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Sponge City: A guided walk in Waitangi Park

Monday 15 May, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


On 15 May, join Nicole Thompson of Wraight and Associates Landscape Architects and John Hardwick-Smith of Athfield Architects for a guided walk around Waitangi Park, next door to Te Papa.  We will explore the unique features of the Park that have contributed to its award-winning status.

The Park was developed in a collaboration between Wraight and Associates and Athfield Architects and won a design competition for the development of the space.  Among other features, the design incorporates the daylighting and natural filtering of water from Waitangi stream.  Nicole and John will talk to us about the design of the park, including why bringing streams to light is desirable, the challenges involved, how the Waitangi Stream daylighting forms an integral part of the Waitangi Park development.

Recent floods in New Zealand have increased focus on so-called “sponge cities” and the contribution they can make to managing flood events sustainably.  Waitangi Park is an example of principles of sponge city principles in practise.

Nicole Thompson is a Registered NZILA Landscape Architect with over 20 years experience in both New Zealand and Australia. She has led and co-led multiple design and implementation projects across New Zealand on behalf of  Wraight +Associates (Wā) and the joint venture company Wraight, Athfield, Landscape Architecture (WALA). Nicole was involved in the developed design and implementation of Waitangi Park in collaboration with Megan Wraight, John Hardwick-Smith, and others. As a landscape architect Nicole is committed to a design led collaborative approach for public and private realm development.

John Hardwick-Smith is an Architect and Director of Athfield Architects Ltd and joint venture company WALA, with 25+ years experience in architectural, urban and landscape projects. John’s work is often collaborative and cross-disciplinary, and traverses public, private, and commercial interests, including projects that interface between architecture, public art, landscape and infrastructure. John was involved in the concept and developed design of Waitangi Park in collaboration with Megan Wraight, Nicole Thompson and others.




Members Only Event: Tickets $25 (incl. free parking) or Become a new member today and attend this tour free of charge (please type “New Member – Waitangi Park Tour” in the order notes section when you purchase your new Membership)

Meeting point:

The meeting point will be at the paved area of the park near the corner of Cable Street and Oriental Parade.  This location is also next to the bus stop opposite New World Wellington City.  Link to location on maps here: https://goo.gl/maps/UigKw9xt8Vm1Wx3u7?coh=178571&entry=tt

Please note that as this is an outdoors location, we will not be able to validate parking for this event.



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Monday 15 May
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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Waitangi Park
107 Cable Street
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
+ Google Map


Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051