Frank Kitts Park

Frank Kitts Play Area is one of Wellingtons most famous playgrounds. Originally called ‘Marine Park’, it was re-named after former Wellington mayor, Sir Francis Kitts in 1979 after his passing. This park has been a staple of Wellingtons waterfront charm for decades, many local Wellingtonians will have memories of either themselves or their family at Frank Kitts. Its location, as well as the adjacent Frank Kitts Park’s grass space meant many people have been through, locals, and tourists alike. The park’s popularity had even won it the ‘Best Public Project’ in the New Zealand Landscape Guild Awards in 1992.

Due to a few coinciding incidents where younger children fell off the slide, this park had been a topic of discussion for the council on whether to revamp or remove the park entirely. This was no debate though as the motion to upgrade the park moved unanimously with the full support of Wellingtons citizens behind it. The work went underway towards the end of 2021 and re-opened Early March 2023. The revamped park held a lot of its older key features but downscaled to be safer, with more oceanic themes. This decision was made to be cost-effective while also not taking away from what made the park so popular to begin with. The park now has a brand-new lighthouse with a safer slide attachment included to maintain the original slides look. It also has new shaded and non-shaded seating areas, swings, an interactive waka, soft rubber grounds and more caging reinforcements.

The park itself is just the beginning of a larger plan to remodel the entire Frank Kitts Park area. The Wellington Council has also been discussing the possibility of taking out the sheds to allow more park space by the waterfront for Kiwi’s and tourists to enjoy the sea views comfortably. A couple other plans Council have been discussing are aimed to represent New Zealand’s various cultures including a ‘Garden of Beneficence’ designed with the help of the Wellington Chinese Garden Society, as well as a ‘Fale Malae’ building in place of the now closed underground carpark, designed with Pasifika influence. This building will have public bathrooms, multi-purpose spaces and a café with the Garden of Beneficence coming off of it.    

These projects both past, current, and future are significant as it provides green spaces in the city that Kiwis can easily access and enjoy; Francis Kitts started as a playground and will continue to develop to fit the needs and wants of our future generations. This treasured park has always been at or near Wellington history and has remained dear to locals’ hearts, we can’t wait to see what happens to the park in years to come! 


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