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City Centre recovery plan

News story
Friday 5 Jun 2020

Our broad approach for the city centre's recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 has three key focus areas: recovery, transformation and access and city centre operations. This is a high-level overview of initiatives that are underway – it will continue to evolve given the dynamic situation right now.  Your feedback is welcome and we have posed a few questions below to make this easy.


This is about opening up the market, getting our core customers back and driving visitation, as well as supporting impacted sectors and ensuring an environment that supports recovery. 

Customer Growth

  • Getting our customers back: We are advocating for safe border entry (starting with Australia), the return of international students and safe access for America’s Cup teams and other resources required to drive growth.
  • Attracting new customers: We are focused on attracting Aucklanders to the city centre and growing domestic tourism.  Key initiatives July-December include:
    • Domestic and local tourism: We are working with ATEED on their destination recovery plan to boost domestic tourism. We are promoting city centre weekend ‘staycation’ packages, and these will also be shared across ATEED and Tourism NZ platforms.
    • Promoting the reasons to visit the city centre: Through our channels and promotions we are showcasing our dining, nightlife, fashion, retail, events, weekend and waterfront experiences
    • Offers: we have created a new section on to profile new offers from city centre businesses - go to to find out more and submit an offer
    • Access: promotion of Public Transport, parking and other offers that support customer access
    • Restaurant Month: this is back in August to promote the city centre’s diverse dining and night time offering. This year we have extended the campaign with a new category that provides the opportunity for more businesses to participate. Get involved here.
    • Christmas: we will promote the reasons to visit and support retail, hospitality and events.
    • New Campaign:  we are working on a new campaign to bring people to the city centre and drive sales through until Christmas.  Beyond Christmas, Phase 2 of the campaign will provide a strong call to action over Autumn, as we move beyond the Summer/America’s Cup period.
Business Recovery
  • Support for impacted businesses: We will continue to advocate for impacted businesses and provide access to relevant support. This will evolve as needs change. 
  • Growth:  We will advocate to ensure that local and central government policies support economic growth and vitality in the city centre.
City Centre vibrancy & community spirit:

We are focused on supporting a vibrant and interesting place to attract people to spend time in the city centre. As well as facilitating and promoting events as they start to come back, we are working on a number of initiatives including the following July-December:

  • Winter Lighting Initiative (July to September): lighting a number of trees with striking neon to create ambience. 
  • In your words: a creative initiative rolling out in July to add character to our public space. Find out more here.
  • Matariki, Elemental & activating public spaces: in collaboration with others
  • Artweek and Late Night Art (October): City centre activation for 9 days, with Late Night Art creating a focus.
  • Christmas: we are working on activation plans.

In addition to this, we have an ongoing focus around the city centre transformation programme to ensure this works for business as well as ensuring we have a clean, well managed and safe city centre. 

Transformation and Access

This work is multi-faceted, but in summary it includes advocating to ensure:

  • Major transformation programmes consider the needs of business, including through construction and that the longer-term benefits are positive
  • New opportunities to grow and develop the city centre as a vibrant destination are explored
  • Access to the city centre improves - with a strong focus on people and meeting the needs of business.  This will require innovation and collaboration.

City centre operations

A well-managed and safe city centre is an important foundation and our work includes:

  •  Our safety programmes including Storewatch and Citywatch
  •  Our Street Guardians programme, which provides a positive alternative to begging
  •  Liaison with Auckland Council/Transport on operational matters like cleaning, waste and maintenance.


Your feedback is welcome. Please click through to our short three-question survey here.

People walking in the O'Connell Street shared space in Auckland's city centre, with a Nikau palm and Mojo coffee sign in the background. Image: Sacha Stejko.
People walking in O'Connell Street in Auckland's city centre. Image: Sacha Stejko.