Wellington Basin Reserve | The Master Plan
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The Master Plan

The future plan for the Basin

In 2014, the Basin Reserve Trust led the development of a Masterplan.

This plan presented a 25-year vision for the future of the Basin Reserve. Its key features are to:

  • maintain the premiere test status of the Basin Reserve
  • make improvements to the ground as a recreation space for the community.

To achieve this, we must:

  • protect the reputation of the Basin Reserve and promote its value to the city and local community
  • strengthen its “village green” feel for the local community and cricket users
  • raise its status as a recreation reserve
  • celebrate its historic connection with cricket
  • maintain its status as the premier test cricket venue in New Zealand
  • keep it as the home of the Wellington Firebirds and Blaze cricket teams
  • continue working with Westpac Stadium to host all international cricket events in Wellington
  • open it up more to the people of Wellington and increase community activity within it
  • make it more outward-facing and improve connections with the surrounding areas
  • build flexibility into the Masterplan to accommodate future decisions on the roading solution for State Highway 1 and development of urban precincts to the north and south

The Basin Reserve Masterplan was endorsed by the Council in April 2015 as a blueprint for redeveloping the ground.  Below is a summary of the works currently underway.  For a full understanding of the ongoing design process, please visit the Wellington Council’s website dedicated to the redevelopment here.

The cottage before it's renovation.
The groundsmens's cottage after it's renovation

The Groundsman’s Cottage

Built in the 1880s, the Groundsman’s Cottage is the oldest structure on the Basin Reserve site. Over the years, the building has been moved to different locations around the ground, with a number of changes made to the outside and inside of the building. In recent times, it was used to house the ground keepers and their equipment.

By 2013, the cottage was in a bad condition and presented a serious health and safety risk to ground keeping staff. As part of the Masterplan, the Council agreed to refurbish the cottage while also creating ground keeping facilities that were fit-for-purpose. This included:

  • preserving the outside and completely refurbishing the inside of the cottage
  • building a machinery shed for equipment storage, including a chemical/fuel store with suitable ventilation and dry materials storage.
  • fitting the cottage out as a staff office/room/meeting space with amenities (kitchenette, lockers, shower and toilet) and a deck area
  • creating a wash-down areas for all machinery and for spray equipment cleaning.

In October 2015, the Les Armstrong Ground Keepers Cottage was opened by Mayor Celia-Wade Brown.

The Museum Stand

Built in 1924, the Museum Stand is registered as a Category 2 historic place as part of the Basin Reserve historic area. Originally used as the members stand and player changing area, following the upgrade of the Basin Reserve in the 1970s the Museum Stand was used to give more public seating and toilet facilities.

We’ve identified the Museum Stand at the Basin Reserve as earthquake-prone with a significant health and safety risk to users from a catastrophic collapse in a seismic event. As a result, the Museum Stand seating area was closed to the public in 2012.

The Masterplan notes the following:

  • To keep the Museum Stand, an investment of about $5-8 million would be needed to strengthen the building and deal with maintenance issues. If strengthened, its future use would have to be considered. This could include room for spectators, sports club offices, the Cricket Museum or similar users.
  • Removing the Museum Stand would give a footprint of about 1100m2 for community recreation purposes such as a green space, playground and/or paved outdoor sports court.

We’ve studied the structure to better understand the earthquake-prone issues and other structural and deferred maintenance issues. We’re currently completing more assessment work to use in the decision-making process.


The decision on whether or not to repair or remove the Museum Stand sits with the Council and will be considered early in 2017.

The RA Vance Stand

Built in the late 1970s, the RA Vance Stand was a key project in a major makeover of the Basin Reserve, which included constructing the embankment areas, turning the field into an oval, and moving the cricket block to its current position.

The RA Vance Stand and Players Pavilion houses spectator, player and umpire facilities (changing rooms, practice facilities and viewing areas), media facilities and corporate hosting spaces, all of which are needed for the Basin Reserve to keep its status as a compliant test cricket venue by International Cricket Council ICC) standards.

The Council has started a project to address significant maintenance issues in the RA Vance Stand. This work is critical to keeping the Basin Reserve as a world-class test cricket venue. We expect to complete this work in November 2016.

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