Completed in the late 1980s, Frank Kitts Park was one of the first areas of the waterfront to be developed. The design was heavily influenced by the annual street car race that ran through the area at that time.
The seaside promenade was the start grid for the race and is the reason why the promenade is flanked by a high wall on its city side – to ensure spectator safety.
The last street car race was held in 1997 and since then a desire has been expressed by many for the wall to come down and connections from city to sea – physical and visual – to be improved.
Frank Kitts Park
In mid 2007 Wellington Waterfront Limited undertook a Design Competition for the proposed redevelopment of Frank Kitts Park.
A design brief had been prepared by the Technical Advisory Group and, following public consultation, was approved by the Waterfront Development Sub-committee at their 11 December 2006 meeting. The intention being to preserve the park's status as a major green open space.
The design brief included consideration of:
- The installation of a Chinese Garden
- Improved city-to-sea connections
- Improved relationship between the park and the southern end of the TSB Bank Arena
- Retention of space for events
- Retention of a children's playground
The Design Competition was won by Wellington based company, Wraight and Associates Ltd. At its meeting of 19 December 2007 the Wellington City Council gave approval for Wellington Waterfront Ltd to commission development of their winning concept design for the redevelopment of Frank Kitts Park. To learn more about the winning concept click here
Wellington Waterfront Limited contniues to work together with the Wellington Chinese Garden society on their fundraising campaign.
More about Frank Kitts Park
Len Lye's Water Whirler
Len Lye was a world renowned New Zealand sculptor and film maker. He died in 1980 leaving behind a raft of design concepts and sketches for kinetic works that there wasn't the technology at the time to build. The Len Lye Foundation was established after his death with the aim of making these designs a reality in the future, as technology allowed.
In March 2006 his Water Whirler design was built and installed on a specially designed pier off Frank Kitts Park by an engineer from the Len Lye Foundation.
The Water Whirler has captivated waterfront visitors as it bends and twirls, in a crazily choreographed dance, creating artistic designs out of millions of droplets of water.
More about the Water Whirler