Newtown Residents Association


Latest community news and updates from Newtown Residents Association, Wellington NZ.

Report on the NRA Meeting 16th February 2015

Notes …

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.

Cycleway Update

All WCC consultation has been postponed.  Kate Swartz will take over convening the NRA Cycleway Subgroup.

Community Response Plan.

We had a successful meeting in December, and an earlier post reported on this.   The organisers have written a draft plan and are now working on an Executive summary.

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.


Filed under: Consultation, Meetings

Jeypore Street Playground Petition – and Party Invitation for Saturday Nov 29th

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!”


Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, News

Report on the Residents’ Association October Meeting

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.

You can read the Minutes of the meeting here.

Action points!

3 small groups were established to follow up on some of the main issues.  Please contact us on if you would like your voice heard on these topics.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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


Filed under: Consultation, Meetings, News

Cycleway updates

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.


Filed under: Consultation, News

Newtown Community Emergency Response Plan (CRP)

The first session of the Community Response Plan process has been held at the Newtown Community Centre. The Community Response Plan is being led by the Newtown Residents’ Association and the Newtown Community Centre in conduction with the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office. The first session was attended by over 50 business owners, organisation representatives and community leaders. This was an introductory session that looked at Newtown’s strengths and vulnerabilities. The next session will focus on the details of what role different organisations will play in an emergency.  We will keep you posted – or contact Claire at if you would like to know more.

Filed under: Consultation, News, Works

Newtown Cycleway Update:

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


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

Wellington 6242


+64 4 389 7316

Filed under: Consultation, News

Newtown Cycleway: Better screen display of the drawings

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”

Snapshot frm A_reader 1_Page_1Follow these simple steps

[Click here for a PDF download of these Viewing Tip Instructions ]

  1. Under the Edit drop down menu select: Preferences Snapshot frm A_reader 1_Page_2
  2. In Categories select: Page Display
  3. Un check the tick box for: Enhance thin linesSnapshot frm A_reader 1_Page_3
  4. Click on: OK

Viewing Tip 2: Easy Zoom in

Using the Magnify Glass ToolSnapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_1

Snapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_2

Snapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_3And snap back to full Page ViewSnapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_4


Snapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_5Enjoy your viewing

Filed under: Consultation, News

Wellington Bus Review

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.

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.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Transport Spine Part 4: – Team work with Generation Zero

Our Association is working towards developing a fine grain crafted fit of the Public Transport Spine options through Newtown.


Newtown Tram Stop by Jonie Molloy 2012

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.

Part 3: Transport Spine Study – a continuing story

Part 2: Casting the devil out of the detail – public Transport Spine Study 

Part 1: Early heads-up  Wellington Transport Spine Study – implications for Newtown

Filed under: Consultation, News

Board of Enquiry on the basin bridge aka “the flyover”.

The Board of Inquiry is currently hearing evidence from submitters.  For those interested in following thos one there is a page on the Environmental Protection Agency website where regular updates are posted.   Check it out here.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Transport Spine Study – a continuing story

During September the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities hald a seminar on the Spine study.  This included some interesting challenges to the options evaluation that had previously been published.  You can check out the powerpoints presetned at the seminar here.  While the official study came down clearly in favour of bus rapid transit over rapid rail, it is clear that the debate is still very much a live one.

Filed under: Consultation, News

WCC Engagement Policy

Over the course of the year several NRA contributed to Wellington City Council’s review of its enegagement policy,, The resulting new policy was adopted during September.  You can check it our here.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Cityhop Parking Resolution Open for Feedback

Earlier stories have outlined the proposal for a reserved parking space for a trial Cityhop car share scheme in the Wilson St carpark.  The parking resolution is one of a number that are currently open for feedback via the WWC website until Friday 9 August.  Check out the proposed resolution.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Wellington Transport Spine Study – Implications for Newtown


The Regional Council has just published the results of the study, and at this point its bad news for central Newtown.  The  transport spine needs to integrate with the destinations it serves, our many submissions over the years as to how this might be achieved in Newtown have been overlooked.


This is a component of the larger Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan (2008).  It was commissioned jointly by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.  The sharp edged issue the study was grappling with was that continuing to rely on conventional buses for public transport from the south and east of the city was simply going to turn the central city into a permanent traffic-jam.  The study looked at 3 options for modes of public transport, whittled down from an originally larger range.     The options costed out by the study were:

  • Bus Priority – Essentially the current bus and bus lane system on steroids;
  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – Dedicated bus lanes for new bigger buses;
  • Light Rail Transit (LRT) – Lanes and tracks for new light rail vehicles.

Recommended Option

The study reports that Bus Priority would be ineffective, and the Light Rail would be unaffordable, leaving the Bus Rapid Transit as the “live” option.   At a headline level this all appears to make sense, but inevitably there will be some significant impacts on neighbourhoods along the proposed route……

Impact on Newtown

The Newtown section of the prefered BRT solution presented in the report would involve;

  • Two bus only lanes down the centre of Riddiford St from the John St intersection to Mein St.  This is identified as requiring 2m widening of the road for the short section north of the main hospital entrance, and the loss of parking;
  • One bus only lane down the centre of Riddiford St from Mein St to Constable St.   The planning assessment commissioned as part of the study notes:  There will also be the loss of some street planting and hard landscaping with the removal of parking. Overall these options will produce a significant change within the Newtown Town Centre particularly with the reconfiguration of the road and the loss of parking.” 

Riddiford BRT

  • Yes the BRT bus does drive as if on the wrong side of the road, but its not clear how zig – zagging around the median strip works……. (maybe the median strip is moveable am to pm)
  • This option effectively ends in Newtown, and (unlike the Bus Priority one) does not involve any road layout changes on the route up Constable St on to Kilbirnie, and simply has the buses mixing it with other traffic.

Cities are for people !

The planning assessment understates it. The prefered BRT and in fact all of the Transport Spine options significantly affect central Riddiford Street – removing ALL of our street trees  and demolishing our pedestrian friendly kerb extensions and central refuge islands. Expunging our suburban centre character elements through Riddiford Street (from Mein Street to Constable Street) has overlooked the safety and traffic calming reasons for which these features were created. Traffic movement is further favoured over pedestrian safety with 50% of the kerbside parking removed – putting moving vehicles hard against the gutter leaves no room for pedestrians to stumble.

Transport Spine – Newtown options Adelaide Road to Constable Streets shows changes for the spine end here in Riddiford Street and that Constable Street fares better, with parked cars remaining as a pedestrian buffer zone to live traffic lanes.

Destroying the safety and live-abilty of central Newtown is an unnecessary 315m segment at the very end of the preferred BRT option.

All public transport users are also pedestrians.  The transport spine needs to integrate with the destinations it serves – 250 metres shorter the proposal would work just as well and Newtown would be a pedestrian friendly welcoming transport hub.

Help Newtown be Heard

At this stage we can agree with this as the preferred option identified by the study, it’s the detail of how it fits the heart of Newtown  we need to influence.

Newtown’s many submissions over the years in favour of improved public transport and as to how the transport spine might be integrated through Newtown have been overlooked.

Please go to the “have your say” website where you can register and help save Newtown’s pedestrian friendly character. Encourage your friends to do the same.

The process from here will involve formal consultation by the Regional Council over the coming months with a view to decisions being made around the end of the year.

After that timeframes are quite long – construction for the new system would not be complete until 2021-22.

We plan to arrange someone from the Regional Council to come along to explain the study to the July monthly meeting. Hopefully visiting Newtown will give them a better understanding of local pedestrian safety.

Further Information

Appendix B from which the images of the Newtown section outlined here have been extracted shows the complete city layout. For those interested in understanding even more detail there is a wealth of information on the Greater Wellington website

Filed under: Consultation, News, Works

Quick Headlines from Newtown Residents’ Assn Monthly Meeting 17 June 2013

Big interest in the cycling presentations lead by Patrick Morgan, supported by Martin Hanley and Kate Zwartz.  Look out for separate postings

  • on the work done by architecture students towards the design of an Island Bay to Te Papa cycleway, and
  • on Kate’s innovative design for a Mansfield St to the Basin cycle lane.

David Wilcock’s “Clean Up Newtown” proposal: for an active community lead zero tolerance response to tagging was received with enthusiasm.  A separate posting outlining what is proposed coming soon.

The Association is involved in ongoing discussions with the Salvation Army about their co-joint proposal for a youth training scheme in association with Black Power.  Members felt this is potentially a fantastic initiative, something the suburb could accommodate subject to suitable arrangements concerning the location and level of co-production supervision by the Salvation Army.

NRA is preparing to present the John St Protocols to the WCC meeting next week.  We also heard of Capacity giving extremely short notice to businesses affected by the closure of Tasman St for major works.

Bernard O’Shaughessey reported that the WCC Strategy and Policy Committee was scheduled to considered reports and recommendations arising from the consultation on the proposed Local Alcohol Policy later in the week.  There was some disquiet that the Southern Ward seemed to have been singled out as “a problem”.  NRA engagement on this front will continue to be led by the team  of Bernard, Tom Law and Peter Cooke.  Anyone interested in contributing email us with ALCOHOL in the subject line and we will pass you on to them.    Further consultation on the WCC’s alcohol management strategy and draft local alcohol policy is scheduled to start on 2 July 2013.  A separate fuller posting on this issue coming soon.

Current Consultations

  • Our response to WCC on the review of the Truby King Park management plan will be led by Nick Jennings.  Anyone interested in contributing email us with TRUBY in the subject line and we will pass you on to Nick.  Deadline is 12 July.
  • Our response to the WCC on “Our Open Spaces” will be lead by Kate Zwartz.  Anyone interested in contributing email us with OOS in the subject line and we will pass you on to Kate.  Deadline is 9 July.

Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, Meetings, News, Works


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