All posts by martinh123

Newtown and Berhampore Community Emergency Response Plan – meeting 9/12/14 at 6pm, Newtown Park

A group from Newtown and Berhampore have been working with Jason from WREMO, Anna and Renee from the Newtown Community Centre and Claire, our NRA President, to develop a plan for how our community would look after itself for the first 72 hours following a disaster.
We’re having a session on Tuesday 9th December, 6pm in the Newtown Park Function Room to share the plan so far with everyone in the community, get input into how to improve it, and then discuss what we can do as a community to become more resilient, interconnected and prepared. We’re hoping to get some ideas for community events or projects for us to work on out of it. Come along to learn and contribute!

Jeypore Street Playground Petition – and Party Invitation for Saturday Nov 29th

We talked about the Berhampore Jeypore Street Playground at the October NRA meeting, and again last night at the November meeting.  The Draft WCC Suburban Reserves  Management Plan proposes decommissioning this playground and instead constructing a new playground in Wakefield Park.  Berhampore residents are submitting in favour of keeping the current playground, and the NRA meeting last night voted to support this cause.

Here is a message from Berhampore resident Wilhemina van der Aa  “The Wellington City Council is planning to decommission the Jeypore Street playground. It is a highly utilised and treasured community asset providing a safe, fully fenced and sheltered area for children to play. It is located in a quiet area, where many people do not have backyards. The Jeypore Street playground is used regularly by local neighbourhood children, children in the wider community, and children from Berhampore School. We are strongly opposed to the Council’s plan to decommission this playground because it is a living and breathing example of a community hub in action.

Please sign this petition to show your support to keep the Jeypore Street playground.   You can sign my petition by clicking here.  Thanks!

 Also..we have decided to have a street party!!! 29 NOV so keep this date free, there will be music, games for children, prizes, etc – time and more details to follow!”


Monthly Meeting – November 17th 2014

We will be meeting at 7.30 pm at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St – at the Constable Street playground.

Everyone is very welcome.


This will include –

LOOMIO – an introduction to using the Loomio free software for collaborative decision making.

Parking in Newtown

The Wellington City Council Long Term Plan.

We are expecting speakers from the WCC to join us in discussing these two topics.

Report on the Residents’ Association October Meeting

We met at the Community Hall in Daniell Street at 7.30pm on 20th October.   As well as discussing the items on the Agenda we heard an update on the Newtown Festival, information about the WCC fixit app, and other business that is worth reading about.

You can read the Minutes of the meeting here.

Action points!

3 small groups were established to follow up on some of the main issues.  Please contact us on if you would like your voice heard on these topics.

  1. Cycleways.  Tom Law is convening this group.  One of the issues they will be considering is how to consult effectively with local residents and businesses.
  2. Parking Issues.  There is considerable interest in how to free up more parking for locals.  WCC is already aware of the concerns.  We would really like to hear from you about your experiences and ideas about how parking affects you and what to do about it.
  3. Wellington City Council Long Term Plan.  The Council staff are asking for ideas on what needs to be included in the plan. We are inviting a Council officer to discuss this with us at the November meeting, and if you would like to see any issues addressed or have an idea to improve Newtown, please let us know so that we can pass it on.

Cheryl Robilliard is preparing a submission on the Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan and would like to hear from anyone with ideas to contribute to this.  You can contact Cheryl at

The Draft Suburban Reserves Plan includes the intention to decommission one of the Berhampore suburban reserves, the playground in Jeypore Street,  and the residents are unhappy about this.
There is to be a protest meeting at the playground at 10am on Saturday 1st November, and Newtown residents are invited to support our Berhampore neighbours.  

Don McKay would like people to join him on Labour Day, Monday 27th, to ‘bomb’ the vacant section on the corner of Newtown Ave and Daniell Street with flower seeds.  See the Facebook page or contact Don at


Island Bay Seawall Project – have your say

A message from Wellington City Council

The huge swells generated by the severe storm in June 2013 caused the collapse of a section of the 350-metre seawall in Island Bay. The Wellington City Council placed a temporary rock barrier in the broken section of the seawall to protect the footpath and road, and this will remain in place for the time being. Before anything else is done, the Council wants to hear your ideas and views on a long-term solution for that area. We have identified five options to get the discussion started that range from the status quo of repairing the seawall through to options that close parts of The Esplanade and create linkages between Shorland Park and the beach. There are a lot of factors to consider including traffic impacts, heritage issues, costs, long-term sea level rise and amenity of the area.

Please take the time to have your say on this project. Information on the options and the online submission forms are available at give us your views online if you can.

You can also have your say by…

–       Emailing us at

–       Sending a FreePost hard-copy submission form. Hard copies are available at the Island Bay Library and Island Bay Community Centre.

 Submissions close 10 November 2014 at 5pm


Monthly Meeting – October 20th 2014

We will be meeting at 7.30 pm at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St – at the Constable Street playground.

Everyone is very welcome.


  1. What is happening around the Basin Reserve? 
    • High Court Process
    • Grant Robertson’s initiative
  1. Cycleway update 
  1. Newtown parking issues
  1. Wellington City Council Consultations

5.  Other business.

What is happening around the Basin Reserve?

The High Court Appeal against the flyover decision

The New Zealand Transport Agency has taken an appeal against the Board of Inquiry decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover. Community groups that opposed the flyover, including Save the Basin and the Architecture Centre, are planning to be represented by lawyers when this appeal is heard.

In the original Board of Inquiry process the Newtown Residents’ Association and the Architecture Centre made joint submissions, and the legal costs were covered by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.   This funding is not available for the appeal. When the NRA decided to oppose the flyover it was on the understanding that there would be no cost to the Association.   We are not a wealthy organisation, and so although we support the action the above groups are taking we cannot afford to be a party to it.

Save the Basin are fundraising for their costs, and members might like to support this – see here for more information.

Grant Robertson’s initiative

Grant Robertson, the Wellington Central MP, convened a meeting to discuss next steps in terms of the development of transport solutions for Wellington, in particular in the area around the Basin Reserve.  The meeting was held on Monday 6th of October and was attended by a number of community groups; NRA was represented by Martin Hanley. Martin took some plans for suggested changes to traffic lanes that the Urban Activation Lab has been working on, and they were well received. As an outcome of the meeting a letter is being drafted requesting greater community involvement with the development of plans for the Ngauranga to Airport corridor – we will report further when this is finalized.   There is to be a follow-up meeting, this time with the Regional Council, on Friday 24th October.


Cycleway updates

Wellington City Council cycleway planning.

 Shorland Park to Wakefield Park: Island Bay.

Submissions closed on 6th October 2014, and the WCC website reports “We’ve received over 500 submissions and will be carefully reviewing these. The Transport and Urban Development Committee will meet on 3 December 2014 to consider the submissions and next steps. The Committee will decide whether the scheme is to proceed and if so, what elements will be included.”

The NRA made a submission approving of the idea of cycleways but objecting to the current plans. You can read it here.

Wakefield Park to John Street: Berhampore and Newtown.

The Wellington City Council website reports on the planning process to date.  Aecom has been engaged to do some further study and analysis.  They are looking at how cycleways, parking and the bus system work together as a totality.  At the August NRA meeting we heard the planned timeline leading to extensive community consultation in early 2015, and the Council are still working towards this.


AVENUES AND OASES IN THE CAPITAL: Wellington Civic Trust Seminar, Saturday 18 October 2014

Free Public Seminar

On Saturday morning, 18 October, 9.00 am – 12.30 pm the seminar, entitled “Avenues and Oases”, will explore ways to improve the appearance and enjoyment of prominent – and currently under appreciated – spaces within the inner city. The focus will be on Taranaki Street and Kent and Cambridge Terraces, Wellington’s main north-south corridors.

The Civic Trust is concerned with improving the accessibility and enjoyment of our public spaces, and reinforcing Wellington’s role as New Zealand’s capital city.

Representatives from a variety of interest groups will participate in the seminar, which will commence with an address by Wellington’s Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown.

The keynote speaker will be the well known film director Gaylene Preston, long time resident of Mount Victoria. Already full of ideas to transform inner city spaces we expect Gaylene to bring great energy and inspiration.

The seminar will be held in Lecture Room 1 at Rutherford House, the home of Victoria University’s Business School. The University has kindly provided the venue as a way of fostering the airing of creative ideas.

Further details on speakers can be found on the Wellington Civic Trust website.


The Newtown Residents’ Association has a new President: Claire Pettigrew

A message from Claire:

Kia Ora! I’m Claire, and I’m looking forward to being your Newtown Residents’ Association President for the next year. Originally from North Canterbury, I moved to Wellington for university and quickly discovered Newtown was a fantastic suburb to be living in!
I’ve recently returned from Europe, and am now studying towards a Masters of Management. I am particularly interested in volunteer management, and mobilizing young people as volunteers. I have a background in youth development and community resilience. I am passionate about disaster risk reduction; I am a Search and Rescue squad member and a Civil Defense volunteer, and have been working to develop the Newtown Community Emergency Response Plan.
Over the next year I am hoping to work towards developing a vision of Newtown as we want to find it in ten years time, and taking the first steps to achieve that vision.
I welcome contact from anyone who would like to get to know me, discuss ideas or give feedback. I can be reached on
Read more about Claire in the September 22nd issue of the Cook Strait News – page 16, and also page 12.

Newtown Community Emergency Response Plan (CRP)

The first session of the Community Response Plan process has been held at the Newtown Community Centre. The Community Response Plan is being led by the Newtown Residents’ Association and the Newtown Community Centre in conjunction with the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office. The first session was attended by over 50 business owners, organisation representatives and community leaders. This was an introductory session that looked at Newtown’s strengths and vulnerabilities. The next session will focus on the details of what role different organisations will play in an emergency.  We will keep you posted – or contact Claire at if you would like to know more.

Timebank fundraiser

Aunty & the Star People

An amazing film about an inspirational Wellingtonian who sold her house to set up a school for orphans in Tamil Nadu, India.

Special one off screening at Lighthouse Cinema Cuba
Wednesday 8th October, 6pm .  Tickets $25 

You are invited to the Wellington Timebank annual film fundraiser. The Wellington Timebank is a great organisation where people exchange skills and knowledge for time credits. Everyone’s time is valued equally, regardless of what skills are exchanged. Read more about it and about the film here:

Minutes of 2014 Annual General Meeting

The 2014 AGM was held on Monday 15th September .  You can download the minutes here. You can also download the NRA Audited Accounts 2014.
There was an important change to the Association Officers – Martin Hanley did not stand for President this year. Instead we welcomed Claire Pettigrew to the role – Claire is our youngest President, and the first woman since Annabel Taylor was President in the 1980s.
Kate Zwartz proposed and James Coyle seconded a vote of thanks to Martin for the work he has done for the Association, which was carried with acclamation.
The following were all elected unopposed:
  • President: Claire Pettigrew
  • Vice–presidents: Jeanie McCafferty, Kate Zwartz and James Coyle
  • Immediate Past President: Martin Hanley
  • Secretary:  Rhona Carson
  • Treasurer: Peter Frater
  • Executive Committee: Ken Allen,  Carol Comber,  Steve Cosgrove , Steve Dunn, Ryan Kerr, Kevin Lethbridge -Membership,  Laura Newcombe,  Daphne Pilaar, Cheryl Robilliard
  • Newtown Festival Director:  Martin Hanley
  • Newtown Festival Committee:  Anna Kemble Welch, Tom Law, James Coyle, Rhona Carson, Keith Powell
  • Newtown Festival Review Team:  Steve Dunn, Peter Frater, with authority to co-opt others.

Newtown Community Centre Art Workshops

Community Art Workshops are back!

The Newtown Community Centre will be hosting their 5th annual Community Art Workshops from Monday September 29th till Thursday October 9th

For the past four years, the Centre has organised a series of art workshops with the aim to make art more accessible to the wider community, offering a chance for participants to get creative and learn a new skill in a visual arts practice, at a very affordable rate and in a community friendly environment. The classes are headed by local art and crafters keen to share their time and skills with others in an informal and relaxed setting. The classes are designed to reduce the normal financial barriers, with most if not all materials being provided and entry fee being a koha of the participants’ choosing.

The workshops cover a wide range of arts and crafts, from making your own Native American dreamcatchers and traditional Pervian necklaces to purse making and how to make your own paint from natural clays and oil. See the Newtown Community Centre facebook page and website  for the schedule and details for the workshops.

The Centre has always received great feedback from participants who have really enjoyed the opportunity to get creative without having to invest in a costly course or feel out of place at a formal art institution – they hope you can join them this year!

Newtown Community Centre Building to be 100 years old!



The building for the Newtown Community Centre, located on Colombo/Rintoul Streets, was completed and officially opened in February 1915 as a church for the Church of Christ, making next year its 100 birthday! The building was designed by William Gray Young, the same architect for other important Wellington buildings such as The Wellington Railway Station, The Turnbull Library and the Wesley Club in the CBD.

In the early decades, the Church played a significant community role in Newtown, holding social events and offering various workshops/trainings, as well as their regular faith-based services and meetings. In 1970, a fire damaged the building, and it was eventually sold to Wellington City Council who, at the pressure of the local community, converted the building into the community centre which has operated at the site since.

To celebrate the centenary of the building, the Newtown Community & Cultural Centre Trust will be hosting a number of events at the centre in the first half of 2015. A visual timeline of events taking place between 1915 and 2015 will be created, with the main focus being on the Community Centre itself. Other important events which have taken place over this time both globally and in the wider Newtown community will be included, providing a backdrop for the events based at the centre. The timeline will be unveiled at an afternoon celebration at the beautiful Centre’s theatre, to be accompanied by cake (of course!), music and speeches, open to all those involved with the Centre, past and present. Celebrations will continue in the evening, with a musical journey over the past 100 years since WWI.

The Community Centre would love to hear from anyone who would be keen to share any in-depth historical knowledge they may have of the Centre and of Newtown, or from anyone interested in carrying out some research through local archives. You can reach Anna at the Community Centre on 389 4786 or at