CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
A vibrant city centre is an important part of achieving growth and rejuvenation. The Lower Hutt community’s vision for what they want in their city centre and how this will be achieved was set out in 2009 in a project sponsored by Hutt City Council called Making Places.
A clear message from public consultation on Making Places was that one of Lower Hutt’s greatest assets is the Te Awakairangi/ Hutt River and the city centre should be better connected with it.
We have a fantastic opportunity to make this better connection between city and river through the RiverLink project with a promenade along the new flood protection stopbanks on the city side of the river. A recent survey had 91 percent of the 600 respondents in support of the promenade and there will be more consultation this year.
Hutt City Council’s investment in the Making Places project is already apparent in the city. The Civic Precinct has gone through a transformation. The Dowse Square is a popular public space. The city’s administration building has been refurbished and the iconic clock tower is being strengthened. A new events centre will soon adjoin these historic buildings, providing key community and commercial events in a quality, purpose built venue in the heart of our city.
The events centre operator is constructing a four-star hotel, a first for the city and a great example of how public investment attracts private development. The hotel site is on High Street beside the river, a short walk through the newly refurbished Riddiford Garden from the events centre. This hotel is expected to spark other commercial activity in the vicinity.
Retail and commercial activity alone cannot bring significant change in the city centre. The proposed promenade will encourage mixed use apartment based development.
The RiverLink project offers an incredible opportunity to achieve a major part of the Making Places project, further realising the community’s vision for our city centre.