Notes from the May Meeting

Brief Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting, Monday 16 May 2022 – see below for the full minutes.

This meeting was held in person, for the first time in 2022. The venue was the Wellington City Mission/St Thomas’s Community Lounge, and we are very grateful to be able to use this space.

There was a comparatively small attendance, with many apologies because the meeting was being held on Easter Monday.

In Memory

The meeting took a moment to remember Effie Rankin who passed away in March, aged 94, and was to be farewelled with a service at the Salvation Army on Wednesday 18th May.  People shared memories of Effie, who  continued attending Association meetings into her early 90s.

Arthur Winther, long time Newtowner who passed away in April, was also remembered.

Alcohol Harm Reduction Project

Rhona Carson (Association President) welcomed Kate Collyns, the Community Champion at Wellington and Hutt Valley Community Law for the Alcohol Harm Reduction Project. 

Kate outlined the background and current work of the Project. The Community Law Centres nationally have funding to coordinate responses to liquor licence applications, and they aim to work with communities who want to stand up for their wellbeing by engaging with the alcohol licensing process to oppose unethical and predatory businesses from getting alcohol licences.

Kate is interested in considering family and social harm from alcohol, in addition to health issues commonly raised.  These factors can all be raised in a submission.

The presentation was followed by discussion of a number of associated issues. 

It was agreed that, as far as we know, there are no current problems with the licensed premises in Newtown. We have been involved with objections to licence applications in the past, particularly for new off-licences. In general we haven’t objected to licence applications from the local bars and cafes.

It was noted that the Salvation Army and Police are strong supporters of objectors in Newtown.

Kate summarised her offer to help anyone who wants to object to a licence application.  She can be contacted through the Residents’ Association or Community Law.

The meeting thanked Kate for coming to talk with us.

There were brief comments on a number of other issues, including

Thank you to all the helpers at the “Wiggle for Wellbeing” free concert in Carrara Park on May 14th, and congratulations to James Cottrell of Origin Events for a successful event. The concert was supported by Newtown Festival and Wellington City Council, and our Association ran a free sausage sizzle. Particular thanks to Newtown New World for supplying the food, and to Jared Corston from WCC who spent all afternoon on the BBQ.

Is there a Newtown Police Officer? Yes, Sergeant Mike Byrne and Constable Bede Gugliemoni, based in Kilbirnie, work extensively in Newtown.

Workingmen’s Bowling Club Site in Owen St: Funding of $1.5 million for developing this site was agreed by Wellington City Councillors at a meeting on Feb 3rd but didn’t appear in the draft Annual Plan.  Our ward Councillors will pursue getting the funding added to the 2022/2023 WCC Budget.