Civic Centre upgrade project

Civic building and chambers

Project summary

We sought community feedback on two options - a partial or full upgrade - as part of the Long Term Plan 2021 - 2031. With 55% of respondents submitting their preference for the full upgrade, in June 2021 Council approved proceeding with the full upgrade of the Civic Centre.

Due to escalating costs across our infrastructure projects, we've had to rethink the timing of this upgrade project to ensure what we plan to do remains affordable for the community.


In planning and designing the upgrade we’ve considered the changing needs of Council and our community. While the full seismic strengthening work are carried out, we wanted to take the opportunity to refurbish the interior and add a fourth floor and new Council Chambers extension, so it meets modern compliance standards, enhances the community interface and accessibility of our services, and can better accommodate our team and the functions they deliver to the community. The building hasn’t had any major work done in over 50 years.

What has changed

We consulted with you about this project in our 2021-2031 Long Term Plan and it was well supported but given the increased costs to deliver the H2O Xtream upgrade, we are will defer the wider upgrade of the Civic Centre and just do essential seismic strengthening and related works in the short term. This will relieve mounting budget pressure and help balance the impact on rates.  

What we're doing now

We'll do the essential seismic strengthening works now, along with the other minor works required to keep the building compliant with building standards until the full upgrade can be done in the future. We have $5m allocated in this coming year's budget for these works, with the full upgrade project funding of $29m deferred to years 2027 - 2029.

From 15 August, the Civic Centre will be closed for seismic strengthening and all Council customer services will be based at the newly-refurbished HAPAI building located at 879-881 Fergusson Drive.

Services at the HAPAI building include:

  • Payment for things like rates and dog registration
  • Parking fines
  • Regulatory things like health licenses and building consents
  • Self-service kiosks to view property records and rates information

Council and committee meetings will be held in the Rotary Lounge at the Upper Hutt Library. You can view the meeting schedule at on our Council Meetings page.

All other Council staff will be working remotely until the strengthening work is complete. We expect the work to take about eight months.

Deferred full upgrade: Design overview 

This flyover video and the photo gallery below provides a glimpse of what the full upgrade may look like when the project is completed in 2027 - 2029.