Minutes of the Newtown Residents’ Association meeting 16th March 2020
Present: Rhona Carson (Chair), Steve Cosgrove (Minutes), Leonie Walker, Jane Patterson, Jill Ford, Alison Borbelly, Keith Powell, Tom Law, Don McDonald, Warwick Taylor, Peter Frater, Effie Rankin, Faye Tohbyn, Lyn Morris, Sam Somers, Eileen Brown, Neville Carson, Kevin Lethbridge, Graeme Carroll, Merio Marsters, Marion Leighton.
Apologies: Paul Eagle, Dom Shaheen, Steve Dunn, Martin Hanley, Anna Kemble Welch, Jan Gould + Marion Leighton(for lateness)
Noted that Paul apologised because MPs have been advised to stay away from community meetings due to Covid-19 risks..
Rhona welcomed everyone to the meeting.
- Rhona thanked all the marshalls and other volunteers for helping. The meeting made an enthusiastic vote of thanks and appreciation to the organisers for another very successful Festival.
- Sadly there was one violent event later in the evening; this seemed to be the result of a personal conflict between two visitors to Newtown. The Police and Community Patrol were involved.
- Don asked what the noise policy is, as he worries about how loud the Festival is. Tom Law outlined the Council policy.
Wellington City Council Consultations
- Consultation opened today and will run till April 14th. WCC had a traveling road show on the subject in Newtown Mall this morning. It wasn’t widely advertised and no one at the meeting knew it was going to be there, or attended.
- Rhona noted that the policy is very high-level at this stage. We recommend that people look at the material on the website. The questions on the web site are quite general so Newtown-specific concerns would need to be added in narrative form.
- Some general issues were discussed.We will consider different things we can agree on, such as further communication with WCC to develop a Newtown-specific plan, and sensible Residents’ Parking areas and fees.
Planning for Growth
- The WCC Consultation Team were to have a Newtown Festival stall but cancelled because they were not quite ready to go.
- Next consultation meeting is on 26 March at Prefab – Jane and Rhona interested in going. No one had any further comment: Rhona suggested reading the web page and keeping up-to-date with progress on the development of a proposed spatial plan for the city.
- District Plan Review – this is beginning at the end of this year or early next.
- Warrick is concerned that water metres are coming back into discussion. This has resulted in some suggesting we ‘need’ water metres to pay for replacement of aged infrastructure.
- A number of views were expressed regarding the pros and cons of water metering.
- Eileen Brown is working for the Council of Trade Unions developing plans and consolidating ideas for “managing the risk and flattening the curve”.
- The current situation was outlined, along with common narratives being used to describe the situation and management options. Eileen described then distributed some information.
- Marion Leighton (Consultant Physician at Wellington Hospital) arrived during this discussion, having been at a hospital meeting on the same topic. She outlined the hospital’s plans for managing an influx of seriously ill patients and also answered questions.
- Most important thing is to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, cough and sneeze into your elbow or tissues, don’t touch your face, avoid physical contact with others and self-isolate at the first sign of any symptoms.
- We are in this for the long-term, so make sure you have a reasonable plan.
Emergency Management Discussion
- Neville Carson outlined his background in Civil Defence (previous name for Emergency Management, and introduced “Wellington Conversations” – facilitated conversations on various topics which have been running in Newtown and elsewhere for several months.
- Neville is organising a meeting to discuss Emergency Management issues on 31 March, 7:30 to 9:30, at Newtown Hall, using a model based on Wellington Conversations.
Circus Performers – Steve informed the meeting that on Wednesday evening (18th Mcaarch) in Carrara Park circus performers will be performing with LED Hula hoops.
Meeting ended at 8:58