Memorial Park design competition – 28 & 29 July

July 26, 2007 at 6:45 am | Posted in Memorial Park / Buckle St | Leave a comment

Here is a potential opportunity to influence the design options being considered for the Memorial Park – to present appealing design solutions that do not involve “bending” Buckle Street to run along the Mt Cook School boundary (as described in an earlier post and as originally proposed by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage). There is a seminar before the competition begins which can serve as a forum for highlighting local concerns, particularly about air pollution and pedestrian safety.

Seminar and competition

On Saturday 28th of July, a 24 hour Memorial Park design competition begins organised by Victoria University’s School of Architecture. The seminar starts at 9.30am and then the competition begins at 1pm. Register your interest in attending the seminar and/or entering the seminar by contacting There is also a $1000 prize for the winning design.

Posted by Geoff


Sign a petition – if concerned about the BGI site

July 22, 2007 at 4:35 pm | Posted in BGI site | Leave a comment

Jacky Haydn is a Mt Cook resident who has been gathering signatures to petition the WCC and Foodstuffs regarding the development of the BGI site. The petition:

1. opposes a large-scale supermarket development along Tasman Street as it is already congested at peak time
2. supports a small-scale, low-impact plan, landscaped with trees and shrubs
3. supports keeping Boys’ Institute as an iconic heritage landmark, aesthetically and culturally in tune with other significant historical buildings in Mt Cook
4. supports upgrading the swimming facility Boys [and Girls] Institute houses as it is used by up to 2000 local children per week

    I urge concerned locals to sign this petition, even if you don’t agree with the precise wording. The main sentiments or principles are important. Once we impress upon the WCC and Foodstuffs the strength of feeling that residents and friends of Mt Cook have about ad-hoc development, and the loss of local facilities, we can then (hopefully) influence things – have a say about what we actually want, and how best to make this happen in our neighbourhood.

    The petition can be downloaded here

    Posted by Geoff

    What’s happening with the BGI site

    July 18, 2007 at 8:51 am | Posted in BGI site | Leave a comment

    Hello, kia ora

    Here is the latest news on the proposed development of the BGI site, as far as I can tell:

    • the Pak ‘n Save formula may not apply – the proposed supermarket is likely to be smaller, more “unique”
    • the City Council has not received an application or been shown plans and therefore has no view or comment to make on the proposal
    • the WCC can only concentrate on certain aspects of an application when it is received. The Councils ability to approve or reject aspects of the proposal will be limited to traffic effects, streetscape impacts and overall urban design
    • the BGI building can be demolished without approval because it doesn’t have heritage status
    • nearby the Council’s urban development strategy aims to “transform Adelaide Rd into a low-rise apartment boulevard supported by appropriate ground floor activities” (Ernst Zolner, 13 July 07)

    The Swim School

    TSW Swim School seems to be of the view that:

    • water safety and the future of swimming in Wellington is jeopardised by closure of the BGI pool and the resident swim school
    • the swimming pool in the BGI building is a the end of its life and would need to be significantly upgraded or replaced with a new facility
    • Wellington needs a dedicated swimming training facility because there is not sufficient capacity to train swimmers in Wellington without the pool in the BGI building
    • While the WCC has no plans to build further swimming facilities in the next decade, the Council could partner with others parties to ensure a new dedicated swimming training facility is established
    • compiling a voice of concern, signed by TSW patrons, will demonstrate to the WCC, and presumably other institutions, that there is demand for a dedicated swim school facility.

    For more information from TSW contact Scott Wilson

    Buildings in danger


    The Boys [and Girls] Institute Building, built in 1914, and


    Terraced houses on the corner of Rugby and Belfast Streets.

    Thats all for now.

    Posted by Geoff

    Memorial Park development “on hold”

    July 6, 2007 at 8:28 am | Posted in Memorial Park / Buckle St | Leave a comment

    The latest from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (4th of July) is that the Memorial Park development is “on hold” pending the outcome of pollution monitoring planned for Buckle St. The Ministry has assured Mt Cook School and parents that the Memorial Park Project Group have taken into account school and parent health and safety concerns and is trying to urgently source pollution monitoring equipment. In the meantime the Ministry is still putting out a detailed design brief to its selected design teams, presumably next week (including the school and parent input), but has otherwise stated that:

    1. no decisions on the alignment of the road will be made until results of the
    air quality monitoring are available
    2. the school will be included in the decision making

    The Ministry is therefore NOT expecting construction to begin in October, or the work to being completed by next Anzac Day, as originally planned.  It is now saying, “there is no longer any pressure to make quick decisions”.  This is welcome news!

    Posted by Geoff

    Community concerns about Memorial Park remain

    July 2, 2007 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Memorial Park / Buckle St | Leave a comment

    After a meeting between Mt Cook School and parent representatives and the Memorial Park Project Committee on the 26th of June, it seems officials intend to press ahead with commissioning park designs that expect Buckle Street to run next to the school boundary. Here is the draft design brief, New Zealand Memorial Park: Conditions for the Design Selection Process, where no alternative scenarios are suggested. And, here is the timetable for determining the final park design.

    Until 6 July
    Drafting of detailed design brief, including input from school.

    By Friday 6 July
    Select short list of designers and distribute detailed design brief.

    By Friday 17 August (approx)
    Deadline for designs.

    20-24 August (approx)
    Interest groups (including the school) have opportunity to view the designs and comment.
    Selection panel selects final design.

    27 August – 26 October (approx)
    Contract with designer and detailed landscape design.
    Input from interest groups (including the school) on areas of detailed design which affect them.

    Note that there is no delay to monitor pollution levels, as discussed with Mt Cook School and parents. Therefore the detailed design brief is likely to still direct landscape designers to consider only one roading option – redirecting Buckle Street alongside Mt Cook School. If things proceed in this way, our input into the brief will be a relatively insignificant footnote. And, if so, the submitted park designs will not reflect the health and safety concerns of residents and won’t show other reasonable and feasible alternatives to the layout preferred by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

    If this alarms you please contact us so that we can let you know of opportunities for expressing your views alongside other local people. Mt Cook School is currently investigating legal options while some parents are organising to approach local and central government politicians.

    Go to the mtcookmobilised wiki to view the presentation by Mt Cook School and parents to the Memorial Park Project Committee, along with further background information.

    Posted by Geoff

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