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  • A CBD in Motion

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    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

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    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

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    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.
  • Public backing for Promenade remains solid

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    Hutt City Council says it is reassured by the continuing public support for its plans to redevelop and reinvigorate the CBD along and around the Hutt River.

    A recent survey of 438 Lower Hutt residents found 300 respondents are in favour of the Promenade – the creation of a river waterfront precinct in Lower Hutt’s CBD.

    In recent submissions to Hutt City Council’s proposed annual plan, more than 61% of submitters supported the project.

    One submission described Hutt River as a “jewel waiting to be polished”.

    Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace describes the Promenade as a once in a generation opportunity to refashion the cityscape into a dynamic and attractive environment for new and existing residents. “Our residents understand and appreciate this and it’s reassuring to have this level of interest in an initiative which will have a positive impact across the whole city,” he says.

    The Promenade will be a new urban environment shifting the city’s focus towards Hutt River. Central to the project will be walkways,integrated into the new stop banks, and landscaping along the river bank.

    Quality mixed-use, multi-storey buildings accommodating apartments, restaurants, cafes and other businesses will front the promenade.

    A new pedestrian and cycle bridge will span the river, connecting the CBD to bus and train services.

    Greatly improved cycle and walking networks throughout the city will connect to the highway and Western Hills.

    Council estimates the project could add 2700 people to the CBD’s workforce and 1300 new apartments could accommodate around 2600 new residents. An economic impact assessment estimated the project will directly and indirectly inject $2.5 billion into the local


  • Concept design leaps 90 per cent hurdle

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    The engineers have been hard at work getting flood protection designs right to ensure that Lower Hutt will be safe in a big flood and wanted some more ideas about how to fit this better into every day uses for the river space. Running tracks, swimming spots, picnic places, cycleways native bush, kayak launching facilities, were among the many great ideas submitted by the public for inclusion in the exciting RiverLink project.

    These suggestions were made at recent public sessions at the Dowse Art Museum. Around 250 very engaged members of the public attended, submitted their ideas and got an update on RiverLink from GWRC, Hutt City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.

    Feedback was excellent, with views aired on a wide range of subjects covering transport links, social and recreational opportunities and environmental restoration in the river corridor.

    “We’re getting closer to a final design, “says Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee chair and GW councillor Prue Lamason. “We’ve presented updated designs based on the public’s views to date. We now have a further opportunity to refine the design based on the most recent feedback”.

    Ideas include the promenade (featuring cafes and places for leisure and recreation), the pedestrian/cycle bridge connecting the CBD to Melling Station, cycleways and connection into the wider cycle network, public spaces such as beaches and open fields and native planting. Other matters were bike hire facilities, off dog leash areas, wind breaks, covered pedestrian bridge, busker space and an amphitheatre.

    The final “look” of the project will emerge by the end of this year when the preliminary designs go before the Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee for sign off. This will be followed by the detailed design process required for applications for resource consents in 2018. Members of the public will then have the opportunity to have their say on the final design.

    Thanks to all who participated in the consultation. We look forward to your continued involvement as we progress this important project.

  • Upcoming community engagement on the Wellington to Hutt Valley walking and cycling link

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    by Charlotte,
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    The NZ Transport Agency is investigating options to deliver a safe and efficient route for cyclists between Ngauranga and Petone along State Highway 2. This project aims to close the gap of the existing cycleway along SH2, support existing cyclists and encourage more people to travel by bike.

    As a parter of the RiverLink project, NZTA are seeking your input on the Petone to Melling section. You can read more about the engagement below or on their website:


    The Wellington to Hutt Valley Walking and Cycling Link (W2HV Link) is a path that, when completed, will run from the Wellington CBD to the Melling railway station and connect to other walking and cycling tracks in the region. The project is divided into the following three sections that align with funding and planning requirements:

    Wellington CBD to Ngauranga section –a Wellington City Council project. This cycling path will run from Bunny Street along Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road to the Ngauranga interchange.

    Ngauranga to Petone section– an NZ Transport Agency project. This is a shared off-road path from the Ngauranga interchange to the Petone interchange.

    Petone to Melling section - an NZ Transport Agency project. This is an off-road cycle path with shared path connections linking the Petone railway station to the Hutt River Trail which links to the Melling railway station.

    The purpose of this public engagement

    We are seeking your input on the Petone to Melling section and providing an update on how the design of the Ngauranga to Petone section is progressing. Public engagement for the W2HV Link is taking place from 26 April until 31 May 2017.

    Petone to Melling section - Learn about our vision for a new two-wayoff-road cycle path along the rail corridor with connections to the Petone railway station and the Hutt River Trail. We invite your feedback on the concept design and key elements for this section before we finalise our plans and get approval to begin building the new path later this year.

    Ngauranga to Petone section –This is your opportunity to find out how our preferred option of a shared seaward path is progressing. We’re also providing an update on the investigations to identify additional resilience and urban design benefits. There will be another round of consultation on the concept design later this year before we lodge Resource Management Act consent applications.

    How to find out more

    Project information and submission forms are now available on our website. Public engagement guides and submission forms are also available at Hutt City and Wellington City libraries and council service centres.

    We invite you to learn more about this important project at our public open days in late April and early May 2017. You’ll have an opportunity to talk to a member of the project team in person and learn more about our proposals. Here’s the schedule of public open days:

    · Saturday 29 April 2017, 10am-3pm, Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt

    · Tuesday 2 May 2017, 8am-10am, Asteron Centre 55 Featherston, Wellington

    · Wednesday 3 May 2017, 8am-10am, Asteron Centre, 55 Featherston, Wellington

    · Thursday 4 May 2017, 8am-10am, Asteron Centre, 55 Featherston, Wellington

    · Thursday 4 May 2017, 4-7pm, Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt

    Community engagement is an important part of developing these proposals so we’re keen to get your feedback. You can provide feedback by filling out a submission form at an information day, by completing the submission form on our webpage or by emailing your comments to the project email address at

    Once we’ve analysed all the feedback, we’ll prepare a summary report and make it available on our webpage later this year.

  • Have you told us what you think about the latest RiverLink designs yet?

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    by Charlotte,
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    Over 240 people braved the elements to attend our Community Open Days. Some even managed to stop by when there was good weather!

    Here’s some interesting feedback we’ve received from you so far:

    · You want paths along the stop banks to be wide enough for multiple users

    · A pedestrian / cycling bridge opposite Margaret Street [would be] good, linking to the railway station

    · It's worth moving the bridge [to Queens Drive] and making a better link to the CBD

    · Where could natural or manmade wind breaks go?

    · Comments about parking needs in order to cope with volumes and accessibility

    What do you think? We want to know. Go to and click on Your Feedbackto tell us your thoughts.

    Please share this message with your friends and family, we really want to know what you think.

  • Please tell us what you think: Online feedback form is live!

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    by Charlotte,
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    If you can't make it to one of our Community Open Days this week you can still tell us what you think about aspects of the designs for the riverside, proposed transport options and how you feel about the direction that RiverLink is heading.

    Check out the Preliminary landscape and environmental design concepts on the sidebar for more information about where we are heading and click on the 'Your Feedback' tab on the main page to go to the survey.

    We'd love to hear from you by Friday, 28th April 2017.

  • Community Open Days are coming up and we want to hear from you!

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    by Charlotte,
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    The community is invited to Open Days on the 6, 7, and 8 of April for an update and an opportunity to provide some important feedback on the project.

    The Open Days will include;
    • An update on the design for flood protection between Kennedy Good and Ewen bridges.
    • An opportunity to give feedback on some aspects of the designs for the riverside.
    • Information on the proposed riverside promenade, that would sit atop the new flood protection banks on the eastern /city side of the river.
    • Sharing investigations into improvements at Melling Intersection, including results from customer insight surveys and some options being considered.

    RiverLink Community Open Days
    Thursday 6 April, 1pm to 7pm
    Friday 7 April, 1pm to 8pm
    Saturday 8 April, 7 10am to 5pm

    At The Dowse Art Museum - James Coe 1

    Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says, “RiverLink is a very significant project for Lower Hutt. This is a great opportunity to transform our city centre and the projected economic and social benefits from this investment are remarkable. Changes to access and safety are being looked at for the Melling intersection, and the flood protection work is essential. RiverLink has had strong public confidence with 91% support for the Promenade Project at the latest survey this January. The Open Days provide an opportunity for the community to find out what has happened so far, and give us feedback on more project plans.”

    Chair of GWRC’s Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee, Prue Lamason, says “It was fantastic to get a strong steer from residents on which flood protection option they wanted us to progress. The preliminary design for the flood protection aspect of the RiverLink project is almost complete, so the open days give people the chance to see how the plans have progressed.”

    People will be asked for their feedback on some aspects of the project plans for the riverside, such as landscaping and access design. The designs are based on earlier consultation with the community. Sharing these designs at the open days is an opportunity to confirm that they reflect what the community expects.

    A proposed riverside promenade would sit atop the new flood protection banks on the eastern /city side of the river. The proposed promenade will encourage mixed use development, including apartments, and turn the city to face the river.

    The promenade design includes a pedestrian cycle bridge, which would improve the link between the city centre and Melling railway station as well as connecting with walking, cycling and new recreational opportunities. Any future improvements to Melling intersection are also likely to mean the railway station would need to move. It could move south to reduce its distance to the city centre across a new pedestrian cycle bridge. Funding for the promenade and pedestrian cycle bridge is included in Hutt City Council’s proposed Annual Plan 2016/17 and so the timing is excellent to hear people’s views. Funding for the flood protection works is included in Greater Wellington Regional Councils existing Long Term Plan.

    The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to look at how any future Melling intersections improvements could be integrated with the proposed flood protection and city centre improvements. The findings of recent customer insight surveys will be presented at the open days, along with some initial concepts for improving the Melling intersections.

  • Earthquake strengthening for stopbanks

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    by Charlotte,
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    The stopbanks did not suffer any damage in the earthquake on 15 November 2016 but we are mindful of the primary fault rupture zone and the new stopbanks will be applying techniques to further enhance their resilience. It’s a prudent approach given that much of the land along Pharazyn St and at Melling are astride the Wellington fault and within its “primary fault rupture zone” where there is potential for ground deformation during a rupture of the wellington fault.

    We’re taking the opportunity during the preliminary design phase to build in extra strengthening. In the design of stopbanks and associated structures, the project team is looking at how we can keep the stopbanks standing in lower end shakes and reduce the damage during major shakes.

    Standard earthen stopbanks, common throughout the Hutt Valley, are favoured because they can be easily, quickly and cost-effectively repaired. In parts of Pharazyn Street, where the stopbank is located in the fault zone, we will look at options such as geogrid reinforced earth structures, which use synthetic mesh layers to minimise land movement, to improve their seismic performance.

    For areas which will require retaining walls in the stopbank we will look at more flexible structures such as mechanically stabilised earth walls, which use large “jigsaw” blocks along their faces that allow for some movement without cracking or collapsing.

    There is strong evidence from past earthquakes in New Zealand and elsewhere that these modified structures generally perform better than other designs because of their ability to stretch and bend but not collapse under force.