City of Nelson Civic Trust

The City of Nelson Civic Trust supports the development of cultural, artistic and social amenities in the city, and the preservation of historic landmarks.

Over the last 40 years, an exciting and diverse array of projects has been funded with donations totalling $800,000 made by the City of Nelson Civic Trust. More recent initiatives are additions to floodlighting of the Nelson Cathedral tower, in the Queen's Gardens and of Fifeshire Rock; stained glass windows in the Nelson Provincial Museum and the Cathedral; an art sculpture and performance venue in the 1903 square, and interpretative panels in a number of locations of historical importance.  Long-established amenities include the Trevor Horne Heritage Trail, the South Street Historic precinct project and the development of the Foster property at Monaco as a public reserve. See a full list of Civic Trust projects.

The trust is an independent non-profit organisation. It 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 (406KB PDF) 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.

Recent Trust Projects


  • Family Tree kinetic sculpture by Phil Price
  • The Wood-Nelson Italian community heritage panel (with NCC)
  • Betsy Eyre (first female Nelson City Councillor) heritage panel (with NCC)

Unveiling of Family Tree kinetic sculpture, by Phil Price, on the banks of the Maitai River by Rutherford Park.


  • Brook Waimarama Sanctuary interpretation panels
  • Trafalgar Square Lamp Post
  • Bridge Street Pocket Park
  • Further funding for a kinetic sculpture


  • Interpretation panel at the Trust’s Foster Reserve at Monaco
  • Funding for digitising of Nelson Provincial Museum’s plate glass negatives
  • Further funding towards a new library at the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts (formerly Nelson School of Music)
  • Funding towards the upgrade of the Bridge St pocket park
  • Further funding for the Washington Valley taonga post

Fifeshire Rock lighting Nelson Mail photo


  • Multi-coloured lighting of Fifeshire Rock
  • Funding towards a new library at the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts (formerly Nelson School of Music)
  • Lead funder for the Washington Valley taonga post
  • Supply of ground matting for empty section in Bridge Street where food carts are sited  (pocket park)      
  • Funding for new security system at Natureland
  • Initial funding for new kinetic sculpture
  • Final donation to the Theatre Royal

See a full list of Civic Trust projects.