We’re upgrading the final section of High Street to create a more attractive space for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy everything the city centre has to offer.

Get the latest updates on the High Street upgrade

Update: 23 January 2024

Work on the final section of the High Street upgrade, between Tuam and St Asaph streets, begins on Wednesday 7 February 2024. The project is expected to take approximately four months to complete.

This Friday, 26 January, we’re holding an informal drop-in session at Ara Institute, JZ Building, from 11am to 3pm, which will provide an opportunity for you to meet the contractor, learn more about the project, and ask any questions or share concerns. Look out for signage on High Street directing you to the session.

You can view the Start Works Notice(external link) for the initial phases of the project. As the project progresses, new notices will be distributed in the area, reflecting changes to the work site location, works being done and traffic management. 

Please pay attention to any traffic management signs and keep an eye out for changes.

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Update: 23 December 2023

Work to improve the southernmost section of High Street is set to kick off in late January 2024. The project is expected to take about four months.

The work on High Street will enhance the streetscape between Tuam and St Asaph streets with a new road surface, wider footpaths to allow for outdoor dining, upgraded street lighting, new landscaping and a northbound cycle connection that links the central city's cycle network with Puari ki Kahukura Heathcote Expressway.

The new paving will match the Aramoana design you can see on the section of High Street between Manchester and Tuam Streets.

CORDE has been appointed to complete the project and will visit affected people in the new year to talk them through what they can expect.

Read more on Newsline.(external link)

Tuam Street to St Asaph Street

In 2019, the High Street Revitalisation and Tram renewal project(external link)(external link) upgraded High Street from Cashel Street to St. Asaph Street. 

During the public consultation, a number of concerns were raised by businesses and property owners(external link)(external link) in the block of High Street between Tuam and St. Asaph streets, which resulted in the Hearings Panel deciding not to support the upgrade of the block, at that time. Instead, they requested further consultation, to determine how to make the street fit for its purpose.

We took the feedback previously received and had conversations with businesses operating on the street and reviewed our plans for this section of High Street.

Consultation 

We developed two options for vehicles travelling south along High Street and published these for consultation in November 2022.

In February a hearings panel recommended our preferred design. This includes upgrading the street to better reflect the beautiful existing buildings in this area, by adding trees, renewing the road surface, and adding high-quality pedestrian surfaces.

There will also be a northbound separated cycleway to link the Heathcote Expressway Cycleway to the Central City, and a right-turning lane will be added onto St Asaph Street to improve accessibility for vehicles and allow vehicles easier access to the St Asaph car park.

The footpaths will also be widened to increase safety for pedestrians, the speed limit lowered to 10km/h, a simplified intersection at Tuam and High Streets, a mid-block crossing, accessible parking and improved loading and unloading facilities, motorcycle parking installed, and there will be a link from the central city cycleways with the Heathcote Expressway major cycle route.

The Council approved the hearings panel recommendation at its meeting on 5 April 2023.

Detailed design work is now underway before construction can begin.

View the landscape plan [PDF, 1.8 MB].

Past upgrades

High Street upgrade from Cashel Street to Tuam Street

Construction on the historic diagonal route between Cashel Street and Tuam Street, and on Cashel Street from High Street to Manchester Street was completed in December 2021. This extended the tram route along Lichfield Street, Poplar Street and back up High Street, which involved installing the remaining tram track, tram poles and overhead wires for the tram network.

Sewer and stormwater pipes were replaced and we laid most of the new tram tracks linking High Street and Poplar Street. You can read more about the final works on Newsline(external link)(external link).

High Street had been in poor condition due to earthquake damage to the street and underground pipes. The upgrade addressed these issues while creating a pleasant and safe place for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. 

We made up for time lost during the COVID-19 lockdown and the most disruptive work was completed before Christmas 2021. The High Street upgrade included:

  • A safer 10 km/h speed limit.
  • Level paving across the road and footpath between Lichfield Street and Tuam Street. 
  • The streetscape of High Street was co-designed with Matapopore to express Ngāi Tūāhuriri narratives and values. The feature aromoana paving pattern that crosses High Street was designed by Ngāi Tahu carver and artist Fayne Robinson.
  • Short-stay parking for shoppers and deliveries – P60 spaces, loading zones, mobility parks, motorcycle parks, and cycle parks.
  • A safer cycling connection between Tuam Street and the central city.
  • Feature lighting and new street furniture.
  • Corgi statues, marking the Queen's golden jubilee, were relocated closer to Poplar Street, beside the new tram shelter.
  • More trees and plants along the route.
  • Upgraded stormwater pipes along High Street.
  • Replacing the sewer pipe along High Street, between Cashel and Manchester streets, and round into Lichfield Street.

We consulted on the changes to High Street in 2019. Councillors approved a design for construction in the area between Cashel Street and Tuam Street. 

Find out more