Hastings Civic Square redevelopment

Civic Square is being redeveloped into a vibrant hub in the heart of Hastings. 

A place where our people will gather to engage with our arts, to embrace our culture and to celebrate our proud heritage. 

The redeveloped Civic Square will symbolise the dreams, ambitions and endeavour of our people and the lives they have, and are, creating. 


Civic Square is the largest open space within the Hastings city centre. Comprised of two blocks, it is flat and aligns with the city's northwest grid orientation.

Civic Square currently houses a number of assets including the Hastings War Memorial Library, Hastings City Art Gallery, Heretaunga Women's Centre, the Memorial Cenotaph, Rotary water fountain, wishing well, Guilin Sister City Tree, car park and a playground.

Public feedback from earlier discussions around urban issues affecting Hastings affirmed that Civic Square is a valued public asset in need of reinvigoration and better integration into the Hastings city centre.

Areas of intervention include but are not limited to:

  • Focus on activating space through people and activities that tell our stories and showcase our social history
  • New landscaping, performance platform, playground
  • Bus terminus reconfiguration
  • Cenotaph integration
  • Café
  • Integration of the Art Gallery and Library
  • Enhanced internal spaces

The Hastings Urban Issues project was initiated in August 2009 in order to generate new approaches to urbanism that more closely reflected the shifting priorities and challenges associated with achieving more sustainable urban growth. Read the Hastings Urban Issues Design Framework (PDF 15 MB) 


The redevelopment of Civic Square is included in the council's 10-year 2012/22 Long-term Plan 

The project is scoped at a total cost of $8.5m, with Council’s contribution capped at $7m, with other sources required to fund the balance which will be raised through revenue generation and fundraising processes. 

The project is staged over a period of five years. 

Design competition and concept design

In 2011/12 Hastings District Council ran a design competition to uncover conceptual ideas to address the challenges to unlocking the opportunities of the site.

This competition was endorsed by both the New Zealand Institute of Architects and New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects The competition attracted 159 registrations of interest, which in turn resulted in 32 formal submissions.

Design submissions were evaluated by an independent panel, shortlisted into the top three plus six designs of merit. These designs were subsequently consulted upon as part of the draft 2012/22 Long Term Plan

The submission from the architectural consortium “Austin Pedlow” Architects, consisting of Mitchell Stout Architects and Professor Mike Austin was considered by independent design panel, and subsequently the community, as the design that should form the basis of what the redeveloped site should be. 

Read the Design Competition Brief

Concept Plan - Austin Pedlow Architects

Read Austin Pedlow Architects Design statement (PDF 27 KB) and view their designs. 

Or download the 3-D concept design (PDF 10MB)

Or download the Birdseye view (PDF 7MB)

Project governance

A project governance structure in the form of a Project Governance Group has been established to oversee the delivery of the Civic Square Redevelopment Project.

The Project Governance Group consists of four councillors and two mana whenua representatives and is chaired by Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers

The Project Governance Group is supported by the Project Control Group. 

Redevelopment process

The redevelopment of Civic Square is based around three interrelated workstreams:

Civic Square Redevelopment process diagram

Workstream 1

i. Design Process – 2013/2014
ii. Physical Construction - 2015+

Transitioning the concept design to a set of approved, consented and permitted design plans that can be subsequently constructed.

The focus over the next 12 months is to take the concept design for the redevelopment of Civic Square that was consulted, and subsequently adopted on as part of the 2012/22 Long Term Plan, and transform it into a set of detailed design plans that showcases a redeveloped site and enhanced facilities. 

An accomplished design team headed by award winning architecture practice Mitchell Stout Architects, Professor Mike Austin and Bloomfield, Bark and Smith Landscape Architects have been engaged to fulfil this detailed design process. 

Workstream 2

i. Fundraising - 2013/2014
ii. Community Engagement – 2013/2014

To raise funds necessary for capital investment and to build community support for the project via active and effective communication, marketing and community involvement.

This will occur in parallel with the design process, we will develop and implement a fundraising strategy, as well as an operational and programme plan for the enriched facility and site. 

Workstream 3

i. Operational Planning – 2013/2014

To provide iconic spaces and enriching experiences that showcases our stories
This will occur in parallel with the design process, we will develop and implement a fundraising strategy, as well as an operational and programme plan for the enriched facility and site. 

Want to find out more?

Please contact Hastings District Council's Strategic Projects Manager, Raoul Oosterkamp on his phone (06) 871 5000 or his email raoulo@hdc.govt.nz