Minutes of the February 2020 meeting

Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting 

17th February 2020 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St

Present: Rhona Carson (Chair), Carol Comber, Sam Somers, Effie Rankin, Stephen Pritchard, Don McDonald, Jude Bleach, Joyce Gibson, Kevin Lethbridge, Peter Frater, Cr Fleur Fitzsimons, Warwick Taylor, Graeme Carroll, Jan gould, Alison Borbely, Jane Patterson, Cr Laurie Foon.

Apologies: Steve Cosgrove, Mark Johnston, Jared Corston, Martin Hanley, Anna Kemble Welch

In Memoriam: Nick Jennings. Warwick reported news that Nick died in Palmerston North in December. He spoke to Nick’s contribution to Newtown and to the Association as long term member and past President. The meeting honoured Nick’s passing with a minute’s silence.

Subscriptions – the Association rules require subscriptions to be set in February to come into force when the new financial year starts in July.

Motion – This meeting agrees that the Newtown Residents’ Association subscription for 2020 / 2021 will remain at a gold coin. Supporters are encouraged to make a donation in addition to this if they wish.

Proposed Rhona Carson, seconded Sam Somers. Carried.

Newtown Festival

Rhona outlined plans for the Newtown Festival on March 8th.

Request for volunteers – outlined roles for Festival Marshals and other helpers. 

Great Newtown Garage Sale – 2 weeks after the Festival, on Saturday 21st March.

Parking Policy Consultation.

The next round of consultation will open in March. Fleur commented that the big issue will be Residents’ parking – how much, where, conditions -eg how many permits per household, possible restrictions on permits when properties have off-street parking available, etc.

Comment from the floor that parking is affected in streets where EV Charging Stations have been established – some debate about the pros and cons of having these stations on the street and whether it is appropriate for WCC to spend money on this trial.

Planning for Growth

Again, consultation on the draft spatial plan will start in March. The Planning for Growth team plans to have a stand at Newtown Festival.

Current and Planned works around Newtown

  • The remodelling of the toilets by Newtown Library and the conversion of part of the building into a new Tool Library is underway.
  • Mein St from Riddiford St to Daniell St is to be resurfaced. The work will be done at night from Sunday 22nd March and is expected to take 3 nights. Neighbours are being notified.
  • The planned upgrade of the Newtown Community Centre has been delayed and is now expected to start in August.  Budget constraints mean that the plans for upgrading Newtown Hall have had to be cancelled.

Neighbours’ Day Grant

WCC has granted the Association $400 to put towards a Neighbours’ Day event. However we haven’t yet made plans for this. By the time plans can be made it will be a bit late in the year for an evening outdoor event such as the ones we had at Newtown Park in past years. Brainstorming suggestions – contributing to further community dinners, such as the two at Newtown School in 2019; perhaps a Matariki event; etc. We need to collaborate with the Newtown Collective of community organisations again to progress these thoughts.

Future Consultations 

Fleur and Laurie reported that the WCC Annual Plan discussions have begun in Council and public consultation will be coming up.

Greater Wellington Regional Council will be working on a 30 year plan. Suggestion to ask Daran Ponter to a future meeting to discuss this.

Other Business

Graeme asked Fleur about any update on the Earthquake Insurance taskforce.  Looking for creative ideas for funding upgrades.

Warwick protested about WCC selling the Eco House, after leaving it empty for a long period while housing is urgently needed. A discussion about the history of this property. 

Seeds for Feeds – local dinner at the old caltex station (Festival of Praise) on March 22nd, Bookings by Koha.

Effie talked about the need to recognise that Samuel Parnell (of 8 hr day fame) was part of Newtown’s history. Fleur was very interested in this and proposed following up with Effie.

The Meeting concluded at 9.00pm.

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