The Newtown Residents’ Association met on July 20th 2015.
You can see the meeting minutes here. These were two of the main of the issues discussed:
Efforts to consult with contractors doing potentially disruptive street works.
In mid July Jeanie McCafferty, NRA Vice President and local retailer, became aware that work was about to start on upgrading the trolley wires in Constable St. There had been no prior consultation, and the work was going to be very disruptive to traffic flows and parking. Jeanie managed to arrange an emergency meeting with the contractors, other retailers, and WCC representatives, and agreement was reached on doing the work in the least disruptive way, including no Saturday work. There is more to be done on establishing policies to make sure that in future there will always be consultation with affected parties before work starts.
Submission on Private Plan Change 79
A developer has applied to change the zoning of a property at 42a Riddiford Street from Inner Residential to Suburban Centre. 42a is a back section, and a zoning change would allow it to be amalgamated with properties at 40 and 42 Riddiford St for a combined commercial development. The neighbours in the Residential zone, particularly in Nikau St, are very concerned about how this will affect them. The meeting agreed to oppose this change. You can see the NRA Submission here.
The NRA Cycling project group – set up at the NRA meeting last October – has made a comprehensive submission on the Wellington City Council Draft Cycling Network, as it applies to our area.
The Newtown Residents’ Association is very pleased that the Draft Cycling Framework recognises Newtown Berhampore and Mount Cook as a key cycling corridor from the outer suburbs. A safe cycling corridor has the ability to transform our part of the city.
On May 19th 2015 Claire Pettigrew, Rhona Carson and Jeanie McCafferty met with Mayor Celia Wade Brown with Jenny Rains from WCC and local ward councillors Paul Eagle and David Lee in attendance. We wanted to introduce our new President Claire to the Mayor and to raise a number of issues of concern to Newtown residents.
These included our desire to see improved communication with council over future consultations, work plans and other issues that may affect us in Newtown so we can better plan the Association’s work load, improve consultation in the community and ensure our volunteers are not overwhelmed with work at the last minute. We discussed being involved in the regular ward meeting with Councillors and the Mayor and also extended an invitation to the Mayor to attend a Residents Association meeting or otherwise engage with the NRA Executive to enhance communication.
We raised our ongoing concern at the poor outcomes from the contracting out of street cleaning and that there continues to be problems with rubbish collecting, weed clearing and the effectiveness of storm water drains.
We pointed out that Newtown has not had a “spruce up” in a long time. The traffic lights and light poles needed some paint and the pavements need a water blast to clean off generations of gunk and spray painted marks. We heard that there is a regular schedule of Asset Management programmes, and we are awaiting information on the Asset Management plan for Newtown. The Mayor volunteered that she would be happy to see this attended to, and in particular it would be good to have Newtown looking its best before the next Newtown Festival.
Lastly we discussed a follow up to the John St Protocols. Contractors working in Newtown recently were keen to follow the protocols after they were brought to their attention. We heard from Mayor Celia that the Protocols were tabled at a Council meeting and were ‘folded into’ the Significance and Engagement Policy Paper November 2014 (available from the Council website). It was agreed in our meeting that the council will investigate how more detailed aspects of the John St Protocols can be added to this document and included at the the procurement stage of contracts.
This was a well-attended meeting, with a number of people attending especially to hear from the Salvation Army about their plans for redevelopment.
Ian McLaren, TSA Property Secretary and Guy Cleverley, Architect, talked about the plans and answered questions, with input from Mark Ashby, Planning Consultant. You will find a full account in the meeting minutes. It was emphasised that the plans are at a preliminary stage, with many details still to be worked through.
Following the discussion a motion was put to the meeting: That the NRA supports the concept in principle, subject to consultation going forwards and to neighbours’ concerns. Proposed Tom Law, seconded Evelyn Hopkins. This was countered by a proposal from the floor – That we do not support it until we have received all the documentation. A vote was taken for and against supporting the concept, with a majority in favour of support but a sizeable minority dissenting. We look forward to continuing consultation as the plans develop.
Keep Newtown Clean
This will be the subject of a separate post. In brief, the NRA has been asked to bring the Keep Newtown Clean project under the Association’s umbrella, and following discussion agreed to do this. The plan is to move from a monthly clean-up to events four times a year. We will be looking for a volunteer co-ordinator – or group of co-ordinators.
WCC Gambling Venues Policy Review
Submissions on this policy are due on Friday 22nd May. George Darroch from the Problem Gambling Foundation spoke to the meeting about the work of the Foundation and about their observations of the harm gambling is doing to local families. Following discussion the meeting agreed unanimously that the NRA
- Supports a ‘sinking lid’ for gaming machines
- Supports the money from gaming trusts coming back to the community where the gaming machines are located,
- Advocates for a gaming machine-free southern ward.
Following the meeting these resolutions formed the basis for the NRA submission to the WCC on the gambling venues policy.
The next NRA meeting will be on June 15th, 7.30pm – as usual, at the Newtown Community Hall in Daniell St.
The NRA President and Secretary – Claire Pettigrew and Rhona Carson – made an oral submission to the Council on 5th May 2015, to back up the written submission the Association put in earlier.
The Newtown Residents’ Association Subscription
The NRA rules are that this is to be reviewed in February of each year, with the decision to take effect from July, when our financial year starts. The current subscription is ‘a gold coin’ – the rationale for it being so low is to minimise any barriers to people being financial members. There were views for and against continuing on this basis – a significant sum for a subscription could increase the NRA funds – but the resolution was to keep it at ‘a gold coin’ for now.
All WCC consultation has been postponed. Kate Swartz will take over convening the NRA Cycleway Subgroup.
Community Response Plan.
Carrara Park Mural
Local Artists Sara and Andrew Tamati-Wright were involved over many years with the painting, renewal and upkeep of a ‘street art’ mural on a wall in Carrara Park. A series of misunderstandings led to it being painted out not once but twice. There have been continuing negotiations with Wellington City Council about allowing Sara and Andrew and their team to reinstate it. The discussions are making progress, but the progress is slow because the current policy about public murals has to be adapted somewhat. The meeting agreed that the Residents’ Association supports the proposal for repainting the mural.
Submissions to Wellington City Council
The Wellington Reorganisation Proposal (aka the ‘Super City’ proposal) – due on 2/3/15. Agreed that it was impossible for us to have a consensus view about this at short notice – but we did want the NRA to be kept in the loop for future consultation, so Claire Pettigrew would write a ‘placeholder’ submission, circulate it to the executive and submit it if approved. This has now been submitted.
Land Transport Plan – due 20/2/15. Kate Swartz to write, circulate and submit on behalf of the NRA.
Bio-diversity Strategy and Action Plan – due 6/3/15. Similarly, Cheryl Robilliard will write this submission.
Social Housing Service Policy Review – due 27/2/15. Decided to make this a focus of the next NRA meeting – see the WCC discussion paper and consultation document here.
Number 18 bus – circulated a notice about protests against stopping this well-patronised bus service that links University campuses.
Plans for the Salvation Army Redevelopment.
Martin Hanley reported on the Salvation Army’s willingness to consult on the plans they are developing for a new building on the block bordering Riddiford St, Normanby St and Donald McLean St – not including the TAB building on the corner of Riddiford and Donald McLean Sts. The intention is to create a ‘one stop shop’ with the Church and all the other services in the one place.
Newtown Festival Update
There has been a previous post about the Festival. Plans are well underway for the Fair Day on Sunday March 8th, and in particular we would like people to be aware of and support the new, free, Street Sports zone in South Riddford St, made possible by a grant from Infinity and the practical support of the Wellington City Council and of Chevron, who are allowing us to use the old Caltex site.
Next NRA Meeting – 16th March 2015, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, Daniell St.
We talked about the Berhampore Jeypore Street Playground at the October NRA meeting, and again last night at the November meeting. The Draft WCC Suburban Reserves Management Plan proposes decommissioning this playground and instead constructing a new playground in Wakefield Park. Berhampore residents are submitting in favour of keeping the current playground, and the NRA meeting last night voted to support this cause.
Here is a message from Berhampore resident Wilhemina van der Aa “The Wellington City Council is planning to decommission the Jeypore Street playground. It is a highly utilised and treasured community asset providing a safe, fully fenced and sheltered area for children to play. It is located in a quiet area, where many people do not have backyards. The Jeypore Street playground is used regularly by local neighbourhood children, children in the wider community, and children from Berhampore School. We are strongly opposed to the Council’s plan to decommission this playground because it is a living and breathing example of a community hub in action.
Please sign this petition to show your support to keep the Jeypore Street playground. You can sign my petition by clicking here. Thanks!
Also..we have decided to have a street party!!! 29 NOV so keep this date free, there will be music, games for children, prizes, etc – time and more details to follow!”
We met at the Community Hall in Daniell Street at 7.30pm on 20th October. As well as discussing the items on the Agenda we heard an update on the Newtown Festival, information about the WCC fixit app, and other business that is worth reading about.
3 small groups were established to follow up on some of the main issues. Please contact us on email@example.com if you would like your voice heard on these topics.
- Cycleways. Tom Law is convening this group. One of the issues they will be considering is how to consult effectively with local residents and businesses.
- Parking Issues. There is considerable interest in how to free up more parking for locals. WCC is already aware of the concerns. We would really like to hear from you about your experiences and ideas about how parking affects you and what to do about it.
- Wellington City Council Long Term Plan. The Council staff are asking for ideas on what needs to be included in the plan. We are inviting a Council officer to discuss this with us at the November meeting, and if you would like to see any issues addressed or have an idea to improve Newtown, please let us know so that we can pass it on.
Cheryl Robilliard is preparing a submission on the Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan and would like to hear from anyone with ideas to contribute to this. You can contact Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Draft Suburban Reserves Plan includes the intention to decommission one of the Berhampore suburban reserves, the playground in Jeypore Street, and the residents are unhappy about this.
There is to be a protest meeting at the playground at 10am on Saturday 1st November, and Newtown residents are invited to support our Berhampore neighbours.
Don McKay would like people to join him on Labour Day, Monday 27th, to ‘bomb’ the vacant section on the corner of Newtown Ave and Daniell Street with flower seeds. See the Facebook page or contact Don at email@example.com
Wellington City Council cycleway planning.
Shorland Park to Wakefield Park: Island Bay.
Submissions closed on 6th October 2014, and the WCC website reports “We’ve received over 500 submissions and will be carefully reviewing these. The Transport and Urban Development Committee will meet on 3 December 2014 to consider the submissions and next steps. The Committee will decide whether the scheme is to proceed and if so, what elements will be included.”
The NRA made a submission approving of the idea of cycleways but objecting to the current plans. You can read it here.
Wakefield Park to John Street: Berhampore and Newtown.
The Wellington City Council website reports on the planning process to date. Aecom has been engaged to do some further study and analysis. They are looking at how cycleways, parking and the bus system work together as a totality. At the August NRA meeting we heard the planned timeline leading to extensive community consultation in early 2015, and the Council are still working towards this.
Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014
This summer Red Design Architects were commissioned by Wellington City Council to convene a team of architecture and landscape post graduates and students to investigate options for the Cycleway project from Dee Street to John Street, through Berhampore and Newtown to Mount Cook.
The drawings and Newtown Safe Cycleway Design Report hosted here are a summary of the cycleway research and community design work undertaken by Red Design Architects’ Urban Activation Lab team* during the summer of 2013 – 2014.
Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014 Route Network Drawings – Edition 3.9
The Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014 PDF records a masterplanned network. The i page accompanying each route map summarises key details, explaining the content. The current latest copy of the book of the Cycleway Network Route Maps, which includes an outline of the safety configurations proposed, and the precedents researched can be downloaded here.
Right click on Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014 Route Network Drawings-3.9 and select “Open in a New Tab” This download file from Red Design’s Urban Activation Lab is 46MB because of the zoom in mapping it contains. After opening in a New Tab it displays best if you select download and open in Adobe Reader / Acrobat. For clarity when viewing the route maps the background and contours become more readable if you turn off “Enhance thin lines” which is a tick box found in the Adobe Preferences – Page Display options. Click here for step by step instructions.
Based on community ideas these Cycleway Network drawings were prepared over the several months using a living document protocol. Well resolved accurate drawings were prepared and used with the designers explaining the content and facilitating meaningful consultation of options with groups of cyclists, residents and retailers.
The drawings used for discussions with locals, cyclists, and schools were then modified, re-drawn accurately embodying local refinements and suggestions. Some detailed options were retired.
The resolved scheme content arrived at is the result of an evolving community blueprint, a framework still flexible and potentially open to the inclusion of future ideas based on fine grain community knowledge and experience. The Urban Activation Lab have paused work on this for the time being but after you have had a look at the detailed mappings do feel free to email them suggestions if you have something you’d like to comment on.
The team has worked hard to fit the Newtown Cycleway into the streets and parklands it connects and would welcome additional local input before it presents this work to the WCC convened Citizens’ Cycleway Advisory Panel.
Feel free to email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Urban Activation Lab
Urban Activation Lab Cycleway team summer 2013- 2014 Red Design* would like to acknowledge the efforts of the team of undergraduate and post-graduate architecture and landscape students from Victoria University of Wellington, coordinated by project manager Sean O’Brien, who contributed to our Newtown Safe Cycleway project. Their dedicated work ethic and professionalism have greatly benefitted the Newtown Safe Cycleway.
The Urban Activation Lab is the community project, urban design and public and social policy group of award winning Newtown-based firm Red Design Architects. Headed by Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch, the team works nationally and internationally.
The group has been actively involved in projects relating to public consultation, public events, mainstreet revitalisation, transportation, parks, public art and sculpture, school amenities, ecology, community gardens, urban pathways, community resilience, disability support and healthcare, heritage and conservation since 1979.
Martin Hanley is the Newtown Residents’ Association President and the Newtown Festival Director
Anna Kemble Welch was for many years an Executive member of the Newtown. Residents’ Association and is the Newtown Festival Site Architect
James Coyle is a Vice President of the Newtown Residents’ Association and the Newtown Festival Programme Coordinator.
For further information on this project please contact:
Anna Kemble Welch FNZIA
Red Design: Architects
PO Box 7316
+64 4 389 7316
Viewing Tip 1: How to Change Adobe Page Display
When viewing the Cycleway Route Map drawings on your screen using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat you might find you need to re-set the Page display.
Depending on your Adobe settings the contours, streets and building outlines can sometimes display overly dark, as an overpowering background.
The Cycleway drawings become more readable if you turn off “Enhance thin lines”
[Click here for a PDF download of these Viewing Tip Instructions ]
- Under the Edit drop down menu select: Preferences
- In Categories select: Page Display
- Un check the tick box for: Enhance thin lines
- Click on: OK
Viewing Tip 2: Easy Zoom in
The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is undertaking a review of Wellington buses. The proposals have implications for Newtown and Berhampore residents.
This link will take you to information about the planned changes to the bus service. http://www.gw.govt.nz/ptplan
The current proposals include the following changes:
- Replace the Newtown Park Zoo bus (10) with the Houghton Bay (23)
- Change the route of the Southgate (22) so that it travels along Russell Terrace – Riddford St – Constable St.
- During the off-peak the frequency will be increased from hourly to every 30 minutes. However, passengers travelling to and from the city on the Houghton Bay and Southgate services will need to transfer to another bus at the “Newtown hub” located outside Wellington Hospital.
- There will be 3 direct services to and from the Railway Station to Houghton Bay and Southgate at peak times.
- There will no longer be a link from Houghton Bay and Southgate across town to the university.
Houghton Valley and Southgate residents have been involved with the Wellington Bus Review over the past two years. Christine Fowler, President of the Houghton Valley Progressive Association and Linda Cameron have attending meetings and have recently prepared a submission, with support from Newtown, Southgate and Mt Cook residents.
Linda attended the public hearing on the submission at the GRWC and councillors indicated that the details have still not been pinned down including the direct services at peak times and shelter and other facilities at the hub outside the hospital. There is still an opportunity for the community representatives to continue discussion with council officers.
Click on Bus Submission May 2014 – Houghton Valley, Melrose, Southgate to download the Houghton Valley Progressive Association submission [which our Association contributed support and suggestions to]. This outlines the issues they have raised, that are still being worked through.
Our Association is working towards developing a fine grain crafted fit of the Public Transport Spine options through Newtown.
Generation Zero have been promoting a coordinated approach to Wellington’s transport involving Safe Cycleways, Car Share and congestion free Public Transport. The same things our Association is already underway establishing.
For our November meeting Generation Zero are our feature guest speakers – presenting their ideas for the city and sharing expertise on ways the Public Transport Spine might successfully include Newtown and link to the airport.
Young people are moving beyond the car. They want good choice about how to get around.
There are smarter, cheaper and better ways to solve our traffic problems.
Safe Cycleways, Car Share and congestion free Public Transport.
Smart low-carbon cities designed for people, rather than just cars, are what we need to tackle climate change and to attract young talent and keep our economy humming.
But Wellington’s current transport plan is outdated and expensive – a massive motorway expansion costing more than $2.5 billion and putting at risk the very things that make Wellington special and cool.