Plans Policies and Bylaws
Navigate Up
Sign In

Central City Development

Image for the Central City Development page.
This page contains information about the re-development of Whangarei's central city area.
Updated: 18/09/2020 10:17 a.m.

​Whangarei City Centre

Planning for Whangarei’s future begins with the Whangarei City Centre Plan. This plan is a shared strategic vision for Whangarei City Centre over the next 30 years.

The Whangarei City Centre Plan is structured around five key outcomes stating what we want our city centre to be. This plan identifies transformational moves which are the fundamental changes that assist in delivering the key outcomes.

The key outcomes and transformational moves are supported through a design-led process which has used the knowledge of our business community and building owners, as well as expertise from Council.

The Whangarei City Centre Plan will inform future land use planning through our District Plan. It will identify future projects and outline where more detailed design thinking is required. Fundamentally, the Whangarei City Centre Plan will present a common vision for our city centre, shared by our Council, the community, business owners, land owners and potential developers.

You can view the 'Whangarei City Centre Plan 2017' document by clicking on the link below:

Whangarei City Centre Plan   

City Core Precinct Plan

Whangarei’s award-winning City Core Precinct Plan aims to provide an attractive and supportive City Centre for residents, businesses, employees and visitors.

The Plan won Best Practice Award for a District/Regional Plan at the New Zealand Planning Institute’s 2020 Awards for its outstanding creativity, innovation and service.

The above video gives an overview of the City Core Precinct Plan.

The City Core Precinct Plan has been adopted by Council. It aims to initiate plans for the future of the city’s core in a strategic way, addressing any issues that come from increasing numbers of people and making the most out of opportunities to come. 

The colourful plan contains maps of possible layouts for the city core based on a range of development, land uses, and short and long term projects. It also contains images of elements that have worked well in city core precincts in other parts of New Zealand and around the world.

It proposes three programmes of work:

  • The first is around making the streets work better for drivers and pedestrians.
  • The second is about making the city core and waterfront very visitor friendly, and
  • The third outlines how to create connections across and through the core.

This will make it easy and more enjoyable for people to move from place to place.

Currently the city centre faces challenges with traffic flow issues at peak hours and a real lack of pedestrian connections and wayfinding.

We know that in the next few years, managing visitors from cruise ship excursions and tour buses will be increasingly important in and around the city centre.

Finding solutions to support the right kind of improvements by both Council and the private sector is a priority in the plan. The Plan shows how Council funding is being allocated to short-term actions, to create a foundation for improvements over the next three years. 

Some of the biggest changes will be to our streets, which the City Core Precinct Plan looks at cohesively, not in isolation. 

Whangārei’s streets have been traditionally car centric, and much of the road work over the last 20 years has been focused on traffic flow. 

However, recent changes to the city centre – for example, the Cameron Street mall, the James Street shared space and the Hatea Loop walkway - have been pedestrian focused. A review of our streets is necessary to further integrate these and make any future changes work. 

These days more people are walking and cycling, and shared paths are becoming more of a priority. Changes to policies and support from New Zealand Transport Agency have helped to increase the number of shared paths in Whangārei. People also want more public transport. This Plan pulls these factors together and creates a direction for us.

Our city centre is set to become more of a destination for people on foot. Pedestrians are becoming more and more important as they bring vibrancy to an area, activation, surveillance, business and future opportunity.

As a District, we must support the public realm with great quality design and construction in our public spaces, as well as supporting and enabling these aspects through private developments.

Getting from place to place easily in a city core is crucial. Making connections obvious, safe and pleasant are all priorities. Investing in these public spaces, including wider footpaths, street trees and street furniture can inspire private developers to adopt similar priorities.

Another big change affecting our City Core is a change to the way people shop. Globally much more purchasing is happening online, so service and hospitality experiences including restaurants and cafés, gyms, hair and nail salons are increasing in inner cities.

Our City Core Precinct Plan is flexible. It outlines what we could achieve but does not tie us to solutions that might not be suitable if rushed.

The benefit to this approach is that we can have a list of projects, and based on the ‘climate’, can work alongside private businesses and developers to achieve the best outcome for our city centre.  

You can view the 'City Core Precinct Plan' document by clicking on the link below:

City Core Precinct Plan

CBD Regeneration Information

There has been a lot of discussion recently on the state of our inner city. Issues such as the amount of car parking spaces and the number of vacant shops are important to our district.

To help inform this discussion, Whangarei District Council have compiled information on our central area. This includes:

  • Vacant premises

  • Land use

  • Car parking areas

We have also looked at other towns and cities in New Zealand to see how we compare in relation to retail vacancy.

The information was complied from the Whangarei District Council, Land-use Survey (2015), Colliers International New Zealand Ltd (2016), Bayleys New Zealand Ltd (2016).

Read the full report:

Urban Growth Strategy

The 2003 Urban Growth Strategy identified the consolidation of the CBD as its number one objective.

In 2006, Council adopted the 'Whangarei 20/20 Strategy' as a guideline development plan for the inner city. It provides a co-ordinated approach based on good urban design for the development of activities and attractions which will enhance the central city. 

The longer term planning proposals, which include development of the CBD, are contained in the '30/50 Whangarei Growth Strategy'. 

For details, select from the links below.

Viewing the Whangarei 20/20 Strategy

You can view the 'Whangarei 20/20 Momentum' document by clicking on the link below or view the website.  

Whangarei 20/20 Momentum [5.8mb]



Whangarei District Council owns this website and the information, images and photographs in it are subject to copyright. No portion may be copied or republished without prior permission of Whangarei District Council. We have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and reliable information. The use of any information is at the website visitor’s own risk and discretion.