Category Archives: Consultation

Draft District Plan, Bike Network and LGWM – 3 consultations open now!

The Draft District Plan, the Bike Path from Newtown to Waitangi Park and Lets Get Wellington Moving – Mass Rapid Transit are all open consultations, and the staff from WCC will be at the Salvation Army Hall 4 Normanby St on Saturday 20th November to explain these to you.

Do get along and take all your questions!  Find out how these projects are going to affect you. They all involve big changes to our City, so if you approve or disapprove of what is proposed please let WCC know by making submissions on each of these. LGWM – Mass Rapid Transit closes 5pm Friday December 10th and the DDP and Bike Path consultations close at 5pm on Tuesday December 14th.

At the Residents’ Association meeting on Monday 15th November we had a presentation about the proposed Bike Path from Newtown to Waitangi Park. See here for the outline of this Newtown to city  |  Projects – WCC Transport Projects. There was a written presentation with more detail, the link is below.

And some members of the Association tuned in to a zoom meeting on Tuesday 9th November for a presentation about the Draft District Plan with WCC Planners, including Liam Hodgetts the Chief Planning Officer. This was a good session with good information. The presentation is attached below, and so is a document with written answers to a number of questions.

Unfortunately the session wasn’t recorded, so you won’t get the demonstration of how the DDP works as an interactive document.  There is a video about this at https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz/district-plan-review – scroll down to ‘How to Navigate and Read the DDP’. One of the interesting things you can do is enter an address into a search field and find out about all the DDP rules that affect that property. It’s a bit complicated though so I suggest you go along to one of the events and ask the officers to demonstrate it to you and explain what the rules will mean in practise. 

Notes from the October 2021 Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association October Meeting was at 7.30pm, 18 October 2021, held at St Thomas’s Community Lounge 200 Riddiford St.

This is a summary of some of the main points –

Workingmen’s Bowling Club, Owen St – Cr Fleur Fitzsimons reported that the Club has given up its lease. WCC  now owns the building and they don’t want to demolish it. Council officers are concerned however at the cost of repairs. The future use is not decided. A number of community groups are interested.  NRA is very clear that we can’t lose community space in Newtown, and our Councillors agree.

The District Plan, Cycleways and LGWM are all coming up for community consultation between November 2nd and December 14th.  At the time of this meeting the District Plan was due to be discussed by Wellington City Council’s Planning Committee on 20th October, and then released for consultation.

  • On 1 November at 5.30  there is a webinar introduction to the whole plan. Register for the launch event here.
  • 20 November there is an in-person Roadshow at the Salvation Army Hall 10am – 3pm, with input from the WCC planning team and the engagement team.

(Update –the Draft DP was adopted by the Council on 20th October after considerable discussion and some proposed amendments.  See here for the minutes, a useful Q&A document and the link to watch the meeting. In the meantime a new Government directive about intensifying housing was announced, so the Draft DP will need considerable revision.)

Introduction to LIVE WELLington. At the Association meeting in July we talked about the development of a group to promote density done well.  This organisation is now called ‘LiveWellington – a liveable city by design’.  Watch this space. The launch is expected to be 4pm November 14th at Mt Cook School.

The Government Housing Policy, with discussion of the Government Policy Statement on Urban Design and the National Policy Statement on Urban Design (which has the requirements for enabling ‘at least 6 storeys’ in large areas of our suburbs).

A Good News story followup about a WCC tenant who set up a small garden at her Council flat in Newtown, that was reported in the DomPost .  A garden supplies manager in Bulls liked the story and sent her a load of peastraw, compost and other gardening equipment, which she was very happy to receive.

The Newtown Festival – there is a lot of uncertainty about whether the Festival will go ahead as planned on March 6th – or the postponement date of April 3rd.  The Government announcements have said that Festivals will be able to operate with attendees having vaccine certificates – but it seems impossible to make sure that everyone at a free street Festival has a certificate, because there are a multitude of entrances, people living on site and a supermarket inside the Festival boundary.  However the Festival crew are going ahead with planning as if it is going to happen until there is more clarity about what will be happening in March (or April).

The meeting closed at 9.05pm. Next meeting November 15th, 7.30pm, same venue.

Minutes of the 2021 AGM

This meeting was 7.30pm Monday 20th September at the St Thomas’s / City Mission Community Lounge at 200 Riddiford St (a change from the usual venue at Newtown Hall because of Covid restrictions)

The AGM was followed by the usual monthly meeting business.

This is a summary of the meeting:

The Minutes of the 2020 AGM were taken as read and approved

Matters arising included the History Project.   Martin Hanley outlined the history of this (long-running) project.
It has now been prepared for publication as an online document.

President’s Report: This had been circulated, and is available online. Rhona summarised the report, with a month by month account of meeting topics, issues addressed and submissions made.https://newtownresidents.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2021-agm-presidents-report-2.pdf

Treasurer’s Report: Michelle Wolland, our Treasurer, couldn’t be at the meeting.  Sam Somers read the Treasurer’s Report. There was a small operating surplus in the 2020-2021 financial year, and the Association has a healthy financial position. It was noted that we handle funding for Mount Cook Mobilised because they are not an incorporated society (Carol Comber is the link person between Mt Cook Mobilised and the Newtown Residents’ Association Executive).

Election of Officers:

President: Rhona Carson

Secretary: no nominations: Rhona noted that she had been acting as Secretary as well as President, and would be happy to hear from any member interested in this position.

Treasurer: Michelle Wolland

Vice Presidents: Jane Patterson & Martin Hanley

Executive Committee: Sam Somers , Carol Comber , Peter Frater, Marion Leighton, Steve Cosgrove, James Coyle, Hilary Watson, Penny Sturgess, Adam Awad

The Annual General Meeting was declared closed at 8:32

September Monthly Meeting started at 8:33. The main topics were:

Wellington City Council Representation Review

Sam Somers circulated and spoke to his written notes on this subject. Sam is doing a personal submission and encouraged others, including the Association, to make submissions. Consultation closes 4 October

There was a general discussion about issues pertaining to Council and Councillors.  In particular it was noted that before wards were introduced Councillors almost always came from the northern areas.

Community Centre Upgrade: a report from Tom Law (Chair of the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre Trust)

This is going very, very, slowly.  Plans are on the City Council website, and on the NCCC website.

  • The Theatre will be upgraded. An application has been made for Lottery Grants Board Funding, which was supported by the Newtown Residents’ Association and Newtown Festival. 
  • Escalating building costs have led to a request to Council for more funds.
  • Lift and office space upgrades are planned.
  • The Community and Cultural Centre is nearing the end of its one-year lease in the current replacement location (2 Green Street).  An extension to this is being progressed.

Update on Jared Corston’s role as WCC Community Liaison officer

  • Jared now has a wider range of responsibilities liaising with Community Centres across the City. However he is still focussing on Newtown issues. As before he asks people to use the WCC fixit app to report issues, but he is happy to be contacted when this doesn’t solve the problems, or if there are other Newtown issues to discuss. He can be contacted at Jared.Corston@wcc.govt.nz
  • CAB is currently occupying Kia Ora Newtown.  Jared has a desk at the library and uses community spaces for meeting people.
  • Steve asked about what has happened to the Keep NZ Beautiful mural from 15 Constable St?  This needs to be followed up.

The new venue

Martin Hanley moved a motion of thanks to Mark and Kirsty from St Thomas’s for the use of the Community Lounge for this meeting, and suggested we also have the October meeting there.  This was supported by the meeting.

The meeting closed at 9:05. The next meeting will be on October 18th, 7.30 pm, at the St Thomas’s Community Lounge 200 Riddiford St.

Minutes of the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting, 16 August 2021

Notes from the meeting – see below for the full minutes.

Research participants sought: Yiwen addressed the meeting, describing his PhD research looking at engagement of ethnic minorities in community planning processes.

Spatial Plan process and outcome : Councillors affirmed willingness to meet and discuss. Next steps in the consultations were outlined. 

Climate change: Patrick Morgan led a brief discussion related to the steps we could take as individuals and as a community. Patrick will provide a written summary of the discussions. 

Wellington Residents Coalition request: The coalition would like to work with the Newtown Residents’ Association in the areas of housing, water and rates. We have agreed to send a representative, and that there are divergent views on the desirability of water metering. 

Laura Rosier history book: the first five chapters of the Laura Rosier history book on the built history of Newtown are now complete.  

New Consultation: Council survey on design of the roading intersection The council is asking for feedback from the community about safety improvements in Newtown. 

Don M. asked for the meeting to support a complaint to NZTA about an offensive number plate that he had spotted in Newtown, and offered the Newtown Library a copy of his photographic essay book.

Community composting: new community composting scheme. 

Community Gardening: Carrara Park: more soil testing required, and volunteers sought. 

Mental Health Awareness week free music festival: 12pm to early evening in Carrara Park on the 2nd of October

Submission about Housing and Urban Design

At the last meeting of the Association it was agreed that we would make a Submission to Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the development of the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD).

See here for more about this policy.

The submissions are due today, July 30th, and ours has just been submitted. Our message is that the overall vision and goals of this proposed Government Policy Statement align with values that we strongly agree with, but we ask that the Government makes sure that all the policies that guide housing and urban development support actions that make it possible to realise these goals. The submission is copied below.

Notes from the meeting July 2021

The meeting was at 7.30pm on July 19th 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St. The discussion covered –

 1. Responsible Dog Owner Policy

The meeting supported the motion That Newtown Residents’ Association would like to request that the responsible dog owner policy applications start at the same time as notification for licensing occurs.

2. Spatial Plan process and outcome

Considerable discussion was held about the process and outcome of the Spatial Plan consultation.  A Wellington-wide umbrella group is being formed to promote density done well, and the meeting supported the motion That the Newtown Residents association welcome the development off Density Done Well and would like to keep in touch with this group.              

3. An introduction to the development of the WCC District Plan; Government consultation on GPS-HUD.

Martin Hanley outlined the purpose and development of a District Plan. The District Plan is a City Council document, but is guided by Government policy.  The GPS-HUD, the Government’s proposal for the future of the housing and urban development system in Aotearoa New Zealand, is open for consultation till July 30th.  After much discussion the meeting supported the motion That the Association put in a submission to this consultation that is reflective of the discussion at this meeting. 

4. The future of the Workingmen’s Bowling Club

The meeting supported the continued mixed community use of the land and buildings. 

5. Consideration of Heritage Buildings Places and Objects 

Consultation and competition.

  • There was a reminder that annual Subs are due. 

Wellington City Council Spatial Plan

The Councillors discussed this plan on Thursday 24th June, in a marathon meeting.

Between August and October 2020 there had been a process of consultation following which the Council Officers redrafted the plan, one of the key differences being an increase in the size of the areas in the inner suburbs where the pre-1930s housing would need a consent for demolition. However the Councillors rejected this revised plan and voted to restrict the character precincts to the areas that had been identified in the original Draft Plan. The intention of this is to allow buildings of up to 6 storeys in most parts of Newtown, Mt Cook, Berhampore and other inner suburbs. Here is a link to the full ‘final’ draft of the Spatial Plan debated by the Councillors, and see here for a WCC news story about the plan they have adopted. There are also stories on Scoop and other publications; see here for an outline of the amendments to the plan proposed by Councillors, and how they voted.

This wasn’t the result the Newtown Residents’ Association had hoped for. We have a long standing position that we would like to see larger developments built along the transport corridor and in the suburban centre. However tall buildings in the residential streets, shading the existing 1 or 2 storeys homes, would be damaging to these properties and to the well being of the people who live there. Our wooden homes are warm and dry if they are maintained well, but they need sun to keep them that way; see below for an explanation of why this is so important in Wellington.

Before the Councillors started their discussion Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch spoke to the meeting, reiterating the Red Design plan for higher density housing in the suburban centre. This plan was developed during the 2020 consultation period and has been discussed with Councillors previously. They also presented the Newtown Residents’ Association Position Statement ( copied in full below) on the WCC Spatial Plan, which had been discussed at the Association meeting a few days before, and the statement about the need for sunshine – see the links below. Martin and Anna have lived in Newtown and been Association members since 1981 – Martin is a past President and current Vice President of the Association. They are also architects and urban designers, practising as Red Design, and have been closely involved with the urban design of Newtown for many decades. Their submission didn’t get much traction at the meeting, but the Association intends to continue these discussions as the District Plan is formulated.

NEWTOWN RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION POSITION ON THE WCC SPATIAL PLAN

The Newtown Residents’ Association meeting on 21st June 2021 discussed the Wellington City Council Spatial Plan and agreed on the following position statement:

The Newtown Residents’ Association would like to be able to support the WCC Spatial Plan prioritising Newtown to be one of the first Wellington suburbs where densification is developed. We agree with Generation Zero and Renters United that many more warm, dry, affordable homes are needed in Wellington. We would like more warm, dry, affordable homes here in Newtown, and we would love to be the suburb where the next generation could afford a home. Our Association has spent over 30 years lobbying Council in favour of intensification within our Newtown suburban centre* where 6 storey apartments can easily fit on underdeveloped commercial and industrial sites and in behind our heritage shopfronts. Intensification here puts our new residents right on the transport corridor, with sheltered verandahs, and close walking distance to all our suburb’s amenities. 

Red Design’s** test scheme that demonstrated 6 storey infill housing in this part of our suburb proved that new buildings on only 45% of this part of Newtown can provide 2,000 new homes***. The Association would like the Spatial Plan mapping to enable intense development in the Newtown suburban centre, development that works with the iconic historic buildings and shopfronts. If Newtown’s Spatial Plan intensification mapping was all focused on the suburban centre and the Mansfield St escarpment area used by Red Design, then only 16% of this area would need to be built to 6 storeys for our community to meet the expected NPS UD required growth. Our Association would welcome more homes than required being built in this part of our community. 

Spatial Plan mapping that meant Newtown locals would not need to dispute what might happen next door to their homes or flats is a significant qualifying matter that is the bonus of this approach. If the residential areas outside of the protected heritage and character areas were zoned for in scale up to 3 storey infill (not 6 storey high rise), then Newtown Residents’ Association would then be able to support the Spatial Plan wholeheartedly. Mana Whenua, the Residents’ Association, Generation Zero, Renters United, We Are Newtown, other local groups and members of our community would all be able to collaborate with Council, and focus instead on the District Plan Rules that enable Newtown to take the lead, embrace the Spatial Plan, and to get on with providing additional housing****. 

APPROVED MOTION June 2021: If Newtown’s Spatial Plan mapping for 6 storeys was all focused within the suburban centre and Mansfield St escarpment area, as in the concept plan developed by Red Design, and if the residential areas not included in heritage character protection were zoned for in-scale up to 3 storey infill housing, rather than enabling 6 or more storeys, then the Newtown Residents’ Association would wholeheartedly support the WCC Spatial Plan and would support the prioritising of Newtown to be one of the first suburbs where densification is developed. The Association members would also support in-depth community consultation, where a Newtown place- based zoning exercise identifies other areas of our suburb where our community would approve of additional future intensification. 

*Here 4 storey buildings can already be built without side yards and daylight set-backs between in-zone neighbours. 

**Local Architecture, Urban Design and Social Policy practice embedded within the Newtown Community for the last 40 years. 

Red Design are experts in in-depth community consultation and the driving force behind the Newtown Festival. [Newtown’s intergenerational multi-cultural celebration of place, performance, creativity, culture and community that every year involves nearly 1000 performers and 450 stalls (run by approx. 1200 stallholders) all convened by 250 volunteers and 180 paid crew and staged in the heart of central Newtown]. 

***Three times the number of new homes projected to be required in Newtown over the next 30 years. The proposed new apartments in the test design included courtyards and open space, 82% of the apartments had sun and views on at least 2 sides, 63% were 100 sqm. No heritage buildings were harmed in the making of this scheme. 

****Red Design know of at least 12 owners currently keen to develop their central Newtown properties, 6 of which already have plans underway. But overly restrictive interpretation of the design guide provisions and heritage rules by WCC officers are currently holding them back from intensifying. 

Notes from the Meeting, June 2021

Notes from the Newtown Resident’s Association Meeting, 7.30pm 21st June 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St. 

This meeting discussed three issues tabled by members, and then had a lengthy discussion about the recently released version of the Spatial Plan, prior to it being voted on by the Wellington City Councillors later in the week

Jan G. shared her experience as a consumer representative at the Regional Hospital.

Jill F. sought the support of the meeting to ask the council to reduce the speed limits in Newtown. The meeting supported a reduction to 40 km per hour down Constable Street, and to 30 km per hour through the Riddiford St shopping centre and on all the residential side streets.  

Steve C. updated the meeting on the situation with the Carrara Park community garden.  He now has administrator rights to the  facebook page for the community gardens , and has updated and re-invigorated this group. He also signalled that Kai Cycle will be extending their subscription waste collection service for compostable material and are arranging for a compost collection bin to be positioned in the Park. There was also discussion of community fruit trees and the maintenance of street trees.

The newly released second version of the Draft Spatial Plan was discussed at length. Anna K-W. presented the Red Design submission to the Council outlining the case for development to largely take place in the Newtown Suburban Centre, on underdeveloped comercial and industrial sites, where there is the potental to provide enough new housing to meet the projected need. We agreed that there was a need for more housing, for unfit housing to be able to be replaced by warm dry homes, and for a proportion of the housing to be designated social housing to produce genuinely affordable rents. The meeting discussed a proposal whereby the Association would support Newtown being prioritised for appropriate growth if the Red Design plan was followed, and developments in the residential streets outside the heritage precincts were a maximum 3 storeys, unless the site was particularly suitable for a higher development. The meeting agreed to support this move, and that the Residents’ Association executive could finalise the wording of the Newtown Position Statement to go to the council having heard suggestions from the floor. 

The next meeting will be on Monday the 19th of July at 7.30 p.m. 

Submission to WCC about the Te Ngākau Civic Precinct consultation.

The Association has made a submission about the Te Ngākau Civic Precinct framework – the consultation closed on 16th June. we are troubled that the proposed strategic direction envisages a fundamental remodelling of this space.

At this stage there is little detail about the design, but there is a discussion of opening up the space by demolishing the City To Sea Bridge, and the Jack Ilott Green is included in an ‘area for change’. We are not alone in protesting about the possibility of losing this all-too-rare green space, and in our submission we supported the Inner City Wellington submission with the same concerns.

Back in 2016 whenJack Ilott Green was under threat previously a Facebook page ‘Save Jack Ilott Green’ was set up, and now it is active again. 

Wellington City Council Long Term Plan Submissions

The WCC LTP submissions closed on Monday, 11th May.

The Newtown Residents’ Association made a brief submission -see it here.

Overall there were 1647 submissions, of which 78 were from Newtown residents. See here for the WCC summary of the submissions received: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/ltp-info/news_feed/what-we-ve-heard

Notes of the Association Meeting, April 19th 2021

A good turn out of residents were treated to three presentations of interest.

1) WCC Innovating Streets organisers reported largely positive feedback on the platform which was installed outside the Friendly Bakery and Black Coffee, and shared plans to increase such parklets in the community.

2) A team from GWRC presented the 3 main consultation themes from the draft 2021-2030  Long Term Plan:  

  • To de-carbonise public transport – busses, rail and ferries.
  • To restore areas of regional parks to native bush and wetlands as a climate change mitigation strategy
  • To provide more support (especially secretariat support) to constituent Councils to coordinate planning for Regional growth

3) WCC introduced their Long Term Plan Consultation, highlighting the extremely challenging financial environment and the huge costs due to the earthquakes and to lack of infrastructure maintenance (especially in water infrastructure) over many years.

Notes from the Residents’ Association 15th February 2021 Meeting

Brief notes from minutes of the Newtown Resident’s Association Meeting, 7.30pm 15th February 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.

  1. Predator Free Wellington (PFW) plans intensive rat eradication operation throughout Newtown and neighbouring suburbs. See https://www.pfw.org.nz/island-bay-to-cbd/ (sign up to host a trap, or see more about the project) or 0800norats 0800667287
  2. Wellington Residents’ Coalition has been re-activated to campaign to keep Wellington’s water assets under the direct ownership and control of a publicly-elected body and to stop the introduction of water meters.  This topic will be explored in more depth at a future meeting.
  3. The Newtown Festival, (Sunday 7th March) is looking for volunteers for Marshalls, Waste Management, Traffic Management etc. To volunteer please contact newtownfestival@gmail.com or talk to Rhona, Martin or Anna.
  4. Wellington City Council’s draft Spatial Plan is unlikely to go back to Council until June. See Feedback report . The Long Term Plan and District Plan consultations will also need our attention in coming months.
  5. The Association voted to assist with steps necessary to help maintain the Newtown Market during Covid Level Two, should this be necessary in future.
  6. The Community Centre redevelopment now has another new project manager. The NCCC staff and clients are moving out on 14 April. The CAB has moved into Kia Ora Newtown, and the Tool Library is moving to new premises next to Network Newtown at the end of the month
  7. The Electricity Department Newtown Substation at 180 Riddiford St. is being repurposed for modern needs while keeping the façade.

Submission on Waste Minimisation

On 21st October the Association President Rhona Carson made an oral submission on the Proposed Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2020, following on from an online submission in September. 

The main concerns were to increase the commitment to reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, and to demonstrating this by changing the language from “Waste Management” to “Zero Waste”. We also wanted WCC to collect the waste and recycling from multi unit dwellings, as not doing this disadvantages these residents.

The other main issue was about increasing the expectations for having “Zero Waste” targets at events.