RiverLink

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Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are working collaboratively on RiverLink to deliver three separate but interdependent projects: Flood protection, Making Places Urban Development Plan, and Melling Transport Improvements.

RiverLink will make Hutt City more resilient, more connected and more vibrant.

Melling Transport Improvements

In January 2020, the Government announced the NZ Upgrade Programme – a major infrastructure funding package. This includes funding for transport improvements at Melling, which will be delivered by the Transport Agency, as part of RiverLink. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022 and be completed in 2026. The transport improvements will include a new Melling interchange, relocating the Melling train station, and better walking and cycling links.

Flood Protection

RiverLink’s flood protection work, delivered by Greater Wellington Regional Council, is expected to safeguard residents from large flood events that could affect up to 3,000 homes, five schools and 600 businesses, with the potential to cause an estimated $1.1 billion worth of damage across the community. Recent flooding events across New Zealand have shown the need for investment in flood protection infrastructure, and the devastating consequences for communities flooded as a result of not doing so.

Urban Growth and Housing

Beyond flood protection and transport upgrades, one of the goals of the RiverLink project is to spur urban growth and encourage the construction of more central city homes in the form of apartments. Hutt City Council has unveiled a Central City Transformation Plan to enable this growth. A new riverbank promenade, and a pedestrian and cycling bridge crossing the river near the relocated Melling station, are key parts of RiverLink that will be delivered by Hutt City Council and transform Lower Hutt.




Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are working collaboratively on RiverLink to deliver three separate but interdependent projects: Flood protection, Making Places Urban Development Plan, and Melling Transport Improvements.

RiverLink will make Hutt City more resilient, more connected and more vibrant.

Melling Transport Improvements

In January 2020, the Government announced the NZ Upgrade Programme – a major infrastructure funding package. This includes funding for transport improvements at Melling, which will be delivered by the Transport Agency, as part of RiverLink. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022 and be completed in 2026. The transport improvements will include a new Melling interchange, relocating the Melling train station, and better walking and cycling links.

Flood Protection

RiverLink’s flood protection work, delivered by Greater Wellington Regional Council, is expected to safeguard residents from large flood events that could affect up to 3,000 homes, five schools and 600 businesses, with the potential to cause an estimated $1.1 billion worth of damage across the community. Recent flooding events across New Zealand have shown the need for investment in flood protection infrastructure, and the devastating consequences for communities flooded as a result of not doing so.

Urban Growth and Housing

Beyond flood protection and transport upgrades, one of the goals of the RiverLink project is to spur urban growth and encourage the construction of more central city homes in the form of apartments. Hutt City Council has unveiled a Central City Transformation Plan to enable this growth. A new riverbank promenade, and a pedestrian and cycling bridge crossing the river near the relocated Melling station, are key parts of RiverLink that will be delivered by Hutt City Council and transform Lower Hutt.



  • Shift in Government transport priorities prompts fresh look at Melling transport improvements

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    almost 2 years ago

    Every three years, the government issues an investment strategy on the land transport system called the Government Policy Statement on land transport, also known as the GPS. The GPS is a document that guides land transport investment over a ten year period. Transport investments have long lead times, high costs and leave long legacies. Good transport investments therefore require careful planning to ensure that today’s transport network will be able to meet our future needs.

    The new GPS 2018 is committed to creating an efficient, modern and resilient transport system for New Zealand, across all transport modes and reflects this new approach through four clear priorities:

    • a safer transport network free of death and injury
    • accessible and affordable transport
    • reduced emissions and
    • value for money.

    The NZ Transport Agency are now working with councils and others to realise the new vision for the transport network outlined in GPS 2018. This work means taking a fresh look at transport investments across the country, including the Melling transport improvements project, to ensure that they align with the new priorities of GPS 2018.

    At this stage, the Transport Agency cannot say how the Melling project plans will be affected until the process of carefully looking at the options is further along. Some projects may need to bring amended plans back to the community to allow them to have input and express their views. To ensure that this work is robust and delivers the best outcomes, the process is expected to take approximately three to six months.

    In undertaking this work, the Transport Agency will take into account the outcomes that are the priority for the Wellington region as set out in the Regional Land Transport Plan.

    The Transport Agency's team will complete the work as quickly as possible while not compromising quality. We will update you again as soon as we are able to share more. Updates will be published on the Transport Agency website as it becomes available here.


  • RiverLink Engagement for Melling Transport Improvements

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    by Charlotte, about 2 years ago

    Over the past few years you’ve told us how important flood protection is, how we can improve your ability to move around Lower Hutt and what kind of urban experience you’re seeking.

    This map shows the positive changes RiverLink will deliver when fully implemented.


    Designing the transport improvements

    All RiverLink partners were involved in narrowing down the interchange options. Working closely together ensured that implications for the stopbanks and urban renewal were considered alongside the transport effects. We have considered 43 options for a new Melling interchange. The project team have narrowed the options down to three designs for a diamond interchange and a new bridge over the river connecting into Hutt City. For more information on how the options were selected, please take a look at the ‘Engagement Display Boards’.

    The three options now being considered for a new Melling interchange have the following things in common:

    • a grade separated diamond interchange
    • a new river bridge
    • reduces risk of flooding to the city centre
    • reduces traffic congestion
    • requires local road improvements
    • safer than current intersection
    • removes the at-grade traffic signals from SH2
    • moves the railway station closer to the city centre and provides better park and ride
    • Tirohanga Road connects to Harbour View
    • pedestrians and cyclists are separated from traffic
    • future proofed for a possible extension of the Melling railway line.

    Tell us what you think

    We welcome your comments on the options for the Melling Interchange and how a new bridge should connect into Hutt City. There are several ways to get involved:

    Attend a public open day at the Dowse Art Museum on:

    • Thursday 10 May, 4pm – 7pm
    • Saturday 12 May, 10am – 4pm
    • Wednesday 16 May, 4pm – 7pm

    Come chat with the RiverLink project team in the container at the Riverbank markets on:

    • Saturday 12 May, 8am – 2pm
    • Saturday 19 May, 8am – 2pm
    • Saturday 26 May, 8am – 2pm

    Come chat with the RiverLink project team at Queensgate Mall on:

    • Thursday 24 May, 10am – 1pm and 4pm – 7pm
    • Friday 25 May, 10am – 1pm and 4pm – 7pm
    • Saturday 26 May, 10am – 5pm
    • Sunday 27 May, 10am – 5pm

    Send our team an email at RiverLink@gw.govt.nz

    Click to download our engagements boards

    Click to download our engagement guide

    We will use your feedback, alongside technical information, to select a preferred option.

    You should know – that funding hasn’t been agreed and timing for this project is uncertain. The Transport Agency needs to make decisions on:

    • the preferred option
    • the timing of the project
    • how the project could be funded.

    Following this engagement period:
    • the project team will assess the technical information and the community feedback
    • NZTA will make decisions on the above.

    Feedback is open until Sunday 10 June 2018.

  • Riverlink Summer Engagement Programme

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years ago



    The RiverLink Summer events programme showcased the Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River as a
    destination while promoting the vision for RiverLink.

    The Riverbank beach provided a fantastic backdrop for casual conversations to occur at the information container on market days, after people had bought their veggies for the week. Plenty of people making use of the Hutt River Trail stopped to find out what the container was all about as well. With the RiverLink container having a presence over the summer, the team got to know some of the families regularly using the space – which was lovely.

    Over the lazy summer days, (with a few downpours to keep us on our toes) all sorts of issues were covered such as transport linkages, city growth, the future of the market, the Hutt River’s water depth and toxic algae. There was also interest around associated projects including the Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt Environmental Strategy Action Plan and Hutt Central City spatial planning.

  • The Festival of Rock

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years ago


    The Festival of Rock was designed as an opportunity to discover what hides along the shores of the Hutt River. The kids marvelled at the creepy crawlies living in the Hutt River and were particularly amazed at the crabs!

    The Riverbank beach was a hive of activity with rock art, skimming competitions, rock pools and face painting. We made sure that marvellous local coffee was part of our container talks too.
  • Riverlink Easter Rock Hunt

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years ago


    The RiverLink Easter Rock Hunt was buckets of fun on Easter Sunday.

    Kids searched the beach for a blue rock, and then with chocolate in hand decorated their rocks with splendid creativity. The last event in our summer series, 240 people (adults and kids) enjoyed the space with us on a glorious sunny day. While the kids were out hunting it gave their parents a chance to pop in for a coffee and chat about the RiverLink project with the project team.

    We had such a great time together at the River and there’s no doubt that the Riverbank beach will be teeming with locals next summer too.

  • Ramble on over!

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years ago

    Due to a severe weather warning the RiverLink Ramble scheduled for April was postponed then later
    cancelled. Thank you to everyone who registered.

    RiverLink would like to extend an open invitation for groups (minimum 10 people) for a guided walking tour of the RiverLink city section between Ewen and Melling Bridges. Get your friends together and once we have the minimum number we will send out an invitation to arrange a date and time.

    It’s an opportunity to stand in the space and visualise where things will be and how it all fits together.

    Register your interest at RiverLink@gw.govt.nz
  • Weather protection, walking and cycling access and security are top-rated amenities for new Melling station

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years 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 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

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years 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 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.
  • River of light

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years ago



    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.
  • Riverbank Beach Summer Events

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    by Charlotte, over 2 years 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 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.