Top of the page Skip to main content
Auckland Council Logo The Auckland City Centre Master Plan Logo
Tō tātou pokapū tāone me ngā uara āhua

Our city centre heritage and character values

How we value our historic heritage 

Our historic heritage must be valued as an opportunity and encompass all layers of significance, including:

  • Māori ancestral sites
  • archaeology
  • architecture
  • landscapes
  • cultural heritage
  • geology
  • ecology.

Heritage value also comes from places and spaces that reflect arrivals from other countries and Auckland's present-day cultural diversity. This reflects the manaaki extended by mana whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau to other cultures.

Iconic buildings 

Many of our heritage places are bold and clearly visible, being landmarks in the city and serving as reminders of how our city has developed over time.

These places are a source of pride for Aucklanders and many are our major tourist destinations.

Some include:

  • Auckland Town Hall
  • Civic Theatre
  • Ferry Building
  • West Plaza
  • Custom House
  • former Chief Post Office
  • Railway buildings
  • Auckland Art Gallery
  • Auckland Museum.


We have dramatically changed our original foreshore over time through quarrying and reclamation. These changes have underpinned the development of rail lines, motorways and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Maritime and industrial heritage can be found in the Britomart and Wynyard Quarters.

Unseen heritage places 

Our other heritage places and stories are less prominent, though their stories continue to shape our urban environment.

Wai Ariki, or chiefly waters, a fresh water spring that was essential to life at two pa and their surrounding gardens, still bubbles through the ruins of an old factory.

Our city centre kerbstones come from the volcanic landscape Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland is built on. In some areas, they are the oldest remnant of our early urban environment. They are throughout our city centre, unseen under our feet.

We will continue to recognise, understand and celebrate these unseen places so they too can become a source of pride for all Aucklanders.

Commercial areas 

Historic arcades, laneways, department stores, boutique retail areas such as Vulcan Lane, and bustling streets such as Karangahape Road provide a range of shopping experiences.

Commercial areas, such as Waihorotiu / Queen Street, Fort Street, High Street, Lorne Street and Drake Street provide a range of commercial uses, including boutique office spaces.

Parks and open spaces 

Our treasured green spaces include the historic landscapes of Albert Park, Myers Park, Symonds Street Cemetery and Victoria Park, as well as smaller spaces such as Emily place.

Our historic open spaces include Freyberg Square and St Patrick's Square.

Related information