Plans for superstar chef Jamie Oliver's first New Zealand restaurant have been scuppered.

The pukka tukka celebrity cook was to have opened in one of Wellington's landmarks on Lambton Quay - the famous old Public Trust building.

But it was reported today that plans for the Italian eatery had been nixed.

"Jamie has decided not to open a restaurant ... They won't give me a reason ... they are just walking away from the lease," building owner Maurice Clark told Fairfax.


The restaurant was to have opened last year but the date was pushed back.

The old Public Trust building is one of the capital city's architectural centrepieces and the restaurant was to have opened on the renovated structure's ground floor, with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage above.

The website for Oliver's New Zealand venture hasn't been updated, with the popular British chef still saying on it: "I can't wait to open our first restaurant in New Zealand. We've been looking for the perfect site for a long time now and I really feel that we've found it in Wellington.

"Jamie's Italian is the perfect place to bring the family and get stuck in to some fantastic food and right now we're looking for amazing suppliers, something I'm sure we're not going to be short of in New Zealand!"

Oliver has also been linked with Auckland, with the Herald understanding he settled on Queen's Rise in the ex-BNZ building at 125 Queen St, opposite the end of Shortland St, in the CBD to open his new restaurant.