Brief notes from minutes of the Newtown Resident’s Association Meeting, 7.30pm 15th February 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.
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
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.
The Newtown Festival, (Sunday 7th March) is looking for volunteers for Marshalls, Waste Management, Traffic Management etc. To volunteer please contact email@example.com or talk to Rhona, Martin or Anna.
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.
The Association voted to assist with steps necessary to help maintain the Newtown Market during Covid Level Two, should this be necessary in future.
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
The Electricity Department Newtown Substation at 180 Riddiford St. is being repurposed for modern needs while keeping the façade.
We have heard from the WCC Planning for Growth Team that they received around 3,000 submissions and the team has started the job of working through the feedback.
Engagement Officer Clare Lundon wrote “There has certainly been a wide range of views and lots of interest in the Plan – it says a lot I think about how passionate Wellingtonians are about their community and this city.
The Planning for Growth Team, my Engagement Team colleagues and I are very grateful to the work you have put into this project. Thank you for your input at the various workshops over the last few weeks, and the well-considered formal submissions from your community. ”
There will be a chance for submitters to make an oral submission in November. We are waiting to hear about dates and how to register.
We agree with the need for more housing, but buildings of ‘at least 6 storeys’ in the residential streets of Newtown, as proposed in this plan (see the purple areas in the map below) would result in losing the very qualities, including sun and shelter, that make Newtown a great place to live. On the other hand we do support a proposal to intensify housing along the commercial streets – we have advocated for this for many years.
We hope you agree with us, and that you will make a submission to say so!
The guide below is put together by Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch, please read it through to see the rationale for responses to the questions in the online submission form.
In May 2019, in the Newtown Residents’ Association Submission to the first round of WCC consultation on Planning for Growth, we said that we would welcome intensification along the ‘Growth Spine’ of Adelaide Rd and Riddiford St. On the other hand tall buildings in the residential areas would result in losing the very qualities, including sun and shelter, that make Newtown a great place to live.
We were dismayed when the Draft Plan was published showing zoning for at least 6 storeys in most of central Newtown, and up to 4 storeys in much of the rest.
In response to this Martin Hanley (Association Vice President) and Ann Kemble Welch (Association Member), who are architects and urban designers, set to work to draw up ‘proof of concept’ plans to show that intensification along the main streets, and mostly within existing Suburban Centres zoning, could provide up to 2,000 or more new dwellings. This far exceeds the current projections of the Draft Spatial Plan for the whole Newtown area – the most recently released figures predict 487-759 new dwellings will be needed, to house 1289-2011 people.
Our Association would prefer the height limit to be 4 storeys in most of the area (as in our original submission) but if 6 storey developments are required they are better situated here than among one and two storey homes on the residential streets. This plan takes care to protect the historic shopfronts by building developments behind them.
We had a meeting to discuss the Draft Plan last night. Our Newtown Residents’ Association sponsored the meeting, but the ad hoc We Are Newtown group, which is a mix of Association members and other Newtownians, did much of the organising. This group came together in response to this Draft Plan. See https://www.facebook.com/weAreNewtownPoneke
Yadana Saw (who lives in Constable St): was the meeting chairperson. Mayor Andy Foster described the Spatial Planning process and the next steps of developing the new version of the District Plan Cr Iona Pannett – presented the goals of the Spatial Plan and what is intended for Newtown James Coyle spoke on behalf of the Residents’ Association, with concerns about the Draft Plan and proposals for alternative approaches, intensifying apartment building along the main spine of Riddiford St and parts of Mansfield St. Kassie McCluskey – Newtown homeowner, gave her views of the stress caused to residents by trying to deal with the plan in the middle of dealing with COVID-19 and made an impassioned plea for Council to work with the community. Ashok Jacob – from Renters United talked of the dire state of rental properties, how housing is expensive both to rent or buy and increasingly out of reach; more supply is needed. Hilary Watson – Newtown homeowner, gave a vision for a regenerated Adelaide Rd, asking the Council and Government to work together to make this a reality Roland Sapsford – activist, author of ‘Creating Communities not Demolishing Old Homes’ http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130136#more-130136 gave a talk along similar lines, emphasising that the best results come when things are done with people not to them. Yadana finished the meeting with reminding people about making a submission by October 5th. Cr Fleur Fitzsimons, Cr Laurie Foon and MP Paul Eagle were also in attendance, listening to the discussion and the different views.
‘Two generations of support for Wellington’s character areas; warning of “foolish” deregulation’ – Submissions by Felicity Wong, the chair of Historic Places Wellington, and Gregor Thompson a student living in Newtown who also works with HPW. http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130086
This was the topic of the Residents’ Association Zoom meeting on Monday 17th August.
Cr Iona Pannett introduced the topic, saying that Council plans to accommodate 50,000 – 80,000 more people by 2040, and the Draft Spatial Plan is a response, showing proposals for building apartment blocks of up to 6 storeys in City Centre and the Inner City Suburbs.
Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch responded, saying that while there has been longstanding support within the Newtown Residents’ Association for increased density along what used to be called the ‘Growth Spine’, eg Adelaide Road and Riddiford St, having blanket permission for 6 storey developments across most of Newtown would devastate the suburb. When buildings are appropriate to the environment they can easily go to 4 to 6 stories, and there are areas where this would be appropriate. The plan needs to be more specific about heights appropriate to specific areas.
The meeting continued with a wide ranging discussion around aspects of the plan.
The map below shows why there is so much concern from our residents. Only the area marked for Type 2 housing will still have the pre-1930s character controls that currently exist across the whole area. See here for the full Draft Plan.
The Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting Monday August 17th 2020 will now be on Zoom, 7.30pm-9.00pm
This meeting will focus on the Wellington City Council Planning for Growth Consultation, and what the proposals would mean for Newtown. We will be joined by Councillor Iona Pannet, who holds the urban development portfolio.
A number of Newtown Residents’ Association members and colleagues have already been sent the Zoom meeting link. If you haven’t received this and would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably before 6pm tomorrow, Monday 17/8.
Have you had a look at the Our City Tomorrow -Draft Spatial Plan yet? Please do, and have a look at the section on Newtown – under Inner City Suburbs. The current proposal is that most of Newtown should be made available for 6 storey buildings. Those of us who have looked at the plans have many concerns about the extent of this, and this is what we will be discussing tomorrow.
There was a WCC webinar on Planning for Growth on Thursday 13/8, and if you didn’t attend you can view the recording on the consultation page. You can also see the schedule for visits by the Planning for Growth Team to our suburbs, with the note that this might change due to COVID-19 alert levels. See https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz for both of these – scroll down for the links.
We are proposing to convene another meeting when we are back in Level 1, so if you don’t join us tomorrow on Zoom there will be another opportunity to discuss the issues and to talk about making submissions to WCC in response to the draft plan.
This meeting was on July 20th at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.
We observed a minutes silence in memory of Frances Acey, who was a long time member of our Association but had been unwell for some years. Frances made many contributions to our community, including being instrumental in establishing the Newtown Citizens Advice Bureau and then the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre. She was the first NCCC coordinator. She died on July 9th.
The meeting heard an update from Jared Corston, the WCC Community Liaison Officer for Newtown, and discussion of some local issues.
The main topic was a discussion about the proposed Kainga Ora developments in Coromandel St, with a number of local residents expressing concerns about aspects of these proposals.
Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting: Monday June 15th 2020, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St
After two months of Zoom meetings we are able to meet in person again! However if you would still prefer to stay home and attend the meeting remotely, let us know – we can arrange for you to Zoom in to join us, but we need to be able to contact you!
The agenda will include an update on events and developments in Newtown.
We can also talk about Wellington City Council submissions – see WCC consultations – we recently submitted on the Parking Policy and the Annual Plan. Current consultations include the Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy Review, closing 26/6, and Fairer Rents for Council Tenants, closing 30/6, and it would be good to hear from people with an interest in these topics. Could you please have a look and either let us know your thoughts by email to email@example.com or be ready to make a comment at the meeting?
We will also start to plan for a Meet the Candidates meeting for the Rongotai Electorate – nominations close 21 August, advance voting starts Saturday 5th September, and election day is the 19th September.
We are looking forward to seeing you on Monday evening – everyone welcome!
Draft Annual Plan 2020/21- we accepted the need for a 5.1% rates rise, but added that we approve of the proposal to defer rates payments without penalty where this is necessary to ameliorate financial hardship caused by covid-19. We also recommended publicising the Rates Rebate available to low income households.
We also approved of some other policies, see the full submission for details.
Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting Monday 25th May 2020, 7-30-9.00pm, via Zoom
Our meeting was going to be on Monday 18th May, which is our regular 3rd Monday of the month, but there is a Wellington City Council Paekawakawa Southern Ward webinar to discuss the WCC Annual Plan and Parking Policy at 7pm on the 18th – see below for the details.
We have decided to postpone the Association meeting and encourage everyone to attend the webinar. Then we will be in a better position to discuss any submissions we might make as an Association.
On the 25th May we will meet by Zoom, as there are still significant restrictions on numbers for meetings. We will email a meeting link to our members and other regular meeting attendees. If you want to make sure you are on the list to get the link please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Zoom Meeting’ as the subject.
Paekawakawa Southern Ward – A Kōrero about Your City 2020-21 7-8pm May 18th
You are invited to join the Mayor and Councillors from our Ward for a Q&A webinar session on the big issues facing the city, and what it means for our community.
For more information and to register, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1625242419890892813. Please note that when you register you will be asked for your questions on the Annual Plan, Parking Policy and any other issues of concern, so it is a good idea to look at the consultation documents first.
In the 2020-21 Annual Plan Wellington City Council are proposing a 5.1% rates rise. Their position is that this balances Council’s loss in revenue against ensuring affordability for rate payers. See more details about the annual plan and other current consultations here: https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultations. Submissions on the Annual Plan and Parking Policy will close on 8th June.