Heritage Places and Objects

We're reviewing our heritage list

Wellington City Council recently invited Wellingtonians to tell us what’s important to them as we plan for growth and change. One of the themes that came through strongly is how much people value our city’s heritage and its contribution to our identity, vibrancy and sense of place.

As the city grows and changes, taking steps to protect heritage places and objects becomes even more important, and is part of a national requirement for all councils. It is also something we can build into our District Plan, which is the blueprint for making sure our city functions well and protects the things that make it special.

We have been working with historians and architectural specialists to identify places and objects that may have significant heritage values. This is so we can start talking with landowners about what they might have, and the ways that we can help them look after it.

We are also asking our communities to identify and nominate important places that they know about. The list of places under consideration for addition to the Heritage Schedules will be updated periodically, until the Proposed District Plan is notified in 2022.

What is a heritage building, area or object?

These are buildings, areas or objects that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s history and culture.

For inclusion in the District Plan heritage schedule, a building, area or object must be significant for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Historic values: these values relate to the history of a place and how it demonstrates important historical themes, events, people or experiences
  • Physical values: these values relate to the physical evidence of the past that is still present. They include archaeological, architectural, townscape, group, scientific, and technological values. Physical values can also include the age or integrity of a place.
  • Social values: these values relate to the meanings that a place has for a particular community or communities.
  • Tangata whenua values: these values relate to places that are sacred or important to Māori for spiritual, cultural or historical reasons.
  • Surroundings: the setting or context of the place contributes to an appreciation and understanding of its character, history and/or development.
  • Rarity: the place is unique or rare within the district or region.
  • Representativeness: the place is a good example of its type or era.

Where are they?

All across Wellington city and the surrounding rural areas. The current District Plan heritage schedule includes both publicly and privately owned sites including:

  • 547 listings for buildings (or approx. 570 individual buildings)
  • 51 heritage objects
  • 35 heritage areas (which include up to 590 buildings, objects or features, some of which are also individually listed)

We have reviewed a list of over 600 items that have been brought to our attention over the past 10 years. Of these we think that there are at least 76 additional places and objects that are so special they should be considered for addition to the heritage schedule in the District Plan. The initial list of 76 proposed places and objects include:

  • 58 individual buildings
  • 10 new heritage areas
  • 2 existing heritage areas – the addition of new contributing objects and buildings
  • 2 existing heritage buildings – the addition of features
  • 4 heritage objects

Click here to view the heritage places and objects information hand out

Click here to view information on current heritage listings

Heritage Places and Objects

Proposed new heritage buildings and objects list
Type of ListingAddress
BuildingCooper's Cottage, 30 Ascot Street
Building20 Austin Street
Building67 Austin Street
Building89 Austin Street
Building140 Austin Street
Building20 Ballance Street, 21 Whitmore Street
BridgeBolton Street - Motorway Overbridge
Building390 Broadway
Building23 Brougham Street - Alternative: 23 Pat Lawlor Close
Building64 Brougham Street
Building70 Brougham Street
Building71 Brougham Street
Building87 Brougham Street
Building89 Brougham Street
Building91 Brougham Street
Building111 Brougham Street
BuildingHannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Terrace
BuildingHalberstam House, 117 Campbell Street
BuildingSt Francis de Sales Church, 173 Clyde Street
Group of BuildingsChurch of Christ (Former) and associated buildings, 37 to 39 Dixon Street
BuildingFormer Primitive Methodist Church, 95 Dixon Street
Building24 Donald McLean Street
BuildingSamuel Parnell House, 69 Donald Street
Building53 Ellice Street
BuildingWool House (Former), 139 Featherston Street
Proposed Star of the Sea Heritage AreaOur Lady Star of the Sea Retreat House, 16 Fettes Crescent
BuildingBritten House, 7 Fortification Road
BuildingKhandallah Town Hall, 11 Ganges Road
BuildingAlington House, 60 to 62 Homewood Crescent
BuildingRobert Stout Building, 21 Kelburn Parade
BuildingManchester Unity Building, 120 Lambton Quay
Possible Addition to the BNZ/ Head Office Heritage Area233 Lambton Quay (Nineteenth Century Lamp, Traffic Island in front of ANZ Bank)
BuildingBrown Farmhouse (Former), 294 Main Road, Tawa
Building64 Majoribanks Street
BuildingDemonstration House, 17 Makara Road
BuildingMansfield Street Gospel Hall, 271 Mansfield Street
Apartment Building1 Milne Terrace
Swimming PoolThorndon Swimming Baths, 26 Murphy Street
BuildingPenthouse Cinema, 205 Ohiro Road
Building110 Oriental Parade
BuildingFreyberg Pool, 139 Oriental Parade
Apartment Building214 Oriental Parade
Apartment Building274 Oriental Parade
Apartment Building280 Oriental Parade
Structure139 Park Road - Gas Tank (Former)
Building56 Pirie Street
Building1 Queen Street
BuildingToomath House, 28 Robieson Street
BuildingMeteorological Office, 30 Salamanca Road
BuildingMakara School House (Former), 29 South Makara Road
BuildingBerhampore Kindergarten, 5 Stanley Street
Building210 Sutherland Road
BuildingWesley Church Hall, 75 Taranaki Street
Building355 The Parade
BuildingSutch-Smith House, 79A Todman Street
BuildingKahn House, 53 Trelissick Crescent
BuildingFirth House, 18 Vera Street
BuildingWellington Central Library, 65 Victoria Street
Building154 Victoria Street
BuildingHirschfeld House, 49 Waiapu Road
StructureLower Karori Dam, 50 Waiapu Road
StructureUpper Karori Dam, 50 Waiapu Road
BuildingSt Matthew's Church, 96 Washington Avenue
Building134 Willis Street
Façade only233 Willis Street
Proposed new heritage areas list
Proposed Albion Gold Mine Heritage Area
Proposed Armour Avenue Heritage Area
Proposed Ascot Street Heritage Area
Proposed Basin Reserve Heritage Area
Proposed Doctors Commons Heritage Area
Proposed Elizabeth Street Heritage Area
Proposed Mestanes Bay Baches Heritage Area
Proposed Moir Street Heritage Area
Proposed Porritt Avenue Heritage Area
Proposed Red Rocks Baches Heritage Area
Wellington Botanic Garden Heritage Area

View the heritage places and objects online map (opens in new window)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Wellington City Council doing this?

We have many places and objects across Wellington that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of history and culture. As we plan for growth, this is our moment to protect what we have for future generations.

This work is also part of a nationwide Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requirement for all Councils. We are currently reviewing the whole District Plan, including the settings for historic heritage, so now’s a good time to talk about how we can protect significant heritage for today and future generations, and how we can enable owners to use their property sustainably.

What’s the timing for adding items to the heritage schedules?
  • November 2020 until mid-2021
    • Talk and help
  • Mid-2021
    • Draft District Plan consultation (informal submissions)
  • Mid-2022
    • Proposed District Plan consultation (formal submissions)

Any new heritage listing would only have legal effect from when the Proposed District Plan is released in mid-2022.

We’re proposing to add these places and objects to the heritage schedule of the Draft district plan so that owners can meaningfully engage with the Draft District Plan provisions and see what they would mean for them.

What could this mean for me and my property?

When a place or object is on the heritage schedule there are certain activities or works that require a resource consent to undertake.

You may need a resource consent to carry out the following types of works:

  • Modifications, additions and alterations
  • Demolition and relocation
  • Construction of new buildings on the site
  • Subdivision
  • Earthworks
  • Putting up signage

You don't need a resource consent to carry out "repair and maintenance" which includes:

  • repair with like-for-like materials
  • repair that recreates the original appearance
  • interior alterations (as long as the interior of the building is not specifically listed, and the alterations are not structural strengthening or new floor levels that are visible from the outside of the building)

Any new heritage listing would only have legal effect from when the Proposed District Plan is released in 2022.

Are heritage and character the same?

Heritage and character are different, but they sometimes get confused. Here is how they are defined:


Heritage is defined in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) as:

‘natural and physical resources that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s history and cultures, deriving from any of the following qualities:

  • archaeological:
  • architectural:
  • cultural:
  • historic:
  • scientific:
  • technological; and


  • historic sites, structures, places, and areas; and
  • archaeological sites; and
  • sites of significance to Māori, including wāhi tapu; and
  • surroundings associated with the natural and physical resources’

The protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development is a ‘matter of national importance’ under the RMA, Council follows a robust process to identify and assess heritage places to make sure that they are eligible for scheduling in the District Plan. It’s a different test to Character.


Character is not defined in the RMA. For the purpose of other work Council has carried out, character has been defined as:

‘a concentration of common, consistent natural and physical features and characteristics that collectively combine to establish the local distinctiveness and identity of an area, and that contribute to a unique ‘sense of place’ when viewed by the public at large from the street or other public spaces’.

Things that could collectively form the character of an area include: street pattern, public open space, street trees, lot size and dimension, garage type and location, presence (or otherwise) of retaining walls, site specific built form contributed to by building age, architectural style, primary building type and materials, building siting and boundary setbacks, building height and shape, and site coverage.

The Council manages heritage and character differently:

In the District Plan, heritage is managed through ‘heritage areas’ and individual listings for buildings and objects, while character is managed through ‘character areas’. These have different rules that reflect the management of these different values.

A street of Edwardian villas may not be scheduled in the District Plan as a heritage area if they do not meet the heritage criteria and thresholds. They may however be managed as a ‘character area’ if they create a cohesive streetscape character.

What about the character sub-areas that you identified in the Draft Spatial Plan?

As the Council treats heritage and character differently, some of the new heritage areas that we are looking at overlap with some of the character sub-areas that were proposed in the Draft Spatial Plan. The Council is currently working through Draft Spatial Plan submissions and the plan itself is still being refined. When we work through the detail of the Draft District Plan, we will consider how any relationship between the heritage and character provisions might work. There will be requirements to obtain resource consent for some work under either form of provisions.

How did we determine and prioritise these additional buildings and areas that may have significant heritage values?

We have been working with expert heritage architects and historians to identify places that may have significant heritage values from our list of nominations.

Our approach to assessing possible new heritage listings has been based on analysis of the current heritage schedule against the Thematic Heritage Study of Wellington's 2013.This has given us a picture of which themes are represented well through current heritage listings, and which are not.

From our database of over 600 items, we have prioritised shortlisting and assessment of items that:

  • Are identified by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga as important places.
  • Represent themes of Wellington’s history and heritage that are not well represented on the current schedule; and
  • the Council holds good information on. This is generally because a place has been previously identified as having significant heritage values.

Each of the places and objects that we have prioritised for this process will have a detailed assessment of its heritage values completed and this will be shared with owners before the notification of the Proposed District Plan.

We are also asking communities to identify and nominate other heritage places that they know about. These items will be reviewed and prioritised using the same assessment methodology, and we will update the list of proposed additions to the heritage schedules periodically, until the Proposed District Plan is notified in 2022.

What financial or other assistance does Council offer to owners of heritage places scheduled in the District Plan?

Information and advice

Our heritage advisors can help you with any heritage-related matters.

If you would like ideas for working with heritage items, we can:

  • Provide information on the heritage significance of an item.
  • Advise on repair, possible adaptive reuse, restoration and future conservation.
  • Give input on resource consent applications for changes to heritage item.

Resource consent fee reimbursement

We can help out with some of the costs of applying for a resource consent.

You may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to $2,500 if your application required a resource consent because of a heritage listing and the Council supports the proposed works.

Rates remissions

We offer owners partial remission on the payment of rates when:

  • Earthquake strengthening is being undertaken and a building is temporarily not fit for purpose.
  • When an earthquake prone building is removed from the earthquake prone building list after strengthening work has been completed. This relief is offered for a period of 5 – 10 years.

Funding support

We want to contribute to safe and resilient buildings.

Wellington City Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund

The purpose of this fund is to assist owners of heritage buildings to undertake conservation and seismic strengthening work where successful outcomes would be unlikely without assistance.

The majority of the fund is intended for work related to earthquake strengthening (such as engineering reports or the actual work), with a smaller portion of the fund reserved for heritage conservation work, such as restoration, repairs and maintenance.

You can find out about the projects that we’ve supported through the fund on our website: wellington.govt.nz/heritagefund

Heritage EQUIP Funding

Heritage buildings scheduled in the district plan can apply for funding for earthquake strengthening and professional advice from the Heritage EQUIP programme which is run by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

You can find out about the criteria and the projects that Heritage EQUIP has supported through the fund on their website: https://heritageequip.govt.nz/

Will this affect my existing resource consents?

Resource consents generally stand for five years, so this work won’t affect existing resource consents as long as the work is completed before the resource consent period lapses.

What happens to Heritage listings already in place?

Current heritage listings in the District Plan will still apply. We are reviewing the heritage schedules to make sure that items meet the heritage criteria and thresholds as part of the District Plan Review.

The review includes:

  • Reconfirming items currently scheduled.
  • Removing items that no longer meet the threshold for listing.
  • Assessing modifications to listings of items currently scheduled.
  • Assessing possible new items for scheduling.

Any changes the Council thinks should be made to existing heritage listings will be communicated with owners at the Draft District Plan stage. We can talk more about these at that time. Any changes will only take effect from the release of the Proposed District Plan in mid-2022.

When the Council asked for feedback on Planning for Growth, you told us that Wellington needs more houses. How does protecting heritage fit with that?

We can do both. We received strong feedback from the Planning for Growth and Draft Spatial Plan engagement about protecting significant heritage resources. This part of the process is about identifying important buildings and objects for protection and allowing for growth in other places.

What is the scope of this review?

This review process only includes heritage buildings, areas and objects.

We are working with mana whenua through a separate process looking at Sites of Significance to Māori and how the District Plan addresses cultural heritage. Archaeological sites and notable trees are also part of another, separate process.

Can I nominate a place for protection?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is email heritage@wcc.govt.nz and we will send you a nomination form.

This information and the place will be considered alongside others that we have on our nominations list and prioritised as described above.

What help can we offer?

We have people who know all about heritage buildings and objects and can help answer questions you may have. Give us a call or send us an email if you would like to talk with our heritage team.

Phone: 04 499 4444 (ask for the Heritage Team)

Email: heritage@wcc.govt.nz

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