NEW SCAM ALERT: Vehicle licence (rego) renewal phishing emails - June 2021

ONLINE SERVICES: We currently have an issue with receiving some payments and are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.

EASTER WEEKEND – PLAN AHEAD: Heading away for the long weekend? Check our holiday journeys tool(external link)

COVID-19 SERVICES UPDATE: Information on Waka Kotahi services


Work on transport improvements around the Basin Reserve was considered as part of the WCC Urban Development Strategy in 2006.  In 2010, this project was combined with another Wellington Northern Corridor project which included building a second Mt Victoria Tunnel and widening Ruahine Street and Wellington Road.

The Transport Agency recently asked for public feedback on its proposals for transport improvements from Cobham Drive to Buckle Street. To view the proposals please have a look at our brochure. We are now analysing the more than 2,000 submissions received and will prepare a comprehensive report summarising feedback, to be released next year.

Building on agreed strategies and plans

Transport improvements are needed to enable:

  • planned urban growth to occur
  • the passenger transport spine to function efficiently
  • SH1 to continue to act as an arterial route.

The future vision for Wellington city in the vicinity of the Basin Reserve is discussed in the following documents.

TimelinePlanning activityWho's involved?


WCC Urban Planning Strategy

Wellington City Council


Ngauranga to Airport Strategy
Adelaide Road Growth Framework

Transport Agency Board, members and elected members of the GWRC and WCC, stakeholders and the public


Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan

Transport Agency Board, members and elected members of the GWRC and WCC, stakeholders and the public


Inquiry by Design Workshop

Officers from the Transport Agency, GWRC, WCC


Memorial Park Design

MCH, Transport Agency, WCC and politicians


Basin Reserve Improvements Contract


WCC Urban Development Strategy 2006

Wellington City Council plans to develop a growth spine from Johnsonville through the central area to Adelaide Road and finally Kilbirnie. Growth would be focused and encouraged at these centres. Mixed land-use would encourage people to live, work and shop in the same area. The growth nodes would be linked together by a high quality passenger transport spine.

It was envisaged that passenger transport would be given priority through this corridor. A high quality public transport route would provide reliable, fast and frequent service. Such a service is expected to make passenger transport more attractive as an alternative to a car. Over time the passenger transport spine may be upgraded to operate in its own right-of-way separated from general traffic.

The Basin Reserve project needs to enable enhancement of the passenger transport spine as well as State Highway 1. The Basin Reserve itself occupies a pivotal position along the growth spine and encouragement of growth in and around this area is of strategic significance in achieving the growth objectives.

Also vital are: improved road connections; safe movements for pedestrians and cyclists around the Basin Reserve; access to passenger transport; and providing environmental benefits in reducing energy use and air pollution.

Read more about the growth nodes and the passenger transport spine in the Wellington City Council's Urban Development Strategy(external link) document.

Ngauranga to Airport Strategy Study

The Ngauranga to Airport Strategy Study investigated options to address transport between Wellington north, the airport and hospital. Various roading and passenger transport options were investigated for the Wellington CBD area. The study aimed to identify the present and future transport systems needed to support planned land use changes and the growth spine.

The study investigated several options for addressing transportation issues in the area including:

  • using the bus tunnel for SH1 eastbound traffic and the Mt Victoria tunnel for SH1 westbound traffic
  • diverting Adelaide Road traffic away from the Basin Reserve by widening Wallace Street and other improvements
  • at-grade improvements at the Basin Reserve
  • grade-separated improvements at the Basin Reserve.

The project steering group decided that options around the Basin Reserve should progress as they had the least impact on residential and heritage areas.

The study also highlighted the need for a high quality passenger transport spine from the Wellington Railway Station to Newtown.

Adelaide Road Growth Framework

Wellington City Council's Adelaide Road Framework (the framework) provides a long-term vision for the future development of the Adelaide Road area as part of Wellington's growth spine. The framework covers the Adelaide Road area as well as its links with neighbouring land uses including Wellington Hospital, Massey University, the Basin Reserve and SH1.

The long-term vision for Adelaide Road set out in the framework is: 'A high quality mixed-use area that is a more vibrant, attractive, better connected, accessible and safer place which meets the needs of all people living in, working in and using the area.'

High density residential and employment accommodation will make it easier for people to live and work in the same area. Those living around Adelaide Road will be able to walk to the CBD. They may also use high quality passenger transport services to travel between the growth nodes at Kilbirnie, the CBD and Johnsonville.

Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan 2008

The Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan was developed on the basis of the technical work completed as part of the strategy study. Improving transport conditions at the Basin Reserve was identified as a high priority in the plan. The corridor plan has been adopted by the Regional Land Transport Committee and has become part of the Regional Land Transport Programme. As a priority action, the corridor plan seeks to implement the Basin Reserve transport initiative within 10 years.

Inquiry by Design Workshop 2008

The Transport Agency organised a three-day Inquiry by Design Workshop. The workshop was attended by technical staff representing the Transport Agency, WCC and GWRC. Various technical disciplines were represented including urban designers, engineers, planners and heritage advisors.

The independently facilitated workshop was designed to scope potential improvement options for the Basin Reserve and to arrive at well-debated options that could be taken to the next phases of this project. The workshop was considered a robust way to challenge assumptions. Much of the focus of the inquiry was the spatial and contextual integration of potential options within the city fabric.

By the end of the workshop the group achieved consensus on five scenarios to progress to a more detailed assessment. These five options were the basis for the work and option development.

New Zealand Memorial Park Project

When the National War Memorial was first built in 1932 it was highly visible from most areas of the capital. At that time there was a proposal to create a boulevard to link the memorial to Courtenay Place. This never eventuated and, while still highly visible, the memorial has become isolated in a semi-industrial zone as the city has grown up around it.

In 2005, the Crown acquired land on behalf of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage on Buckle Street, to create a New Zealand Memorial Park across the road from the National War Memorial. This park was to join the adjacent National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior as a major focal point for New Zealanders to commemorate sacrifice during time of war.

On 7 August 2012, the Government announced a project to underground Buckle Street in front of the War Memorial and remove the majority of traffic that currently separates Memorial Park from the National War Memorial. Government also allocated a further $10 million to create a new, unified National Memorial precinct. This project is a key part of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage's commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, and the completed New Zealand Memorial Park will be in place by ANZAC Day 2015.

This will improve the setting of the National War Memorial and strengthen the heritage value of the entire area. It will also heighten visitors' experience of the National War Memorial and improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and the schoolchildren who currently cross Buckle Street at grade.

What are the next steps?

We are currently in the investigation phase for the SH1 improvements. Following your feedback, we will advise you of our decisions on the options set out in the brochure. Your feedback will also help us refine the design of the improvements before we seek the required approvals under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

We’ll further engage the community before seeking these approvals, and at that stage will also confirm the impacts of the improvements, (such as noise) as well as how we propose to lessen these affects.

Assuming that we’re granted the necessary RMA approvals, the construction timeline will reflect of the Corridor Plan(external link) and the current RoNS programme:

  • The Basin Reserve improvements will be completed first to ease SH1 traffic and help achieve WCC’s plans for a high-quality public transport spine. We may also undertake some interim improvements to Ruahine Street and Wellington Road and at the intersections along the Inner City Bypass.
  • The second Mt Victoria Tunnel and the Ruahine Street and Wellington Road widening projects are scheduled to follow completion of the Kapiti and Transmission Gully sections of the Wellington Northern Corridor RoNS programme.



2006 to 2008

GWRC, WCC and the NZTA undertake the Ngauranga to Airport Strategy and consult on various transport packages.


GWRC consults on, then adopts, the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan. The Plan describes a package of multi-modal transport improvements, including the SH1 improvements to be undertaken for Wellington.


The government announces the RoNS programme, which includes the SH1 projects identified in the Corridor Plan. Planning for the projects begins.

2 July - 26 August 2011

The NZTA seeks feedback on the proposed improvements to SH1.

July 2011

GWRC starts the Wellington Public Transport Spine Feasibility Study, which will investigate options for a high-quality public transport system between the Railway Station and Newtown.

Late 2011/early 2012

The NZTA announces its decisions on the options discussed in this brochure and publishes a report on feedback on the SH1 improvements.


The NZTA works with directly affected parties and the public in assessing the environmental effects of the SH1 improvements.

December 2012

GWRC completes the Wellington Public Transport Spine Feasibility Study.

Late 2012/early 2013

The NZTA lodges notice of its requirements which it anticipates will be determined by a Board of Inquiry.  This process will include an opportunity for public submissions and participation in a hearing, and will take in the order of nine months to complete.


The detailed design of the transport improvements around the Basin Reserve begins.

2014/15 onwards

Construction of the improvements around the Basin Reserve is scheduled to start in either 2014 or 2015 (the interim improvements to Ruahine Street, Wellington Road and the Inner City Bypass may also start at this time). The improvements are likely to take two or three years to complete.
The second Mt Victoria Tunnela and the main improvements to Ruahine Street and Wellington Road are currently scheduled to follow the completion of the Kapiti and Transmission Gully sections of the Wellington Northern Corridor RoNS programme.