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Wharf Street upgrade

We are upgrading Wharf Street to create a safe and attractive, people-friendly space in the heart of the city centre for everyone to enjoy.

The upgrade will reflect Wharf Street’s role in connecting the city centre with the waterfront.

Wharf Street concept

Next steps

Work is underway to upgrade Wharf Street. Follow the upgrade live through our webcam (image will automatically refresh three times a day).

Wharf Street Camera

Our construction partner Higgins Contractors Limited has a COVID-19 control plan in place that aligns with the government requirements and ensures the appropriate health and safety measures are in place.

Wharf Street businesses are open for business during construction.

Construction will include upgrade and renewal of underground services such as sewer, water and stormwater. Under the current circumstances, we still expect works to be completed by summer 2020.

On 25 August 2020, councillors have agreed to declare Wharf Street (between Willow Street and The Strand) a pedestrian mall, restricting vehicle access to the street to only those authorised

Public notice - Declaring Wharf Street East as a pedestrian mall (32kb pdf)
Public declaration of Wharf Street East as a pedestrian mall (277kb pdf)

Why is Council upgrading Wharf Street?

Upgrading Wharf Street is part of Council’s ongoing efforts to create inviting and people-friendly spaces within the city centre – to encourage business support, strengthen community and enhance the city centre’s vibrancy.

Wharf Street has been trialled as a shared space since 2015, attracting visitors and residents and a number of additional hospitality offerings to the street. However, community and Council recognised the current cluttered and tired street appearance doesn’t provide the desired inviting and people-friendly space. In September 2019, Council approved the detailed design and the budget to commence the upgrade of Wharf Street. 

The upgrade will provide residents and visitors with an outdoor dining setting for the section of Wharf Street between Willow Street and The Strand with limited vehicle access only.

About Wharf Street

Wharf Street is a key part of how Tauranga’s city centre connects with the waterfront. The street (between Willow Street and The Strand) is approximately 20 metres wide and 100 metres in length, with a one-way traffic flow east-bound.

The City Centre Spatial Framework identifies Wharf Street as a waterfront precinct shared space (along with Spring Street, Harington Street and Hamilton Street) with a focus on supporting a pedestrian-friendly environment and street activity.

Concept design and community feedback

The design for upgrading Wharf Street has evolved through community engagement and ongoing discussions with Wharf Street businesses and property owners who support the project proceeding to construction. It brings a wharf aesthetic to the street through material and design, in recognition of its historical connection to the wharf and the harbour’s edge.

In 2017, key themes received from the community focused on outdoor dining, a place that is pedestrian-only, with limited vehicle access and that facilitates events.

Wharf Street property and business owners have been engaged throughout the design process and provided input from commencement of the concept design through to the developed design.

Mana whenua informed the cultural elements incorporated into the design. The design has had input from the Positive Ageing Advisory Forum, the Disability Advisory Group, Council’s Spaces and Places, Events, Property, Waters and Transportation teams.  

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) reviewed and endorsed the concept design in April 2018 and in August 2018, Council approved the concept design to proceed to detailed design. Workshops with councillors and stakeholders on the detailed design for upgrading Wharf Street took place on 14 August 2019.

With detailed design complete, Council approved an estimated construction budget of $5.56m for the upgrade on 10 September 2019.


Last Reviewed: 27/08/2020

Latest news

Wharf Street progressing well towards new people-friendly street

Posted: 25 August 2020

Works to upgrade Wharf Street to a pedestrian-friendly environment are well underway and still on track to open this summer.

Wharf Street upgrade about to begin

Posted: 13 March 2020

The upgrade of Wharf Street is one step closer with Tauranga City Council confirming Higgins Contractors Limited as the construction partner to undertake the works.

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