Invercargill City Centre Streets Upgrade – Don and Esk

What’s happening?

Work is getting underway on the first stage of the Invercargill City Centre Streets Upgrade, starting with essential upgrades to underground waste and stormwater pipes on Dee and Don streets. The first projects agreed under the City Centre Master Plan, street upgrades on Don and Esk to connect other city projects and make public spaces more attractive, follow the underground work.

The Invercargill City Centre Streets Upgrade is creating a more attractive city centre that makes people want to visit and spend time in the heart of Southland. Streets, footpaths and public space upgrades will create connections that make sense of the city centre and invite people to stay awhile. It is a long-term plan and there’s more work to be done on the detail and future projects.

We know that construction will cause disruptions to businesses and the public while the work is underway. We’ll be working closely with retailers to share information about the project and progress and listen to their feedback.


Latest News

Website launched

To get all the details, access resources, and check out the designs for the City Streets Upgrade, visit

You can sign up for our email newsletters there too!

Work starts on City Streets Upgrade this August

The final touches are going on the City Streets Upgrade, and the project team has confirmed the work programme.

Read the full story here.

Umbrella on the Move!

The Don Street Umbrella – Our People – Time and Place will be carefully uplifted from Don Street next week.
Read the full story here.

The artwork by local sculptor and former Southland Museum Director Russell Beck was installed on the summer solstice in 2000. The bricks feature the surnames of all those living in the city at the time. The umbrella itself is a sundial, while its canopy features the stars which are visible in our night sky.

When planning for the streets upgrade work, Council staff agreed a more suitable position, which will be within the City’s parks, would be found for the sculpture.

City Streets Upgrade contractor Downer will be lifting the bricks on Tuesday next week, while a large truck would be brought in during the early hours of the morning to remove the umbrella.

This will be undertaken outside of business hours to avoid disruption to retailers and the public.

Design work continuing

ICC, Isthmus, and Downer staff have been working hard on the final design for the Upgrade, with this expected to come back to Council in late July.

What can we expect?


Esk Street becomes the social heart of the city where there’s always something happening.

It is playful and playable, with seating that faces the sun and looks over a built play “trail” of obstacles, gardens and design features for climbing and enjoying. The street will host big and small events, with a range of configurations to suit what’s on.



Don Street is the centre of Invercargill entertainment. Courtyards and laneways will invite people to visit and stay awhile. There will be places to eat and drink, with opportunities for music, nightlife, special lighting and temporary exhibitions.

We will keep talking to everyone throughout construction – we’ll use drop-in sessions, a project hub, email updates, website information, social media and more to share news and listen to feedback.

If you’d like to receive regular updates, or have a question, email

What comes next?

Work is happening at pace so it’s ready for the opening of other city developments like ILT’s Langlands Hotel and the Invercargill Central Limited development. Final detailed design for renewal projects in Don and Esk streets is being finalised while underground work gets underway.

ICC, Isthmus, and Downer staff have been working hard on the final design for the Upgrade, with this expected to come back to Council in late July.

What about the other projects in the Master Plan?

The Master Plan is a framework to guide the creation of a city centre with heart. The projects set out in the plan will be phased over coming years and may shift with changing needs.

While work on the first projects gets underway, planning and detailed design will continue on other aspects of the plan. We’ll keep talking to the community about what’s in the plan and refining the detail over time.

Preliminary Design Report

Download the Preliminary Design Report.    

Visit Page

City Centre Master Plan

The Council has prepared a Master Plan for the city centre to bring life back to city streets and connect the new developments with existing retailers and business.

Visit Page

Guiding Principles

Six guiding principles to give focus and clarity to the Master Plan.

Visit Page