Notes from the August 2022 meeting

This meeting was held at the Community Lounge at St Thomas’s Church on Monday 15th August. These are notes from the discussion, see below for the full minutes.

WCC Waste Minimization Plan

WCC has a Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Action Plan. The expectation is that WCC will set up a working party about this, we are waiting to hear more.  We are interested to hear from people who would like to be part of this consultation.

‘Meet the Candidates’ Meetings

Greater Wellington Regional Council has 12 candidates, there are 9 candidates for Mayor,  Paekwakawa / Southern Ward has 10 candidates and the Māori Ward 3 candidates.

GWRC candidates are not invited to as many meetings as City Council candidates, but the issues GWRC are involved in have a big impact – e.g. public transport, LGWM, Wellington Water. The meeting agreed that a separate meeting for GWRC was a good idea; potential dates are 12th or 13th September.

We agreed to inviting Paekawakawa/Southern General Ward & Te Whanganui-a-Tara Māori Ward candidates to a meeting on 26th September, but were undecided about having the Mayoral candidates as well because of the large number of people that would be involved. There might be options for a separate meeting with the Mayoral candidates, or for attending one of the other meetings in the city. Sam Somers has organised an online ‘Its in the Ballot’ meeting for Mayoral candidates on September 7th.

It was decided that we would not have supper at the meetings as that would increase the Covid risk.

Picking up Rubbish

Rachel introduced the plan to organise an event in Newtown as part of Clean Up NZ week (17-23 September). The Sustainability Advisor at Wellington Hospital has approached us about a joint event the Hospital staff could take part in. Friday 23rd September is suggested as a day that would suit them. 

Rachel is willing to carry on with the organising, further details TBA.

Transport issues

Cycleway Consultation – this has restarted, following the resolution of the court injunction. Proposed changes:

  • At the corner of Riddiford Street and Mein Street, to continue the cycleway along the left hand side of the street and remove car parks outside Newtown School so cyclists can go straight ahead. This will need changes to traffic lights and phasing so cyclists and left turning cars don’t collide.
  • Cycle speed at the entrance to the hospital car park can be an issue.
  • The area where the bus lane ends and three lots of traffic merge needs adjustment.

Submissions are due by 31st August. It’s expected that the Councillors will make a decision on 15th September, and if approved work will start a couple of weeks after that.

‘Reshaping Streets’ – Waka Kotahi has opened consultation on proposed changes to legislation to make it easier for local authorities (like councils) to make street changes that support public transport, active travel and placemaking. Submissions are due on September 19th. See for more information.

Streets for People Announcement:  on Tuesday 6th September at 10.30am there will be a celebration at Newtown School as the Hon Michael Wood announces the councils (including Wellington) who have been selected for funding for transport changes. 

Wellington Water

There is continuing concern about the fluoridation issues.

There was a discussion about management of the organisation.

  • This is a long-standing issue
  • Perhaps there is a link between earthquakes and increased water leaks.
  • Wellington City Council is trying to improve mapping of pipes, creating a Digital Twin using some ‘Better Off Funding’.  The city is also using this fund to support social housing and other things.

Special Awards

Cr Fleur Fitzsimons noted that Association President Rhona Carson has recieved an Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian award for her work with the Association, Newtown Festival, and other community work.  Rhona was congratulated by the meeting attendees, and responded with thanks.  She noted that six present or past executive members of the Association have received these awards over the years: Martin Hanley (twice!), Anna Kemble Welch, James Coyle, Peter Frater, Rhona, and Tom Law who was also recognised for his many community contributions at the ceremony last week.

Proposed District Plan Consultation

There are accessible presentations about the Plan on the Council Website.

A planner at the library drop-in consultation was asked about limitations to building because of inadequate infrastructure, and said that Newtown will be a high priority for pipe upgrades.

There is one more month to get submissions in. Further opportunities to discuss submissions will be considered.