beach, join in our summer activities and learn more about RiverLink.

  • What a new location offers

    5 months ago
    Melling station
    The station would need to move at least 250 metres and as much as 500 metres south of the current location. Moving the station would likely add 200 car parks, kiss and ride drop off spots, integrated bus and rail connections and better, safer access for cyclists and pedestrians. The added parking would help boost patronage numbers and fill some of the spare capacity currently available on the Melling line. RiverLink is exploring how to retain businesses currently near the station like coffee and childcare and attract more retail and residential development.

    Shifting the station 250 metres south would...

    The station would need to move at least 250 metres and as much as 500 metres south of the current location. Moving the station would likely add 200 car parks, kiss and ride drop off spots, integrated bus and rail connections and better, safer access for cyclists and pedestrians. The added parking would help boost patronage numbers and fill some of the spare capacity currently available on the Melling line. RiverLink is exploring how to retain businesses currently near the station like coffee and childcare and attract more retail and residential development.

    Shifting the station 250 metres south would avoid the intersection and ensure the station is not overshadowed by any future on and off ramps. People walking from Boulcott and the western hills would have a slightly longer journey but any intersection improvements would make it faster and easier to cross SH2. Overall, we expect the walk would take about the same amount of time as it does now.

    If the station moved 500 metres south of the current station it would be just opposite the proposed pedestrian/cycle bridge into the city centre at Margaret Street. This location offers excellent access for people traveling to and from the city centre. The walk from the western hills would likely take a couple of minutes longer than it does now but it would be safer, faster and easier to cross SH2. Moving the station would make little difference for people who currently travel to the station by bus or car but the intersection
    improvements would improve their journeys.

    “A railway station near the pedestrian bridge would provide better access to the planned waterfront promenade, Queensgate, city centre bus stops, council offices, the Dowse Art Museum and High Street. We expect the promenade to offer restaurants, cafes and apartments for around 2,000 residents within a five to 10 minute walk of the new railway station and the city centre,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace.

    Locating the station opposite the city centre would bring the Melling and Western Hutt railway stations closer together which could result in fewer people using the Western Hutt railway station and may impact train schedules.


  • Why the station needs to move

    5 months ago
    The reasons for shifting the railway station cut across the three main aspects of RiverLink: Making Places, flood prevention and the Melling intersection improvements. Close inter-agency collaboration ensures that RiverLink as a whole can maximise the opportunities created by moving the station.

    Shifting the railway station to the south was first signalled by the Hutt City Council in the 2009 Making Places Strategy. Moving the railway station would make the city centre more accessible and attractive to businesses and residents.

    The New Zealand Transport Agency is working on ways to improve the Melling intersection and connections to the western hill...

    The reasons for shifting the railway station cut across the three main aspects of RiverLink: Making Places, flood prevention and the Melling intersection improvements. Close inter-agency collaboration ensures that RiverLink as a whole can maximise the opportunities created by moving the station.

    Shifting the railway station to the south was first signalled by the Hutt City Council in the 2009 Making Places Strategy. Moving the railway station would make the city centre more accessible and attractive to businesses and residents.

    The New Zealand Transport Agency is working on ways to improve the Melling intersection and connections to the western hill suburbs. They are also exploring how these improvements could be integrated with new stopbanks and a new bridge into the city centre. Melling railway station would need to be moved in order for there to be space for any intersection improvements to be built.

    “As part of RiverLink, we are investigating improvements to the Melling intersection. The present location of the Melling railway station limits our ability to improve safety and travel reliability on State Highway 2 and to improve access to the Lower Hutt city centre,” says Emma Speight, the Transport Agency’s Director Regional Relationship Manager – Lower North Island.

  • Moving Melling railway station creates opportunity

    5 months ago
    The RiverLink project and Metlink are exploring moving the Melling railway station south of its current location. As part of our investigations, we recently looked at what moving the station would mean for current and future users of the station.

    The RiverLink project and Metlink are exploring moving the Melling railway station south of its current location. As part of our investigations, we recently looked at what moving the station would mean for current and future users of the station.

  • A CBD in Motion

    7 months ago
    W13018 swimming tile render cropped
    Hutt City’s plan to create exciting and prosperous residential and business communities along the city-side of the Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River partly depends on making the CBD an easier place to get around.

    The Promenade will feature multi-storey buildings accommodating apartments, cafes, restaurants and shops lining the wider and higher stopbanks on the city-side of the river. They will overlook belts of wetland and park and provide the benchmark for quality and style for follow-on investment and development of the western part of the CBD.

    Council’s Urban Design Manager Paki Maaka says the aim is to then complement...

    Hutt City’s plan to create exciting and prosperous residential and business communities along the city-side of the Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River partly depends on making the CBD an easier place to get around.

    The Promenade will feature multi-storey buildings accommodating apartments, cafes, restaurants and shops lining the wider and higher stopbanks on the city-side of the river. They will overlook belts of wetland and park and provide the benchmark for quality and style for follow-on investment and development of the western part of the CBD.

    Council’s Urban Design Manager Paki Maaka says the aim is to then complement those developments, by creating a more pedestrian and cycle-friendly environment in the core CBD – so that transport routes become not just an efficient means of getting from A to B – but popular destinations in themselves.

    An important focus will be providing efficient access between the Promenade and the rest of the CBD, as well as between the proposed new train station, via a planned pedestrian bridge across the river in line with Margaret Street, to Queensgate, bus services and the civic precinct.

    Check out our latest newsletter for images of proposed travel routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Three agencies work closely together

    7 months ago
    Img 1602 cr cr
    The RiverLink project reflects intense co-operation between its partners Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.

    While each partner has a particular focus – flood protection for Greater Wellington; urban rejuvenation for Hutt City; and better regional transport links for the NZ Transport Agency, each agency relies on the other.
    As a result, we are increasingly coordinating our discussion and decision making to ensure all parts work together to deliver the benefits recognised by RiverLink to the people of Lower Hutt.

    Take for example, improving river flow through the tight narrows under Melling Bridge is...

    The RiverLink project reflects intense co-operation between its partners Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.

    While each partner has a particular focus – flood protection for Greater Wellington; urban rejuvenation for Hutt City; and better regional transport links for the NZ Transport Agency, each agency relies on the other.
    As a result, we are increasingly coordinating our discussion and decision making to ensure all parts work together to deliver the benefits recognised by RiverLink to the people of Lower Hutt.

    Take for example, improving river flow through the tight narrows under Melling Bridge is vital for flood protection and effectively requires the bridge to be replaced. However, doing so will fundamentally affect transport links into Lower Hutt gateway, which raises questions for the NZ Transport Agency about how any future SH2 interchange could be integrated with a new bridge.

    The location for a new bridge and its potential effect on traffic flows within Lower Hutt’s city centre is also of key interest to Hutt City Council’s transport team who manage the local road network for cars, cycles, buses and pedestrians.

    City rejuvenation is also touched by each partner. Greater Wellington’s stopbank design needs to account for the aspirations of Hutt City Council’s transformational Making Places strategy, as does the interface between local streets and the stopbanks, and improvements to the SH2 intersection at Melling, all of which will support Hutt City’s future and growth.

    They are just some of the examples of interdependency, there are many others, and as we move closer to final designs strong links between the partners will be vital.

    “Ultimately, continued tight coordination between partners is beneficial to the delivery of RiverLink. The increasing progress we’re making is a great reward for the additional complexity of working together. Our original promise to the fourth partner in the project, the community, was that the sum of our activities would be greater than its parts. I believe, as the project takes shape, that we are on course for honouring that promise “says Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee Chair, Cllr. Prue Lamason.
  • Tell us what you would like at a new Melling railway station

    7 months ago
    Melling station

    Imagine, at the end of your daily commute, taking a short stroll from a modern new Melling railway station over Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River and into a vibrant CBD.

    If the Melling railway station is moved, the platform and station infrastructure would be completely rebuilt to better reflect modern expectations.

    A new Melling station would link to the city centre via a pedestrian/cycle bridge and function more like a metro station than it currently does. Moving the station could also result in more station parking - around 400 car parks compared to the 150 currently available.

    We want to understand what people who currently use the train would change to improve their travel experience. This is your chance to tell us what you’d like to see in a new railway station.

    Click on our survey and tell us what you think.

    Imagine, at the end of your daily commute, taking a short stroll from a modern new Melling railway station over Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River and into a vibrant CBD.

    If the Melling railway station is moved, the platform and station infrastructure would be completely rebuilt to better reflect modern expectations.

    A new Melling station would link to the city centre via a pedestrian/cycle bridge and function more like a metro station than it currently does. Moving the station could also result in more station parking - around 400 car parks compared to the 150 currently available.

    We want to understand what people who currently use the train would change to improve their travel experience. This is your chance to tell us what you’d like to see in a new railway station.

    Click on our survey and tell us what you think.