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New-look Mt Victoria lookout to be officially open

NEWS RELEASE
19 November 2007

New-look Mt Victoria lookout to be officially opened

The new Mt Victoria lookout is to be officially opened by Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast at an early morning celebration on Wednesday (21 November).

The short ceremony will begin at 7.30am with a karakia, or blessing, by Wellington Tenths Trust kaumatua Sam and June Jackson.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says since the major construction work was completed a couple of months ago many people have already enjoyed the views from the new lookout platform.

As well as the new lookout, the summit area has a new pedestrian area adjacent to the summit car park and Byrd Memorial, improved lighting and a series of information panels. These cover aspects of Maori and European history of the area, Maori legends relating to the summit and harbour, as well as information on wind speeds, harbour reclamations, earthquake faultlines and the Town Belt.

A new pou, or carved post, has been installed on the ridge as part of the city’s Maori Heritage Trail, Te Ara o Nga Tupuna (the path of our ancestors).

Mayor Prendergast says Mt Victoria lookout has always been one of the city’s most popular spots but used to fall well short of a top-class visitor destination.

“The improvements – which have been designed in consultation with the Tenths Trust and a range of other groups including tour operators, the Friends of the Town Belt and resident and recreational groups with an interest in the area – mean it is now an area we can all be proud of.”

Council staff planted 4000 hardy native plants on the summit in late September, thanks in part to generous contributions from the trusts of Wellingtonians whose legacies are continuing to beautify the city. The Guardian Trust, which administers The Henderson Conservation Trust and The Mr and Mrs George Denton Trust, provided a grant of $36,500 towards the cost of landscaping the summit area – $21,500 from the Denton Trust and $15,000 from the Henderson Trust.

As part of the upgrade, toilets have been installed at the intersection of Lookout and Alexandra Roads. These needed to be accessible – not just to the people who visit the summit but those who walk and cycle in the area. A pedestrian link between the toilets and Byrd Memorial is planned in the next year or two, subject to funding, along with improvements to the car park and bus pull-in area adjacent to the toilets.

ENDS

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