Nelson City Council wants to hear from the community on whether motor vehicles should be prohibited (with some exemptions) from Upper Trafalgar Street 365 days per year.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says today’s Council meeting agreed to consult with the public on the proposal to turn the area into a permanent pedestrian mall, closing it to all motor vehicles but emergency and service vehicles.

For the past two years, the area between Selwyn Place and Hardy Street has been open to pedestrians only during the busy summer months. Planter boxes replaced parked cars, and outdoor dining spaces were extended, celebrating Nelson’s wonderful character and amenity.

“The feedback from the public during those summer closures has been very positive, so we’re asking the community whether they support the area becoming motor vehicle-free on a permanent basis,” Mayor Reese says.

Upper Trafalgar Street is traditionally a place for shopping, events, hospitality and business.  Its character and location, next to the 1903 Square and beside the Nelson Cathedral, adds to its attraction as a pedestrian mall. The area was a finalist in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards in 2018.
Council's vision is for Nelson to be The Smart Little City - attractive to business, residents and visitors with an exceptional mix of events, civic facilities and retail.

"The feedback suggests the Upper Trafalgar Street proposal sits well with this vision, and the community's hopes, for our central city. 

“I am really looking forward to hearing the results of the consultation on this. Moving to a permanent pedestrian mall in the heart of our city could be a key move for Nelson, so we encourage people to let us know what they think,” Mayor Reese says.

If approved, the closure to vehicles would start on October 18, 2019, to coincide with the Nelson Arts Festival.
Submissions are invited from Monday 24 June until 4 pm on 24 July, and can be made:

  • Online at
  • By post to Upper Trafalgar Street, PO Box 645, Nelson 7010
  • By dropping off to Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

A copy of the Statement of Proposal and submission form can be found online from Monday 24 June at, or in hard copy at the Customer Service Centre and libraries.

Any person who wishes to speak to the Council in support of their submission will be given the opportunity to do so at hearings on August 6, 2019.