Newtown Residents Association


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

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

Truby King Park – review of reserve management plan

Wellington City is reviewing reserve management plans for several reserves around the city, including Truby King Park.   Prior to revising the management plan WCC has asked  our Association for feedback on four specific questions (by 12 July):

  1. What is it about Truby King Park that makes it important to the community now?
  2. What is working well and why?
  3. What would you like to see improved and why?
  4. And how would you prioritise these improvements and why?

A city park adjoining the Town Belt since the late 1980’s Truby King House and Gardens in Melrose are Newtown’s a quirky hilltop look-out. With great views over Newtown, Evans Bay Kilbirnie and Lyall Bay this enclave is well worth a visit from the connecting Town Belt, or up the driveway at 21 Manchester Terrace.

Truby King Arch

Originally home for Sir Truby and Lady Isabella King this heritage-listed estate was the heart of the Plunket Society they founded. Established in the 1920s the garden setting the King’s planted were a utopian vision for home, work and maternity care.

The public gardens meander past the historic ex-Karitane Baby Foods Factory (which has become apartments) to connect with the (now privately owned) former 1925 Karitane Maternity Hospital and its 1960’s nurses home just outside the park.

As well as their life’s work improving the welfare of mothers and babies the King’s, particularly Truby, had a mad passion for constructing zany landscape features and walkways. The “Thunderbirds are go” style Nurses home, Truby’s and Isabella’s mausoleum and the ex-hospital’s derelict cliff top tennis court vie for the title of weirdest structures in, or  nearby, the public reserve.

But don’t take our word for it, come explore the semi restored house and gardens, and sneak a peek at the accompanying privately owned remnants of the Plunket empire.

We are keen to your hear ideas  for how WCC might showcase and curate this picturesque, eccentric, rambling slice of nationally significant history.

Comments and suggestions  emailed  to (with TRUBY in the subject line) will be included in our Association’s Truby King Reserve DRAFT Submission

Filed under: Consultation

Our Capital Spaces – Consultation

Wellington City Council has recently consulted on “Our Capital Spaces”, which is the draft plan for managing the city’s open spaces over the next 10 years.   It covers parks, playgrounds, sportsfields tracks and other outdoor facilities.

It attempts to balance four stated goals.  These are:

  • Getting everyone active and healthy;
  • Protecting our birds, nature, streams and landscapes;
  • Contributing to Wellington’s outstanding quality of life; and
  • Doing it together.

You can download the plan and a shorter summary document from here

Read the NRA Submission on Our Capital Spaces June 2013

Filed under: Consultation, News

Local Alcohol Policy Submission

Wellington City Council is developing an Alcohol Management Strategy for the city. Input has been sought through meetings with community groups, the hospitality industry and via a series of community workshops.

Members participated in the WCC community workshop at St Annes Hall in March. As an organisation we have discussed the issues widely at many of our monthly meetings, and we advocated strongly over many years for our streets and parks becoming a Liquor Free Zone.

Key aspects of the Association’s latest submission to WCC were agreed at the April meeting.

Thanks to Peter Cooke, Tom Law and Bernard O’Shaughnessy for all their work collating the submission. You can read it here: ALCOHOL PLANNING POLICY- Newtown Submission_April13

And you can read the Mount Cook Mobilised submission here:   MCM_Alcohol_submission_Apr2013_FINAL

Filed under: Consultation, News

Lessons from John St Works – draft paper for feedback

By far the most important issue dealt with by the Association over the past year has been the impact of the major works around the John St / Riddiford St / Adelaide Road intersection on the Newtown business community, and in particular the retailers in the immediate area.

The Association’s draft paper draws some lessons from the John Street upgrade experience and makes recommendations to Wellington City Council that could help the council to more effectively manage the relationships with affected communities when undertaking similar large and ongoing public upgrade projects.

We accept the need for WCC to undertake such major works in the broader interest of the City.  However we believe that more attention could usefully be given to understanding, managing and mitigating the negative impacts that may arise for the neighbourhoods where these large scale works take place.

The main points in the paper were endorsed at the April members meeting.

A big thanks to the hard working volunteers who contributed to this, particularly Jeanie McCafferty.

Constructive and pro-actively attempting to make Wellington a better place: Newtown Works Draft Paper

Filed under: Consultation, News

Alcohol Management Strategy Community Workshop St Annes Hall 21 March

As part of its process for developing an Alcohol Management Strategy, Wellington City Council is holding a Community workshop at St Annes Parish Hall Newtown on the evening of Thursday 21 March from 7:00-9:00pm.

This is your chance to get information about the process and input your views at an early stage in the process.


Filed under: Consultation, News

18 July 2011: Monthly Meeting

Monthly meeting of the Newtown Residents Association.
Tonight (18 July 2011) at 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall.
On Daniell St (Opposite Mediterranean Warehouse).

–    June meeting minutes – distributed
–    Wellington South Timebank
–    Adelaide Road
–    Capital House, Manchester St (nr Truby King House & garden)
–    Constable street Playground- update (work started)
–    Mt Victoria tunnel traffic diversion – feedback?
–    Basin reserve/Mt Vic/Haitaitai proposals NZTA Consultation
–    Newtown Festival – update
–    Election year – candidates meeting
–    Progressive Countdown site
–    Rugby League Park – Community Rugby Manager

Filed under: Consultation, Meetings

Community Patrols

Subject: Community Patrols
Received: Monday, 22 November, 2010

Good Afternoon All,

We had a good turn out to the public meeting at Evans Bay Intermediate School last Tuesday evening. We have about 35 people who have completed the initial expression of interest form to become part of a community patrol. I am in the process of sending out Police Security Check forms for these people this week.

Because of the interest in commencing a patrol in the Southern Suburbs (incl. Newtown, Mt Cook, Brooklyn, Mornington, Kingston, Vogeltown, Berhampore, Island Bay, Southgate, Owhiro Bay, and Houghton Bay) we will continue to seek expressions of interest over the next few weeks.

If you know anyone who is interested but couldn’t come to the meeting last week please ask them to make contact with me and I will inform them of the process from here.

We are looking for people to volunteer to be the eyes and ears for the community for 4 hours per month. Safety is paramount for patrols and engaging with offenders is left to Police. There are always two people working together when a patrol is working. The roster is determined by data gathered by Police about hot locations and times, in conjunction with the local knowledge of patrollers.

Community Patrols New Zealand is an independent organisation that works in partnership with Police to keep our communities safer. When these groups get up and running in your areas, they will select their own management committee who will determine the practicalities of how your patrol will operate. I will be the Police Liaison for both the Eastern and Southern Patrols.

Thank you for supporting this venture.

Newtown Community Constable

Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, News

Community Patrols

Email received regarding a Public Meeting.

Subject: Community Patrol
Received: Thursday, 14 October, 2010

Good Morning everyone,

I would like to remind all of you that there will be a public meeting to promote Community Patrols with the intention of setting them up in the Eastern Suburbs.

An information meeting that will be open to the public to inform any interested persons about the possibility of setting up a Community Patrols has been scheduled for mid November. This meeting will be held at Evans Bay Intermediate School on Tuesday the 16th of November 2010 at 7pm.

The meeting will take about one hour. It will include a presentation about how Community Patrols work and what being a volunteer for a patrol might look like. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

While the intention is to look at the Eastern Suburbs I would encourage anyone who has an interest in Community Patrols to attend. To that end I would appreciate it if you could forward this information to any party you think may be interested.

If you require any further information Marina Marriott is the contact persons.


Constable DAAJ60
Community Constable


Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, Meetings

20th Sep 2010 : Meet the Candidates for Council

The September meeting of the Newtown Residents Association is a “Meet the Candidates for Council” Evening.

Please note the change of address.

Monday 20 September 2010, at 7.30pm
at the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre
on the corner of Colombo and Rintoul Sts, Newtown

Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, Meetings, News

Wellington City Local Body Candidate Meetings

Councilor Candidates
The Newtown Residents Association will be hosting a “Meet the Candidates for Council” Evening on 

Monday 20 September 2010 
at 7.30pm 
at the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre
on the corner of Colombo and Rintoul Sts, Newtown. 

This is a meeting for candidates seeking election as Councillors

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, Meetings, News

Newtown – Safety Audit Report

Please find attached the updated and final version of the safety audit report for the Newtown area.

Final safety audit report (463kb .doc)

Filed under: Consultation, News

John Street Supermarket

As discussed at last nights Newtown Residents Association meeting, resource consent has been granted to Progressive Enterprises for the John St Supermarket complex (at the corner of John Street & Adelaide Road, Newtown). Attached here is a copy of the resource consent decision which also lists the conditions of the resource consent.

Property, Housing, Consents and Licensing.
Resource Consent : NOTICE OF DECISION (258kb .doc)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Consultation, News, Other, Works


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