There are growing concerns about the safety of Wellington's CBD following a fatal assault in the Te Papa carpark.
Police have launched a homicide investigation after 58-year-old Simon Strickland was found seriously injured outside the national museum about 7.15pm on Saturday, February 13.
He was taken to Wellington Hospital where his life support was turned off on Wednesday.
A 28-year-old has been charged in relation to his death.
He is due to appear in the Wellington District Court on Monday charged with wounding with intent to injure.
Police are yet to decide whether further charges will be laid.
Hoff Hospitality group owner Matt McLaughlin has been campaigning for a safety crackdown in the CBD down for years, and says it was only a matter of time before a tragedy occurred.
'We picked this some time ago that someone would die and now they have, but it could have been avoided."
He said for those who have been operating in the city for decades, the change in culture and safety is staggering.
"Wellington needs a heck of a lot of work," he said.
"It's still a safe place to go to but there are elements and areas that are really dodgy as we've seen, and who would have thought Te Papa carpark would be the scene of a homicide."
McLaughlin said there was a negative edge to the city these days with "everyone watching their backs".
"There's a huge gang presence, we're seeing patched gang members walking up and down the street all the time. I've seen fights between gangs in Te Aro Park at 10 o'clock in the morning."
Pointing to those who are most vulnerable, he fears the streets are no longer safe for the homeless.
"Two or three years ago we would be able to name every homeless or street person by name, yet we don't see any of them any more and I'm wondering where they are and worry about what drove them away."
Wellington Police said they have been aware for some time that some areas of Wellington CBD, particularly Courtenay Place, are overrepresented for disorder and assault, much occurring during weekend hours and fuelled by excess alcohol.
Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee said they dedicated "significant resources" to policing the area, particularly over the weekends when there were more people in the CBD.
He pointed to operation Mahi Ngatahi launched in November, designed to ensure that those spending time in Wellington's CBD are safe and feel safe at all times of day.
"Police want people to stay safe while enjoying themselves in town and ask that they watch out for themselves and one another," he said.
The front of the Wellington Opera House and Te Aro Park will be lit up this evening with the Inner Wilds projection show, an initiative led by StoryBox in an attempt to temporarily transform the problem area into a family-friendly space.
Founder and Creative Director at Storybox Rob Appierdo said they realised changing the culture around the park long term will take time.
"Inner Wilds will not solve the problems surrounding Te Aro Park but it will hopefully start a much-needed conversation about the future of this wonderful part of Wellington which has so much potential.
"If we can start this conversation now, my hope is that the Te Aro Park area can become a vibrant landmark Wellington can be outwardly proud of."