Category Archives: News

Newtown Festival wins an award!

The Festival was nominated for a Wellington Airport Regional Community Award in recognition of the work James Coyle and the rest of the recycling steering group and the volunteers put into recycling at the Street Fair this year.  50% of waste from the Fair was diverted from the landfill – and they intend to do even better next year.11902322_884490231673734_3338052949680146785_n 11892236_884490101673747_4616064985139105993_n

At the Wellington City awards last night the Newtown Residents’ Association Festival Committee was announced as the winner of the Heritage and Environment category!

The next step is the Regional Awards, bringing together the winners from Wellington, Kapiti, Hutt City, Upper Hutt and Porirua – the Regional Awards wil be announced on November 10th.

Congratulations to all involved! Continue reading Newtown Festival wins an award!

Report on the August Residents’ Association Meeting

Brief Notes from the NRA Meeting on August 17th
You can see the full minutes by following this link.

The state of Newtown Streets
Residents are unhappy about the state of our streets and think that the contractors could do a better job.  A recent audit of the amount of rubbish and disrepair listed many problems.  The Association Secretary agreed to write a letter to the WCC about the concerns.

The Newtown Festival has been nominated for a Wellington Airport Regional Community Award (Heritage and Environment Category) in recognition of the work James Coyle and the rest of the recycling steering group and the volunteers put into recycling at the Street Fair this year.  The hope is to inspire other events to increase recycling efforts.  This could include permanent recycling stations on our streets.

Celebrate Newtown: this aspect of the Newtown Festival will run through February to late March 2016. The Festival Committee are inviting people to think of events to run during this time, that can be added to the programme.  If you have proposals, please contact us.

August Meeting

Newtown Residents’ Association Monthly Meeting: 

Monday, 17th August 2015, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.  All welcome! 

Subscriptions are due now – so if you want to be a financial member, with a vote at the AGM on Monday 21st September, please bring a gold coin to the meeting.

We would like to hear about any issues you think should be discussed at the meeting – please contact us.

Wellington Community Choir Concert 29th August

Singing People Together (Portrait) (3)

Celebrating with a programme of music from the world’s cultures, Wellington Community Choir will be joined by guest choirs and local musicians at this special 10th anniversary concert. See more here.

We can almost claim the choir for Newtown – members from all over Wellington come to Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre in Hutchison Rd to practice., and at this year’s Newtown Festival the Choir were the first performance on the Main Street stage.  Follow this link to see their profile.

Report on the NRA July Meeting

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.

July Meeting

The next Residents’ Association Meeting is on Monday 20th July 2015, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.  Please contact us about any issues you would like on the agenda.

Do come and join in the discussion – all welcome!

News from Mt Cook 

Carol Comber, a member of the NRA Executive and also of Mt Cook Mobilised has given us this update of Mt Cook area concerns:
Basin Reserve – the Basin Reserve Trust, a council-run entity, was allocated $21m in the Long Term Plan to fund the Basin Reserve Master Plan.  The Master Plan provides funding for deferred maintenance, and some upgrades like the floodlighting. There are plans to make the Basin Reserve more attractive by creating a ‘village green’ feel, replacing the fences with wrought iron fences, and adding some plantings to link it to Memorial Park.  The Master Plan seems to imply that the heritage-listed  Museum Stand would be demolished. This is not a foregone conclusion, and an application for demolition would require a resource consent. Mt Cook Mobilised has written to the Basin Reserve Trust to suggest they create a Community Forum (like the Memorial Park Community Forum) to keep neighbouring suburbs (e.g. Mt Vic, Mt Cook and Newtown), neighbouring schools, and other interested parties, informed about work on the Basin.

Wellington High School Tennis Courts – Mt Cook Mobilised has been talking with Wellington High School about their tennis courts on Tasman Street.  The courts are not being used because they need repairs. Mt Cook Mobilised would like to see the courts being used, not necessarily for tennis.  Wellington High is keen on the idea of working with the community on this. Mt Cook Mobilised will be canvassing schools in the area and the local community to get some ideas on how people would like to see the courts used.

Flooding at Prince of Wales Park – Papawai Stream by Prince of Wales Park has been flooding, and parts of the stream bank are being gorged out with each flood.  Mt Cook Mobilised has met with Wellington Water and WCC to raise concerns, particularly about the roadway beside the changing sheds on lower Prince of Wales Park, where the stream bank consists of fill on one side, which is easily eaten away by floodwaters.  Wellington Water are working on a plan.

Report on the June meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association met on June 15th 2015.

See the June Minutes for a full report on the meeting. These were two of the main topics:

Housing Development

Work has begun on clearing the way for a new Special Housing Development on the site of the empty warehouses between Princess, Horner and Mansfield Streets.  Two residents from Princess Terrace told of being woken at 2am on Wednesday 10 June by a large truck manoeuvring to deliver a raised show home to an empty site.  This link to a Trademe advertisement gives an impression of the houses planned – 34 units, 3 storey with 2-3 bedrooms.

Concerns brought to the meeting were: Princess Tce is the single access road and is inadequate for the expected volumes of traffic; two businesses in the area, a glass storage business and Triptych a conservation business that restores small delicate items, are likely to be impacted by the vibrations and dust during demolition and construction; two of the roofs contain asbestos; earthworks on the bank may impact on the safety and stability of surrounding houses; and there is a risk of channelled water adding to the city’s flooding.

Residents would like to open up a communication channel with the developers.

The meeting agreed that NRA would write to the WCC to support these points.

Ryman’s Tip-top Site

This Hanson St site has been sold to Ryman Healthcare for a boutique retirement village. In the meantime it is still being vandalised with graffiti, which WCC has been cleaning off. Cr Eagle said there has been no real engagement between WCC and Ryman to date.

NRA will write to Ryman asking for more information about their plans.

Cycling Submission

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.

Read the submission here.

A Visit to the Mayor

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.

Theatre in Newtown

Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School, is presenting a double bill: two of the most groundbreaking plays from the German theatre scene are coming to Wellington.

Woyzeck
by Georg Büchner (1830s), adapted and directed by Jonathon Hendry, and

Pains of Youth
by Ferdinand Bruckner, 1929 (version by Martin Crimp), directed by Shane Bosher.

These plays will be on at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, from Saturday 13 June–Tuesday 23 June (no shows on Monday 15 June and Sunday 21 June): 

6.30pm – Woyzeck
8.30pm – Pains of Youth

Public matinees will be on 20 June: 12.30pm – Woyzeck, 2.30pm – Pains of Youth.

Book online or phone (04) 381 9250

WoyzeckPains of Youth

A startling script from writer Ferdinand Bruckner in 1929 titled Pains of Youth, and Woyzeck that was born in the hands of dramatist Georg Büchner in the 1830s. Both plays offer archetype stories from remarkably contemporary viewpoints. “These are two extraordinary writers and these plays were just centuries ahead of their time”, says Woyzeck’s director Jonathon Hendry, who has also adapted the unfinished play. Continue reading Theatre in Newtown

Gambling Venues Policy Submission

This is the text of our submission to WCC on this topic:

Submission on Wellington City Council Review of the Gambling Venues Policy 2010.  The Newtown Residents’ Association has been an Incorporated Society since July 1963.  We are residents and business owners from Newtown, Berhampore, Mt Cook and the surrounding suburbs, who take a keen interest in the community and local issues. We discussed this policy review at our monthly meeting on May 18th 2015. We wish to place on record our dismay at the harm caused to families in our community by problem gambling on ‘pokies’ – non-casino gaming machines. Continue reading Gambling Venues Policy Submission

The future plans for Keep Newtown Clean

At the NRA meeting on Monday 18th May our President, Claire Pettigrew, and Hine Sullivan, WCC grafitti officer, jointly presented a brief history of Keep Newtown Clean and a proposal for the future to change from a monthly clean up to having special events four times a year. This year these would start the first Saturday in September, again in December, the end of February for a special clean up before the Festival, and again the first Saturday in June.

Their talk was illustrated with a power point presentation, which you can link to here.  

The meeting agreed to welcome Keep Newtown Clean into the Association.  We are now looking for enthusiastic volunteers committed to keeping our suburb looking its best – do please get in touch if this sounds like you!

Notes about the May 2015 meeting

You will find the minutes of the meeting here.

This was a well-attended meeting, with a number of people attending especially to hear from the Salvation Army about their plans for redevelopment.

Salvation Army

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.

May 2015 Meeting

The next Residents’ Association Meeting is on Monday May 18th, 7.30pm,  at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St. All welcome!

The agenda includes –

The Salvation Army are coming to discuss their plans for a new development on Normanby, Riddiford and Donald MacLean Streets. Read more about the plans… They are keen to obtain feedback and answer any questions.  This is one of the biggest property developments in our suburb for many years, and the discussion should be of interest to all in Newtown.

The Gambling Venues Policy review closes at 5pm on Friday 22 May.  We will be discussing the issue, and hope to have the input of a Council Officer familiar with the topic.  We will then be looking to form a small group to work quickly to write a submission based on our discussion.  If you are interested, please come – or please let us know by emailing on newtownwellington@gmail.com

Discussion on the future of Keep Newtown Clean.

If you have other items, or questions, please email us, as above.