Notes from the April Meeting

We met on 18 April  2022,  via zoom.

These are brief notes of the main items discussed; see below for a link to the full minutes.

Local Body Elections & Proposed Meet the Candidates meetings

Nominations for Mayor, Councillors and Greater Welllington Councillors  open on 15th July and close on 12th August, so we won’t know till then how many candidates there are.  The number of nominations will impact the number of meetings required – eg if the numbers are quite low we could combine Mayor, Council and GWRC in the same meeting, but last election we needed separate meetings for each of these so everybody could have time to speak. We will plan to have meetings around the end of August, beginning of September – voting papers will be sent out from 16th September, and voting closes on 8th October.

Sam Somers introduced ‘It’s In The Ballot’.  This was trialled at the last elections and it involves meetings with candidates, broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.  Random questions are selected in the style of ‘Its In The Bag’.  Sam has got a group together to help run these meetings for the coming elections and intends to have shows for all wards and all Councils in the GWRC area.  

Update from the WCC Cycle Team about the transitional bike path from Mein St to the city

Jane Patterson outlined the history of this, then introduced the Council officers Bri Peters, Claire Pascoe and Vida Christeller who had come in on a public holiday to korero with us.

There had been a petition presented to Council to delay the start of the cycleway trial for more consultation, but at the Council meeting on 14th April the Councillors voted 10-4 against delaying the trial and 14-0 in favour of a number of other proposals. [*Note – an extract from the Council meeting minutes is copied at the end of the minutes.]  Because of this the work on creating the bike path was about to start; see the minutes for more details.

The formal consultation will start after the bike path is operational, so people can give feedback on how it works in practice.

Forthcoming consultations and requests for submissions:

WCC Economic Wellbeing Strategy

  • Submissions are due on 25 April [later postponed till 1st May].
  • Rhona Carson outlined some parts
    • The Strategy states that Cultural, Social, Economic and Environmental factors should be taken into account for well being.
    • There are six outcomes being targeted: Sustainable business and career pathways, Circular Economy, Business friendly city, Centre of Creativity and digital innovation, celebration of our capital city status, Dynamic city heart and thriving suburban centres.  These are all good aims, but the concrete actions on how these outcomes might be met are less obvious.
  • Rhona asked anyone interested to read the strategy and put forward ideas for a possible submission from the Association. 

WCC 2022-23 Annual Plan

There are two major changes from the Longterm Plan that Council wants feedback about – the future funding of Council housing and the future of the Southern Landfill.

Council Housing 

  • The Council has put forward 2 funding options – continue with Council ownership and management of the housing, or set up a Community Housing Provider (CHP) to take it over. There are 3 options for a CHP – Council sells its housing to the CHP, the CHP leases the housing and is responsible for tenancies, repairs and maintenance – this is the WCC preferred option, or the CHP leases the housing, manages tenancies and minor repairs but Council manages major maintenance.

Landfill Options

  • New landfill on the current site.
  • Build a huge incineration plant.  This requires a minimum amount of waste, which conflicts with our waste minimisation policy.
  • Close the landfill and send waste to the Hutt or Porirua.

There was support at the meeting for building a new landfill on the current site.

James noted the private landfill at Happy Valley which takes most demolition waste from the city, and the risk of pollution from this site. 

Other matters in the 2022-23 Annual Plan

There are a few other changes from the long-term plan, including  funding for Khandallah Pool, but not the funding allocated to the Workingmen’s Club site. There are also some proposed increases to encroachment fees and changes to other Council charges.

Submissions about the Annual Plan are due by 15th May. People who would like to be involved in discusssions about submissions are invited to make contact on newtownwellington@gmail.com.

The Ministry for the Environment Consultation on Transforming Recycling

Submissions on Transforming Recycling are due by 8th May. People who would like to be involved in discussions about submissions are invited to make contact on newtownwellington@gmail.com.

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