Trafalgar Centre Reopening


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Contractor: Gibbons Construction
Project Manager: Opus
Budget: $12.9 million
Status: Complete
Time frame: 8 months

April 2017

Work on the building is now complete and this achievement was celebrated with a Family Fun Day on Saturday 8 April. The festivities included a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Mayor Rachel Reese.  The centre is now ready to once a again host a range of events. You can read the details of the work that was carried out below, including the fascinating time lapse footage. 


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March 2017

The Trafalgar Centre has reopened and is once again ready to host a range of events. Apart from some minor finishing touches, work is now complete on this massive strengthening and upgrade project.

Strengthening work on the main stadium was complete in April 2016 and this section of the Centre was reopened to allow the Nelson Giants to return there for the basketball season.  The completion of the stunning new space at the northern end will now provide an even more versatile and attractive space for a wide range of events.

The Trafalgar Centre is the largest indoor multi-purpose events centre in the Nelson / Tasman Region, capable of seating 2500 people. Mayor Rachel Reese says “It is wonderful to have the Trafalgar Centre fully open once more. We have a stronger, safer venue and that has been brought up to date and is significantly more functional and appealing for events of all sizes.

“I want to thank everyone who has worked on this project for putting in an amazing effort to get us to the finish line. Nelson now has a venue that will serve us well for generations to come.”

August 2016

The Trafalgar Centre will be partially reopened again next month to accommodate two exciting events. The Silver Ferns game and the Snaparock concert are both coming in September. 

While construction is still in progress in the main stadium, particularly at the northern end, it will be reopened temporarily to accommodate these events. Much like the Giants games earlier in the year, there will still be some restrictions in place in parts of the site for health and safety reasons.

In other progress, the new corridor on the western side of the centre, which will provide a link right through from the northern extension to the backstage area, has been framed and is being roofed.

For the northern extension, the steel framing is now in place and the roof has been done so it is really taking shape. 

Great progress is being made with the landscaping work in Rutherford Park, which will complement the redeveloped Trafalgar Centre. Several parts of the footpaths that will create links within the area have been done and most of the concrete for the plaza area outside the entrance through the northern extension has been poured.

June 2016

With the Nelson Giants’ games done for the season, all of the Trafalgar Centre and the surrounding Rutherford Park is a construction site once again.

In the main stadium, the floor is being prepared to be sanded and recoated at the end of the month. This involves punching all the nails to get them below sanding level. Sections of the ceiling in the main stadium are being reinstated and so are the facilities on the first floor of the Southern end.

The floor has gone in on the western corridor and on the Northern building, half the floor has been poured and the structural steel needed is currently being manufactured.

Outside the Centre, work is going well in Rutherford Park. The access roads, carparks, and the plaza area are all in progress and landscaping has already started with some trees and other plants now in the large carpark.  Thanks to the students from Auckland Point School who pitched in to help with the planting recently.

May 2016

Work has been carrying on within the main stadium and southern extension, with some of the toilets now reinstated for patrons.  

2009 160427 aeral view without lift

The image  (above) supplied by Irving Smith Architect gives an indication of how the Northern building will look once it is completed later this year.

Outside the Centre, as part of the complementary Rutherford Park development project, the small southern carpark opposite the Squash Courts is under construction. Most of the old Northern carpark has been removed and the next stage is to finish that and remove what was previously the entry road alongside the Maitai Walkway.  

All the work on the improved stormwater has now been finished and the new streetlights are in place.   

April 2016

A major milestone was achieved as the Trafalgar Centre partially reopened to accommodate the Nelson Giants basketball games in the main stadium. Between games, work continues to complete the main stadium and the northern end development. Council has also allocated more funding for additional features at the Centre and for a replacement roof.  Read more about it here. 

March 2016

Work is carrying on at a great pace with everything on track for a partial reopening to accommodate the Nelson Giants basketball game in the main stadium. Get the latest update as at 11 March 2016 here.

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February 2016

trafalgar centre Deep Soil Mixing 7


Preparing the Trafalgar Centre to withstand earthquakes has seen Council contractors Gibbons Construction, and project managers Opus, using innovative solutions in ground stabilisation and building construction. Read more here

January 2016

Trafalgar Centre upgrade 4s


Upgrade work on the Main Building includes

  • Connecting the sprinkler system to the water mains.
  • Steel plates, laminated timber arches and frames are being installed
  • Roof bracing is being assembled ready to be lifted into the roof space.
  • Steel reinforcing and boxing for the additional foundation footings is being installed.
  • Lighting design is being finalised.  The high bay lights will be replaced by LED, and additional flood lights needed for live television will be installed.

Ground improvements along Saltwater Creek are expected to be completed by 22 January.

The concept design for the new northern building has been finalised. The detailed design including consultation with specific stakeholders is almost complete. The aim is to have the final detailed design completed by the end of January with work starting in February 2016.


The contractor is working to ensure that the main part of the building will be ready for use in time for the Giant’s first game at the beginning of April. Other work including work on the new northern upgrade will be continuing.

The resurfacing of the main hall is scheduled to occur in June.

The completion of the northern building, landscaping and other works is targeted for August 2016.

December 2015

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Click here to read the latest update in Live Nelson (page 2)

Physical work began in September 2015. The first stage of work was to remove internal cladding and doors and undertake ground improvement and compliance work.  

 The demolition of the northern building was completed in early November.

Council released the Arup Report Summary Geoseismic Site Assessment, Concept and Detailed Design report.


The Trafalgar Centre is the largest indoor multi-purpose events centre in the Nelson / Tasman Region, capable of seating 2500 people. Built in the early 1970s as a sports stadium, the Centre also hosts major cultural and entertainment events, trade shows and exhibitions.

In 2005 Council commissioned a redesign of the Trafalgar Centre to meet the changing needs of the community. The proposed work was broken into stages, with the redevelopment of the southern end and main hall completed in 2009, and the west changing rooms in 2011. Work to complete the extensive redevelopment of the northern end was budgeted for in the 2012 long term plan. However, the centre was closed in December 2013 when engineering reports identified it as an earthquake prone building that could pose a risk to public safety.

In 2014, after thorough investigation into and debate about the options, including the possibility of building a replacement facility, Council resolved that strengthening work be undertaken to facilitate re-opening the Centre by February 2016. As the original redevelopment plan is no longer financially viable, it was proposed that the strengthening project could also address the functionality of the main entrance and northern end. 

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