Minutes of the May 2023 Meeting

Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association meeting 15 May 2023.

Information from WCC about Newtown Parking Plan, Newtown to Island Bay transitional cycleway and Berhampore village upgrade. 

Vida Christeller, Manager City Design, and Seb Bishop from the Engagement Team attended the meeting to talk about these projects. This was a preliminary discussion, to be followed up in July or August, with formal consultation in September. An information sheet was circulated outlining the process. [The link given in the sheet is out of date. Use this instead for further information- https://www.transportprojects.org.nz/current/berhampore-to-newtown/]

Newtown Parking Plan: At present there are very few parking restrictions in Newtown or Berhampore, meaning that a lot of the parking is taken up by commuters. The expectation for the future Newtown Parking Plan is that much of the parking will be P120 with Residents exempt, with exceptions as appropriate. The formal consultation about the proposals will be in September.

There will also be consultation in September for extending bus and bike road space between Newtown and Island Bay. Seb drew our attention to a report available on consultation regarding bike lane space.  This can be downloaded from: https://www.transportprojects.org.nz/assets/Berhampore-to-Newtown/B2N-BaselineSurvey-Report-22Dec22_FINAL.pdf

Wellington Hospital is working with Council discussing options, particularly regarding parking.

There were numerous comments and questions from the meeting attendees, many about Newtown parking pressures. This included issues about residents’ parking permits – the cost ($195 pa), and the fact that there are many more permits issued than spaces available – which will be addressed in the plan. There will be a variety of priorities regarding who can purchase resident parking permits and who can get an exemption.

What is Reveal?  Rhona Carson, Association President, has had an email saying ​​Reveal will be collecting data along Rintoul St, Luxford St, Adelaide Rd, The Parade, and Reef Street between May 21st and June 9th, but it’s not clear what Reveal is and what the investigation is about. Vida and Seb were not entirely sure, but will find out. [Update from Seb – “This is a project that uses penetrating radar to help see what’s beneath the road. This will produce an accurate map of all the utilities underground which will be extremely useful as we plan and design projects for our city.  You can find out at https://www.reveal.nz/”]

Rhona thanked Vida and Seb for coming to the meeting. We will look forward to further information in the coming months.

An update about the  Proposed District Plan hearings.

There is a lot of information on the Council website regarding the Proposed District Plan – see https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/plans-policies-and-bylaws/district-plan/proposed-district-plan.

The PDP is now being considered by Resource Management Commissioners.  This is happening in phases, with numerous different streams about different topics. Rhona has made oral submissions on behalf of the Association on Stream 1 – Strategic Direction and Stream 2 – Residential Zones, based on what was in our original submission. Currently those who commented on heritage are being heard – this is stream 3. 

Stream 4 starts on June 20th [now delayed until June 22nd]. This covers Centres (ie City Centre Zone, Local Centre Zone, etc). Kainga Ora has made a submission proposing that Newtown should be designated a Town Centre, with buildings up to 36m permitted.  Many in the Association believe that there is already more land designated than is required, and allowing more height won’t increase the housing supply but potentially will result in a few large blocks shading everything around them. We intend to argue against the KO proposal. Let Rhona know if you would like to be more involved in this topic – email newtownwellington@gmail.com.

Ideas for celebrating the Newtown Residents’ Association 60th Anniversary on Saturday July 29th.

The ideas discussed mostly centred around commemorating Newtown’s history. There was a proposal to book a venue for the day, as a base for displays and activities.

People are needed for an organising group for the Anniversary celebrations.  Please think about this, and contact newtownwellington@gmail.com if you are interested.

Newtown Community Centre

The Centre was reopened on May 12th. Tom Law noted that there were to be Open Days 5-7pmThursday 18th May and 2-4pm Sunday 21st May.

The next meeting will be on Monday June 19th.

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