All posts by R.C.

Special General Meeting: 20th November 2017

Our Newtown Residents’ Association meeting on Monday 20th November will be a special general meeting, as foreshadowed at our regular meeting in October.
As usual the meeting will be at 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall.
The business will be –
– to present the Residents’ Association Finacial report, including the accounts.

– to progress the transfer of the Newtown Festival from the Association to the Newtown Festival Trust, and to officially approve the date of transfer.

We will also have some regular Association business.
– Ana Faatoia from WREMO will begin a conversation about updating the Emergency Response Plan for Newtown
-Ray Tuffin, the WCC Newtown Liaison Officer, will report on his activities, including a focus on parking in Newtown
– an update about cycleway consultation.

WCC review of the Outer Green Belt Management Plan

The Outer Green Belt is a network of public parks and open spaces extending from Tawa in the north all the way south to the Brooklyn turbine and the coast below. It is an enormous area and the current Management Plan outlines the key values of the reserves and guides how the Council will manage and maintain the various spaces and places. See this attached letter for details of the review, dates of drop-in meetings , and how you can have your say. There is also a short online survey where you can quickly and easily give the Council your thoughts – responses by 24th November please.

Meet the Candidates Meeting – Tuesday 14th November 2017

We are inviting you to meet the Southern Ward By-election Candidates. This Meeting is at St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th November – the doors open at 7.10pm and the meeting will start promptly at 7.30.

These are the confirmed candidates –
Vicki Greco, Mohamud Mohamed, Don Newt McDonald, Laurie Foon, Fleur Fitzsimons, Rob Goulden, Thomas G P Morgan and Merio Marsters. They have all been invited, and we hope all will be there. Hear their reasons why you should vote for them, their responses to ‘hot topics’ and their answers to questions from the floor.

Supper is provided, so after hearing the formal presentations you can talk informally over a cuppa and a snack.

Postal voting is between 30th November and 22nd December.

Notes from our monthly meeting on 16th October 2017

These are brief notes of the topics discussed, but you can see the full minutes here.

Prince of Wales Park Submission

Wellington City Council have issued a public notice that they intend to go ahead with constructing the reservoir at Prince of Wales Park. We have decided to make a submission about this, in order to keep involved in the process. This will make similar points to our submission on the resource consent; this time the emphasis is on the earthworks.  [Update – see the completed submission here.]

Liquor license applications, and similar issues.

Discussed an application to establish an off-licence called The Black Bull at 236 Riddiford Street – the current Silk Route Spices site on the corner of Gordon Place.

We are waiting for the next moves in the Zoo Bar licence application – our Association objected to the extended hours requested.

Newtown has a liquor ban in force  but there aren’t many signs about the ban – we will ask Ray Tuffin (WCC Liaison Officer) to look into this.

The Security Guard at the Library has been keeping an eye on people drinking or causing concern around the Library and on the corner with Riddiford St – the meeting expressed our appreciation for this.

 Workingmen’s Bowling Club

The WCC officers’ opinion is that the Club should not get a new lease because “the current circumstances of the club do not meet the Assessment Criteria” under the Town Belt Management Plan. We think that the Club is a valuable community resource, and want to support them to increase their community connections.

The Club had a very successful open day on Sunday 15th October, which increased membership significantly. They have a lot of community support.

[Update – after a constructive discussion with the Council on 24/11, the lease will now continue through until at least April next year to enable everyone to understand the issues around the future of the Club.]

Meet the Candidates Evening

We will proceed with planning for a Meet the Candidates Meeting for the Southern Ward By-Election

A “Thank You” to Paul Eagle

Discussion of the By-Election prompted expressions of appreciation for the work Paul Eagle did in representing Newtown on Council.  A motion thanking Paul for his contribution and welcoming him as our new MP was passed unanimously and enthusiastically.

Neighbours Day 2018

It is time to apply for a WCC grant if we want to have a Neighbours’ Day function. Last year we provided an evening of activities in Newtown Park.  We agreed to plan to repeat this next year.

Parking

Car parking in Newtown is already very difficult and is going to get worse next year. The new children’s hospital will take away a lot of hospital parking – and hospital staff parking on surrounding streets is already causing major problems.

Ray Tuffin at Kia Ora gets numerous complaints about parking issues, and is initiating a major project exploring parking options.

Next month’s meeting is on Monday 20th November. We expect to designate this a Special General Meeting, and to present the Annual Accounts.

2017 Annual General Meeting

Notes of the Newtown Residents’ Association AGM held at the Newtown Community Hall on Monday September 21st.

The President, Rhona Carson, reported on a busy year. Highlights included:

  • The success of the Newtown Festival and establishing the Newtown Festival Trust
  • Publishing the Wellington South Licensing Trust History
  • City Council relationships- particularly Ray Tuffin’s appointment
  • Newtown Neighbours Night on 24th February was very successful
  • Submissions were made on the Wellington City Council Annual Plan, the WCC Playspaces Policy, the Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan and the Wellington Water application to WCC for Town Belt Easement for the construction and operation of the Prince of Wales/ Omāroro Reservoir. Also to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, who were consulting on an Urban Development Authorities Discussion Document
  • Our Town Newtown is in the stage of analysing data gathered
  • Keep Newtown Clean is continuing on a quarterly basis
  • Newtown Community Garden group has been revived
  • Repurposing the Caltex site for use by Mechanical Tempest, Rebicycle and the Dance-o-Mat looks very promising – congratulations to the owners, the WCC, the community groups and Newtown Festival for the work in coordinating this.
  • Our Meet the Candidates meeting for the Rongotai Electorate went well, with record attendance. Thanks are due to the MC Patrick Morgan, and all who helped with organising the meeting.

Financial Report
The audited accounts are not yet available, due to needing to change the auditor unexpectedly. We resolved to present them at a later meeting. There is no need for concern; the finances are in good shape with reserves in the bank.

Newtown Festival Trust
For the past 23 years the Newtown Festival has been hosted by the Newtown Residents’ Association through the Festival Committee. For some years the Association has wanted to form a Festival Trust, and now it has happened. James Coyle and Anna Kemble Welch are the two founding Trustees, and shortly they will be joined by three, or probably four, others. At this meeting the members present passed the necessary motions to hand over responsibility for the Festival from the Association to the Trust, and this will come fully into effect when the other Trustees have been appointed.  The Newtown Festival Committee will continue on, but from then on will report to the Trust. We passed a motion of thanks to Martin Hanley, the Festival Director, for the enormous amount of work involved in negotiating the Trust. Thanks are also due to the law firm Chapman Tripp, who provided all the legal work pro-bono.  They have been extremely helpful.

Elections – Newtown Residents’ Association Executive 2017-2018
The nominees were all elected unopposed.

  • President:  Rhona Carson
  • Secretary: No nominations. Rhona Carson will continue in the meantime.
  • Treasurer:  Jane Patterson
  • Vice Presidents  Martin Hanley, Kevin Lethbridge (continuing as membership secretary)
  • Executive Carol Comber, Steve Cosgrove (minutes secretary), James Coyle, Peter Frater,  Keith Powell, Stephen Pritchard, Effie Rankin,Cheryl Robilliard, Sam Somers.

Rhona thanked Steve Dunn, who stood down from the Executive this year. Steve is a past President and has worked extremely hard for the Association. Recently he brought a long standing project to a successful conclusion by coordinating the publication of the History of the Wellington South Licensing Trust.

See the full AGM minutes here.

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting will be on Monday 18th Sept 7.30 pm, at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St.

All welcome!

See here for the Presidents’ Report and here for the Draft Minutes of the 2016 AGM.

This meeting is when we elect the Association Officers and other Executive members for 2017-2018, discuss the year’s activities and plan for the future.  We would like to hear from people interested in joining the Executive. The President (Rhona Carson) and Treasurer (Jane Patterson) are standing for re-election, but we haven’t had any nominations yet for Secretary, so if you might be interested and your skills lend themselves to writing items for our Newsletter and this Website and similar tasks do get in touch to have a chat about it!

Nominees and nominators for the Executive need to be financial members of the Association, if you haven’t paid your subscription yet you can join at the start of the meeting.

The other main business for the 2017 AGM is the handover of responsibility for the Newtown Festival to the Newtown Festival Trust. The Trust has been established and has been accepted by Charities Services as a Charitable Trust. Resolutions approving the handover will be voted on at the meeting.

The History of the Wellington South Licensing Trust

The history of the history!

The Wellington South Licensing Trust was established in 1972, ceased to operate in 1998, and was wound up in 2001. Its final act was to give a grant to the Newtown Residents’ Association to fund a history of the Trust. This was started, but time passed, people moved on, and the early efforts were lost. In 2012 Steve Dunn, who was then the Association President, undertook the task of reviving the History.  He commissioned historian and Association member Peter Cooke to make a fresh start. Peter accessed some documents from the National Archives, most importantly a list of the Trustees. He then taped intervews with the 12 of them he was able to contact and who agreed, and typed up transcripts. One of the trustees, John Gilberthorpe, was able to provide some publicity material and photographs from the 1970s.  Next, the material was passed on to Tony Pritchard to prepare a document that could be posted on our website. Tony wrote a short beginning-to-end history, with a little bit of the opinion and conjecture from the interviews. He also listened to the interviews, edited the transcripts, and produced a very lively story, which we have now published and recommend for your reading pleasure! Many thanks to Steve, Peter and Tony for keeping the project alive and bringing it to a conclusion, and also to  the Trustees for the original grant and for their cooperation in recalling and recording the stories of the Trust.

We have created a new page for Local History, where you will find this account.

Our Town Newtown Questionnaire Closing 31st August

Please make sure your thoughts about Newtown are included – you can do the questionnaire on line, or get a paper copy from Kia Ora Newtown at 6 Constable St, the Newtown Community and Cultural centre or the Newtown Library.

When all the responses are in Cally O’Neill, the project designer and facilitator, can get to work on analysing the results. See more about the Our Town Newtown project here. 

Notes from the August Meeting

 

The Residents’ Association meeting on 21st August included the following:

Predator Free Mt Cook Newtown

Recently granted funding means they can build and circulate more traps.  Contact them (mailto:predatorfreemcn@gmail.com) to either pick up a free trap, or buy a ‘fancy’ trap at a discounted price. There are currently 80 traps in Newtown, and more than 300 rats have been caught, but more are needed for good coverage. Sponsors are Kiwibank (funding – National Predator-Free trust), Forest and Bird have loaned traps, Placemakers Kilbirnie have donated wood. Volunteers are needed for building traps – working bee at 40A Wright Street, Mt Cook 1:00pm – 5:00pm Sunday 3 September.

It would be good to hear from anyone able and willing to coordinate extending the Predator Free project to Berhampore.

An update about the Our Town Newtown Project
The Saturday 19th August ‘Shine a light on Newtown’ event had smallish attendance but achieved a good deal in sorting through ideas which have been put forward.

An interactive website is now available at http://www.ourtownnewtown.co.nz

This includes an online map of Newtown where people can make comments about facilities, and has a link to the project questionnaire. Responses to the questionnaire need to be in by the end of August.

 Wellington City Council projects in Newtown
Rhona Carson presented a report on behalf of Ray Tuffin (WCC Community Advisor for Newtown). Continue reading Notes from the August Meeting

“Keep Newtown Clean”

Saturday September 2nd, 9am – 12 noon

Our next big Newtown clean-up is the first Saturday in September. Can you help? We will meet outside the Newtown Mall between 9am and 12noon – wear your old clothes, all equipment is provided. There will be painting, cleaning and gardening to do, BBQ cooking to help with – and Timebank credits to earn, if you are a Timebank member.

Volunteers get free BBQ sausages, thanks to Newtown New World – and sausages are for sale too, so you are welcome to come just to say “hello” and buy one!  Halal sausages are available.

KNC is coordinated by Newtown Residents’ Association and supported by SB Maintenance (the amazing graffiti removal experts), Newtown New World, Wellington City Council, and Amadeus Hair Salon.

Monthly Meeting: 21st August

Our next meeting will be on Monday,
7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.
The agenda will include:
  • An update about the Our Town Newtown Project
  • A report about Wellington City Council projects in Newtown
  • Progress with Predator Free Mt Cook Newtown
  • Planning for the Meet the Candidates meeting on September 5th
All welcome!

Meet the Candidates – September 5th

We are holding a Meet the Candidates Meeting for the Rongotai Electorate on Tuesday September 5th at St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St, Newtown. The doors open at 7.10pm, and the meeting will start promptly at 7.30pm. Patrick Morgan will be in the chair. The formal presentations, questions and answers will be followed by supper and time for informal chats – we do a good supper!

Election Day is Saturday September 23rd, but advance voting opens on Monday September 11th and you can vote from then on.  Come along the week before and hear what the candidates for our electorate have to say.

Are you enrolled to vote? If not, you can do this any time up until September 22nd – find out how here. There are more then 5500 people of voting age in our electorate who aren’t enrolled – if you are one of them, now’s your chance to change that and to make this the election when you have your say!

Notes from the July Meeting

Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting July 17 2017

Association Membership  The financial year runs from July 1st to June 30th, so memberships need renewing now. Everyone is welcome to come to meetings – members and non-members. The difference is that members can vote and can stand for office at the AGM. It is also a great way of showing support for the work of the Association. The fee is still a gold coin, which can be paid at any Association meeting (the next meeting is on August 21st). Email us if you would like to join but can’t get to the meeting.

Progress on Newtown Festival Trust  Forming a Trust to run the Festival has been under discussion for several years, and the Association passed a motion in February asking for this to be expedited. The Newtown Festival Trust has now been established, with Anna Kemble Welch and James Coyle as foundation trustees. The intention is to bring three more trustees on board in the near future, and we are very pleased that Ian McKinnon has agreed to be one of these three. An application for charitable status has been lodged with Charities Services. When all five trustees have been appointed and Charitable Status has been granted the Newtown Residents’ Association will be asked to pass a resolution to hand over responsibility for the Newtown Festival to the Trust. We are very grateful to the lawyers, Chapman Tripp, who have been advising us and doing the necessary legal work on a ‘pro bono’ basis.

Cycling in Newtown  Patrick Morgan reported that cycle ways through Newtown are about to be discussed again.  Watch for Council engagement opportunities. [Since the meeting it has been announced that there will be opportunities to discus this with the WCC team at the Newtown Market at Newtown School on Saturday 29th July, 8am-12 noon, and at St Annes Hall on Tuesday August 1st 4pm-7pm. See more at http://transportprojects.org.nz]

Carrara Park gardens  Lachie (Lachlan Marshall, the local Salvation Army officer) outlined how he and some Church associates became involved with maintaining the Park.  They have been there every Tuesday morning since 6 May.  He has been consulting with Linnéa Lindstroem, who was one of the founders of the Newtown Community Gardens group, Martin Hanley and Rhona Carson and others from the Association – our Association holds the lease to use the garden beds. Linnéa is willing and able to coordinate revitalising the Community Gardens, and there are ideas for raised garden beds (part of the original plans), and ideas for composting.  A Council grant will fund materials for the garden beds. Ray Tuffin (WCC Liaison Officer) has had inquiries from childcare centres and older people for garden spaces to maintain.

General Election: Meet the Candidates Meeting  Our Residents Association has traditionally hosted these meetings before elections, and would like to do so again. Voting opens on Monday September 11th and it is proposed to hold the meeting during the week before. Patrick has offered to chair the meeting again, and the offer was accepted with acclamation. [It has now been confirmed that the meeting will be on Tuesday September 5th, 7.30pm at St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St.]

Matariki event in Carrara Park – Saturday 29 July  The Russian Orthodox Community are hosting this event, and have been consulting the Newtown Festival Office about logistics. People from a local Kohanga Reo have also been involved in the planning.

Residents parking on Constable Street  A Constable St resident introduced this topic, outlining the extreme pressure on parking in this area. WCC have been approached about the possibility of Residents Parking – if this was implemented it would only be possible on one side of the street. The situation in Colombo St, where there is residents parking combined with time limited parking for non-residents, was described – this has been very successful. The discussion covered parking issues in Newtown generally, including the continuing concerns about how the proposed Mary Potter apartments might increase parking demand.

Cleaning up the Town Belt vegetation  One of our members noted the amount of introduced weeds on parts of the Town Belt and asked if there would be interest in a working bee to remove them. It was noted that they would need to be replaced with suitable planting. We would need to consult with WCC, but it was thought that a working bee could be possible if this was approved.

Next meeting
Monday August 21st, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St. Please email if you have suggestions of items for the agenda.

 

Submission on the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir

In February the Residents’ Association had a presentation from the Wellington Water Project Director Ulvi Salayev about the plans for the Prince of Wales reservoir.

See more about the plans here.

In June Wellington Water applied to Wellington City Council for a Town Belt Easement for the construction and operation of the reservoir, and the Council called for submissions. At the June meeting we agreed that our Association should make a submission, with a focus on the need for mitigation of the effect of construction on the residents in the neighbouring streets,

In our submission we are mindful of the need for mitigation of the effects of construction, but the main message is that we are keen to have an emergency water supply as soon as possible.

There has been some discussion about whether there is any option for changing the location of the reservoir, but our conclusion was that we didn’t want to pursue this. Wellington Water did identify 4 options, but on analysing them decided that the current site is the most suitable.  This seems to be a pretty fixed decision and overturning it seems likely to be an enormous task – and then, if successful, going back to the drawing board and redoing all the calculations and studies and consultation, applying for new consents etc. It would surely add years to the process.

See our submission here.

June Meeting Notes

Notes from the Association Meeting on Monday 19th June 2017.
Future bus services.
Daran Ponter, from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, was the guest speaker, telling us about the new bus services which will be operating from 2018. Full details of all changes and affected routes can be found here, or pick up a brochure about Newtown services from Kia Ora Newtown. The aim is to increase capacity without putting more buses onto congested roads. The changes will involve higher capacity buses and simplified routes. The ‘spoke and hub’ model that was originally proposed has been modified, and the routes are now much more straightforward. Good news for University students is that their voices have been heard and the number 18 service will be retained at peak hours.
People at the meeting asked about the decision to replace the trolley buses before the promised electric buses are available. Daran explained the decision for replacement was made in 2015. It wasn’t unanimous but the majority ruled. The work has already been delayed, and it isn’t practical to keep putting it off.
There was also interest in the prospects for light rail, and Daran confirmed that ‘
Let’s get Welly moving’ has reinvigorated the discussion.

Submission on the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir
The submission is due on 17th July. We discussed that the Association would make a submission that recognises the need for an emergency water supply. However the construction will have a significant impact on local residents, and we agreed that our submission will emphasise the need for mitigation of the effects of this, and also the need to protect the environment, in particular the Waitangi Stream tributary and the Papawai stream.