Civic Trust history and projects


The City of Nelson Civic Trust was formed in 1973 as a result of citizens’ concerns about the demolition of the historic Nelson Provincial Council buildings in 1969. The Trust Deed created an independent entity that could attract donations to build up a fund to protect heritage buildings and promote projects to contribute to the enhancement of Nelson City and the enjoyment of its people. In the ensuing years, the enthusiasm and energy of a rotating number of Trustees, including several former Mayors, established a firm financial base which enabled support for a range of valuable civic assets.

Significant projects


  • Interpretation panel at the Trust’s Foster Reserve at Monaco
  • Funding for digitising of the Museum’s plate glass negatives
  • Further funding towards the new studio at the Nelson School of Music
  • Ongoing funding for upgrade of empty section in Bridge St where food carts are sited
  • Further funding for the Washington Valley Taonga Post


  • Multicoloured lighting of Fifeshire Rock
  • Funding towards the new studio at the Nelson School of Music
  • Lead funder for the Washington Valley Taonga Post
  • Supply of ground matting for empty section in Bridge St where food carts are sited         
  • Funding for new security system at Nature land
  • Initial funding for new Kinetic Sculpture
  • Final donation to the Theatre Royal


  • Funding of heritage street lighting in Nile Street
  • Supply fitness machines on the banks of the Maitai above Collingwood Street
  • Supply and install drinking fountain outside the Museum in Trafalgar Street
  • Supply of trees and shrubs for empty section in Bridge St where food carts are sited
  • Ongoing donation to the Theatre Royal
  • Final funding of lighting for Trafalgar Park Foot Bridge
  • Support funding to Museum for World War 1 commemoration


  • On-going donation to Nelson Theatre Royal
  • Meet You At The Steps – support for the book about the history of the Church Steps
  • Drinking Fountain - installed at the top of Trafalgar Street
  • Museum – support for the WW100 commemorative exhibition
  • Pocket Park – Trees, shrubs and hopefully more to come on the empty section in Bridge Street where Streat Kitchen and other food carts are sited
  • Light Nelson –  support for the “Talking Trees” part of this hugely popular event in July
  • Footbridge Lighting –LED lighting installed on the footbridge between Trafalgar Park and the Maitai Walkway


  • Contribution to barbeque for community use at Victory Square
  • Financing digitisation of Nelson Mail 1900-1918
  • Contribution to publication costs fora centennial history of Nelson's church steps
  • Storyboard for South Street historic precinct
  • Support for Light Nelson festival
  • City flag for Nelson Pipe Band
  • Ongoing donation to Nelson Theatre Royal


broadgreen viewing panels

  • Storyboard panel Nelson Boathouse
  • Waharoa at Anzac Park
  • Sponsorship of Royal box - Theatre Royal renovations
  • Storyboard panel Nelson School of Music
  • Glass viewing panels - Broadgreen Historic House
  • CBD litter cart - Kahurangi Employment Trust



  • Storyboard panel Alton Street Heritage precinctA sign describing the art influences on the Normanby Bridge.
  • Nelson Boulder Bank Heritage study
  • Directional signs, Founders Park
  • Commemorative seat for Daisy Hales, Queen's Gardens


  • Assistance with the Youth Barbeque area, Tahunanui Beach Reserve


A sign describing the art influences on the Normanby Bridge.


  • Upgrade of outdoors performance venue at 1903 Square
  • Interpretation panel at Normanby Bridge, Bridge Street (photo, right)


  • External illumination of Fairfield House
  • Plaque and planting for Quaker’s Acre
  • Nelson Astronomy Society for the redevelopment of the Atkinson Observatory



A stone sculpture on brick pavers.


  • Sculpture by Bruce Mitchell, entitled Victory, to mark the Trafalgar 200 commemorations. The sculpture is sited on 1903 Square (photo, left)
  • Elliott Street Interpretive Panel




  • Two stained glass windows at the Cathedral for Trafalgar 200
  • Stained glass window at the new Nelson Provincial Museum

People gather at a long black plaque to read the enscription. 2003

  • Memorial plaque and seat for Fosters Reserve
  • Early Settlers Memorial Wall – Wakefield Quay Promenade as the Trust’s 30th Anniversary project



Nelson Cathedral Tower at night.


  • Cathedral Tower lighting
  • Queens Gardens lighting
  • Civic flag to be flown from the Cathedral tower
  • Relocation of historic letterbox to South Street


  • Road surfacing in Founders Park
  • Peace Group Mural
  • St Johns in the City organ restoration
  • Street furniture and plaque as part of the South Street upgrade


  • Nelson School of Music to replace auditorium doors
  • Nelson Regional Guide Book – Art in its own place
  • Council to assist in establishing Poster Towers in the City
  • “Street flower basket” project


  • Flood lighting the exterior of the Bishop Suter Art Gallery in partnership with Sealord Group to mark the Gallery ’s centenary
  • Broadgreen Society for climate control equipment for new ancillary building
  • Nelson Region Hospice Trust – lazyboy chair


  • Brochure for the Trevor Horne Heritage Trail and bronze discs
  • Two interpretive plaques on Church Hill
  • Queens Gardens lighting
  • Design and construction at 8 Nile Street of four apartments and three commercial units - South Street heritage project
  • Nelson Modellers’ Club extensions


  • Stoke Community and Whanau Group towards a mural project on the Stoke Basketball Stadium
  • South Street property purchase
  • Drinking fountain on Bridge Street / Trafalgar Street corner


  • City Flag for Information Centre
  • Friends of Nelson Library for microfilming the Nelson Evening Mail
  • Bishop Suter Art Gallery for three flag poles and flags
  • Lord Nelson bust


  • Gazebo at Miyazu Park
  • Plaque outside Berrymans in Hardy Street


  • Christ Church Cathedral Organ Restoration Appeal


  • Plaque for seat at the top of Abraham Heights
  • Trevor Horne Memorial Grove


  • Saltwater Creek Bridge
  • Drinking fountain in front of St Barnabas Church, Stoke


  • Maitai Walkway extension


  • Wakefield Quay parking and garden enhancement


  • Foster Reserve, Monaco


  • Maitai Walkway Stage 1
  • City Flag concept and development


  • Nelson Provincial Museum – Photographic Tripod
  • Nelson Municipal Band
  • Bishop Suter Art Gallery


  • Inaugural Meeting of the Trust