All posts by R.C.

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.

Advertisements

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.

June Meeting

Monday 19th June 20177.30pm

Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting

The Agenda will include a presentation about Wellington’s new bus service, starting in 2018. What does this mean for Newtown? Come and find out! The speaker is Daran Ponter from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

We will also discuss what might be said in a submission from the Association about the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir.

The meeting will be in the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.  All welcome!

Our Town Newtown: #3

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

The Our Town Newtown Project is about putting the community at the centre of deciding how to spend $3million of Wellington City Council funding for developing Newtown’s community facilities. Passionate locals and collaborators are working to ensure this is done through a co-design, or community-led process. This means actively including all users, local people and stakeholders in the design process, making sure that local knowledge and the people who make Newtown Newtown – are at the centre of decision making – resulting in more appropriate, useful and unique developments.

WAYS TO HAVE YOUR SAY:

Complete the online questionnaire.

Pop into the Our Town Newtown Project Hub @ 199 Riddiford St – between the New World Mall entry and St Vincent de Paul’s. Here you can discuss the project, fill out the questionnaire, have a look and contribute to the interactive exhibition, have a cup of tea, or be taken through an activity with one of the hosts.  Children are welcome – there is a craft activity table and a reading corner to keep them entertained.  If we have enough volunteers for the roster the space will be open from Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon -6pm till early July – if there aren’t enough volunteers it will be open at least on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 12 noon – 4pm.

Contact us on ourtownnewtown@gmail.com, we ‘d love to hear from you and if needed we can organise to meet you at home or some other convenient place.

‘OUR TOWN NEWTOWN’ EVENTS COMING UP:

Tuesday evenings, 20th and 27th of June 6:30 – 8:30pm Shine a light on Newtown

Join us for local mini presentations from a wide range of speakers, a meal and project discussion

@ 199 Riddiford St, Our Town Newtown pop-up space

Saturday 1st of July – Public Workshop – Scenario Planning

Watch out for more information closer to the time!

Recent submissions

This week was a busy one for completing submissions and sending them off.  There are copies here for your information.

Firstly two to Wellington City Council

The third was to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, who have been consulting on an “Urban Development Authorities Discussion Document”.  The proposed Urban Development Authorities would give wide ranging powers to develop land for housing and other purposes, overriding the usual planning and consenting procedure. We made a submission opposing this, you can see it here.

May Meeting Notes

Notes of the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting – May 15 2017

See the full minutes of the meeting here.

Robyn Langlands from Playspace , supported by Tom Hovey, spoke about the risk that their Centre will have to close if they don’t find new premises.

  • Current property at 235 Adelaide Rd is being developed after purchase in 2012.
  • Lease expires start of 2018.
  • They offer a research-based childcare model.
  • They need100 square metres indoors – 90 outdoors.

The discussion considered some possibilities of existing venues where shared use might be possible. Playspace are interested to explore all options.

Our Town Newtown – information from Cally O’Neill, Project Facilitator

Cally introduced herself and her background as a Freelance Architectural Designer, who follows the principles of participatory design – bringing design closer to those using the asset being designed.

See here for more about the Our Town Newtown Project.

Ray Tuffin’s Report (WCC Newtown Liaison Officer) covered these topics-

  • Begging outside the mall
  • Open spaces being investigated for potential for community space, occupational activity
  • Homelessness in general a big issue (discussion from the floor with accounts of people unable to find appropriate housing)
  • Replacing the footpaths and kerbing Hospital to Constable St is currently underway
  • Newtown School swimming pool upgrade is $300,000 over budget, needs further consideration.
  • Carrara Park has had some improvements but still no firm plans for toilets, barbecue, drinking fountain
  • Changes happening to bus stops – part of GWRC changes to bus routes
  • Traffic Light boxes – frustrations getting graffiti cleared, not using usual contractors, a different team involved.

Salvation Army community liaison: Lachlan Marshall introduced himself.

  • He and his wife have recently been posted to Newtown. They are working together to do things to benefit the community.
  • TSA have a rehabilitation programme and there are people involved who are looking for something to do. Lachie has been in discussion with Carrara Park Newtown Community Garden. WorkerBe Oasis is another possibility.

Wellington South Community Patrol: Carol Comber brought a request that our Association write a letter of support for this group, which has been nominated for a community award. The Patrol drive around our local suburbs at night, liaise with Police about any problems observed. The meeting agreed to support their cause.Agreed.

Update on Airport Runway Extension Consent Process –Currently there is court action from the Airline Pilots Association objecting to approval of runway length.

The Environment Court has put the issue on hold in the meantime.

Consultations: WCC and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

  • There are 3 submissions due by 20th
  • Annual Plan submission – main points, continuing financial support for Newtown Festival, ongoing request for toilets and drinking fountain in Carrara Park
  • Waste Minimisation Proposals – submission to support the proposals.
  • MBIE: Proposal to Establish Urban Development Authorities – submission to oppose overriding District Plan rules etc.

Next meeting: Monday 19th June 2017, 7.30pm. Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St.

 

 

Our Town Newtown #2: the Questionnaire

We are launching the Our Town Newtown Project Questionnaire!

This questionnaire is a community-wide introduction to the Our Town Newtown Project, which is an exciting collaboration between Wellington City Council and Newtown locals and is providing Newtown with an opportunity to collectively develop ideas and identify how to best spend Wellington City Council allocated funds on the development of WCC community facilities in Newtown.

A steering group drawn from the Newtown Residents Association, the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre and the Wellington City Council is supporting the project, and together with a wider ‘working group’ and related professionals, research, investigation and planning is going well.

Anyone and everyone who lives in Newtown, works here or uses facilities here is invited to get involved.   We have some exciting plans to share with you soon – including a pop-up project hub in the shop site at 199 Riddiford St, next door to St Vincent de Paul, and a series of public meetings and activities. Right now however we would like to ask you to please give us a hand with this questionnaire.

We need to make sure we understand where we are starting from: what Newtown is, what Newtown has, what Newtown needs, and how Newtown does things. The questionnaire is designed to collect information about this.

The online version of the questionnaire is here. Can you please fill this in, and also pass it on to other people with an interest in Newtown.

We aim to include as wide a range of voices as possible, and to reflect Newtown’s diversity in further development. We know there are communities and people who will find an online questionnaire difficult or unappealing, or who don’t have access to computers. A hard copy distribution is being set up and will include an outreach strategy. If you know of people who would like to be interviewed, instead of filling in a form, please let us know. And if you are interested in being part of the team effecting outreach for the Our Town Newtown project it would be great to hear from you.

Please send us a message with any questions or suggestions:ourtownnewtown@gmail.com

No Residents’ Association Meeting in April

Our regular Association meeting is on the 3rd Monday of the month, but this month that day is Easter Monday.  The Association Executive considered meeting on the following Monday, but that is the day before Anzac Day and again a number of people are taking a long weekend.  We decided to cancel the meeting for the month.

The next Residents’ Association Meeting will now be 7.30pm on Monday May 15th.  As usual we will meet at the Newtown Hall. 71 Daniell St.

Notes from the March meeting.

The Residents’ Association meeting on March 20th focussed on reports and updates about local issues. These are some of the topics discussed.

Neighbour’s Night

Daphne Pilaar, one of the main organisers, gave a summary of the very successful evening – thanking the variety of individuals and organisations involved. See here for a full description of the evening.

Newtown Festival Street Fair Day, Sunday March 5th

Rhona Carson reported on another successful event.

Plans to create a Trust to run the Festival are moving ahead, and a motion was passed requesting that this process be completed by the end of the financial year – a practical time for ease of accounting.

Garage Sale, Saturday March 11th – a very wet day, but some people participated.

Bike KREW Rodeo – was to have been on Sunday March 12th, but extreme weather conditions meant it was postponed till Saturday March 18th. About 30 children, with caregivers took part – a good number and a successful first Bike KREW Rodeo. Many thanks to ReBicycle and to the Communities on Bikes fund.

Our Town Newtown – the project planning for community facilities in Newtown.

Currently it seems that the community input phase will take longer than the planned June timeframe. The next step is a working group meeting in early April, and news of other community events should follow soon after.

There is a questionnaire almost ready to send out, and we are hoping that there will be a good rate of response when the time comes.

WCC Annual Plan

Our local Councillors, Paul Eagle and David Lee, gave an update on the Annual Plan process and outlined some of the proposals in the draft.

There was less public participation in the development of the draft Annual Plan for 2017/18, but there will be public consultation before it is finalised.

Predator-Free Mt Cook / Newtown

This project has been expanded to include Newtown.

David Lee reported that a workshop on March 19th produced about 70 traps. The target is about 250. (One house in five is sufficient to gain control over rats.)

Contact the organisers (Gary and Andrew) if you would like to be involved – mailto:predatorfreemcn@gmail.com

Local Housing

WCC is half-way through a 30-year plan to refurbish its housing.

Housing New Zealand are reconditioning some of their buildings.

No new special housing areas have been created. The meeting expressed concern about the process and consequences of granting Special Housing Area status.

History Projects

An attendee with a special interest in history asked for an update. There are two projects on the go – one describing the history of Newtown and the other the history of the Wellington South Licensing Trust. Both of these are in the process of transferring data into an online format, and are still works in progress.

Suggestions were made for local Improvements, including:

“Welcome to Newtown” signs to promote and show pride in our suburb, extended Library hours on Saturdays and improved speed management on local streets.

See here for the full minutes of the meeting.

Newtown Festival Street Fair Day – thank you to all who helped!

A heart-felt “thank you” to everyone who made our Newtown Festival Street Fair Day on March 5th so fantastic – the creative performing artists and technical crew, the 460 stall-holders, the hundreds of volunteers on the day and the talented team who help in the weeks leading up to the event, the zero waste team, and all the other helpers and providers.

Tens of thousands of wonderful people came from near and far to celebrate with us and enjoy a world of music, dance and performance, sporting and crafting activities, and the magnificent range of goods, delicious food, and information on offer from the market stalls.  Special thanks to WCC for their huge support, and to all the other sponsors and funders who make the day possible. Thank you! You all made Newtown Festival a fabulous day.

Some images from the day…

The Big Girls – created by local women at workshops led by Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre. See the Girls again at Cuba Dupa.
Market Stalls in Riddiford Street – we host one of the biggest and most exciting markets in the region.
Raw Collective playing on the Tangata Whenua Stage, South Riddiford Street – one of 110+ acts on the day.

Two of the many Zero Waste volunteers, coaching participants in minimising waste going to the landfill.

Notes from the February Meeting

The first meeting for 2017 was on the 20th February.

  • We heard an outline of the plans for the Prince of Wales reservoir from the Wellington Water Project Director Ulvi Salayev.  Wellington Water are currently preparing their Resource Consent application. The next public consultation is 6 May. It will be advertised in the media.
  • Gary Scott from Mt Cook Mobilised spoke about his initiative to make Mt Cook predator-free through the widespread use of trapping tunnels.
  • Daphne Pilaar outlined the plans for the Residents’ Association Neighbours’ Night at Newtown Park on February 24th.
  • Ray Tuffin (WCC Community Advisor for Newtown) reported on his many activities.
  • Rhona Carson (Association President) outlined the process for the community involvement with WCC decisions on redeveloping community facilities. The project is known as ‘Our Town Newtown’.
  • The meeting decided to keep the membership fees for the Association at a gold coin, as it has been for some years.

See the full minutes of the meeting here.

Neighbours’ Night at Newtown Park

We had a fabulous time on Friday 25th February!

About 350 people attended and enjoyed games, conversation, food. and finished with a sing-along with the Mighty Ukes.  The weather was perfect, we couldn’t have asked for better.

Members of the Residents’ Association and other volunteers acted as hosts, prepared food and organised a variety of activities.  Association member Daphne was a primary organiser – she is a sport and recreation officer with WCC and brought the Push Play equipment. Many thanks also to Ray Tuffin, the WCC Community Advisor for Newtown, and his team for their input in organising and publicising the event. Ray has another role as a golf coach, and spent most of the evening energetically encouraging the young and not-so-young in ‘target golf’ – well done Ray!

The BBQ served regular and halal sausages and veggie skewers and was supported by St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies) volunteers who brought and cooked on their BBQ, by Newtown New World who lent their BBQ and supplied much of the food, and by Wellington Halal Meat Company.

Wellington Zoo were there with an interactive display of some of their smaller critters – wetas! The Police helped out with the sports and games scattered across the Park, and the Fire Service were there with a fire engine and provided education about fire safety and an alarming demonstration of what happens when a pot of cooking oil catches fire.

We also took the opportunity to advance the Our Town Newtown project, and many people spent time talking with Cally O’Neill, the Project Facilitator, about aspects of Newtown under the headings of ‘Love’, ‘Improve’ and ‘Create’.

The evening was a great success in all areas, and we are enthusiastic about doing it again next year.  Thank you to Wellington City Council and Neighbours Day Aotearoa for encouraging these events.

“Our Town: Newtown” – a community facilities project

Wellington City Council has set aside $3million funding for redeveloping Newtown’s community facilities, and this will be done through a co-design process with the community. The steering group to get this started has two members from Newtown Community and Cultural Centre: Tom Law (Trust Chair) and Renee Rushton (Coordinator), two from Newtown Residents’ Association: Rhona Carson (President) and Jane Patterson (Treasurer), and Ray Tuffin, WCC Newtown Community Advisor, joined at times by other WCC colleagues.

Cally O’Neill, who has done similar work in Aro Valley and Vogelmorn, has joined us as our project designer and facilitator. Cally has been designing a questionnaire that we hope will be responded to by as many Newtown residents as possible, and she has designed a poster for us – we hope you will soon be seeing it often, with different associated notices about a range of workshops and other events and discussions which will be happening around Newtown in the coming weeks and months. See the first version here. A website, email and facebook page will be coming soon – and if you come to our Neighbours Night at Newtown Park, below, there will be more information there.

Keep Newtown Clean – Saturday February 25th

Saturday 25th  February from 9am – 12noon

Painting, Cleaning, Gardening – and free BBQ for volunteers!

The Newtown Festival Street Fair Day is the week after, on Sunday 5th March – lets have Newtown looking its best! We really need more willing hands to make this happen, so do come along – its a fun and satisfying way to spend an hour or two. All equipment provided, just wear old clothes.

Keep Newtown Clean events are organised by the Newtown Residents’ Association, supported by Wellington City Council, S B Maintenance, Newtown New World, and Amadeus Hair Salon.

We meet outside the Newtown Mall – see you there!