Category Archives: Consultation

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

November meeting minutes

Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting
Monday 21st November

See the full minutes of the meeting here.

Annual Accounts
These were presented to the meeting and accepted – at the time of the AGM in September they were still with the auditor.
Submissions
WCC Draft Playspaces Policy – NRA submission made
Airport runway extension S274 Notice – ready.
Introducing Ray Tuffin
Ray is the Newtown Community Liaison Officer employed by Wellington City Council, and has been in the job 3 weeks. Ray is the link between Community and Council – you can contact him on ray.tuffin@wcc.govt.nz if you have anything to report or discuss concerning WCC services.
He outlined his role and some current WCC projects coming to Newtown –

  • Blindsquare – an app helping blind people navigate around business area and shops based on verbal directions.
  • Eyeson – Retail security program to link businesses with other support to prevent shoplifting.

An office at 8 Constable Street will be Ray’s base, and also available for other community use.
See the full minutes for more about what Ray has been doing.
Emergency Response
Ray and Bessie were among the WCC staff on duty at the WREMO centre 24/7 since the earthquake on 14/11.  They described how this unfolded and the many tasks WCC were involved with in helping people .
Issues for the 2017 WCC Annual Plan
We have started thinking about what we might include in a submission to WCC next year. Please contact us if you have any comments or anything to add!
Suggestions

  • Carrara Park facilities – drinking water and toilet
  • General beautification – particularly trees
  • Support laneways project – currently in CBD, extend to Newtown?
  • Perhaps include signage too
  • Query about whether WCC ‘Placemaking’ project is still current
  • Love the Bay has found people want spaces to rest and watch
  • Reclaiming poster bollards
  • Sculptures about the place – would Wellington Sculpture Trust operate in suburbs?
  • Working with Newtown School on plans for the swimming pool

This was the final formal meeting for 2016 – next meeting Monday 20th February 2017.

Notes about the April meeting 

See the meeting minutes here.

These were the topics discussed –

The Wellington City Council Annual Plan consultation.  

We went through the consultation document and decided to focus discussion at this meeting on items directly affecting residents in this area. You can see the completed submission here.

We need to be more prepared for this consultation in future years.  It is preferable to make submissions on the items to include in the Annual Plan in the pre-planning phase, but the call for such submissions came out in January and we don’t have business meetings in December or January.  We plan to discuss our ideas in November this year for the 2017 Plan.

WCC Dog Policy and Animal Bylaw.
There was support for the majority of these proposals, but there was concern about the costs of microchipping and registering cats, and mixed feelings about a ban on feeding animals (including birds) in public places.  In general the preference was for policies and guidelines without draconian enforcement. See the NRA submissions – Dog Policy, and  Animal Bylaw.

The outcome of the WCC Community, Sport and Recreation Committee meeting on 13th April about the recent report and recommendations on Begging.
The committee decided to accept the recommendation to manage issues through “street management” rather than attempt bans.  David Wilcock made a submission to the committee on behalf of Newtown Business Association, outlining problems with people begging in the vicinity of Newtown Mall, often with intimidatory behaviour.  In the days following this there was increased Police presence on the street, and it was noticeable that there were fewer problems. There is also a ‘Street Outreach’ multi-agency team who try to make contact and work with the people who are begging. Local Hosts (green uniform) who are employed by Council and are part of the Outreach team make regular visits to Newtown.

A report on the Mt Victoria Transport Forum on 12th April
The Mt Victoria Newsletter convened this meeting to discuss the ‘Let’s get Wellington Moving’ public engagement process with Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the NZ Transport Agency.   Our representatives who attended were impressed by the willingness to listen and not impose proposals. Consultation began 6th April, and is open for 6 weeks until mid-May.  See http://getwellymoving.co.nz to take the online survey – the more people who make their wishes known the better.

Berhampore Community Centre
Recently opened, based at the Centennial Flats on Adelaide Rd. Merio Masters is the Co-ordinator. There was a public meeting on 6th April that Peter Frater and Rhona Carson attended. It was primarily about running the Community Centre, but there was also some discussion about reviving the Berhampore Residents’ Association. Peter was a member of this Association before it went into recess and believes it is still needed so that Berhampore has a focus for consultation with WCC about local issues. We would be happy to support its revival if this is wanted.

FixIt.
We discussed collecting FixIt response data, so we have hard stats on how it is working in our area. Graffiti and Health and Safety issues seem to be addressed quickly but cleaning, landscaping, etc, seem to be more problematic. Reports are acknowledged and sometimes there are phone calls asking for more information, but we wish there was also feedback about the outcome.

The wider issue is that we want on-going maintenance checked and followed up without it being necessary for residents to draw attention to it.  We are looking for ideas regarding what to do if we don’t get a response to the rubbish issues.

Newtown Community Police Station
A volunteer in an Auckland community office was attacked and Police have closed these offices at present because of Health and Safety concerns, so our local Police Sation will be closed until further notice.

WCC Consultation on the Annual Plan

Wellington City Council will soon be preparing the Annual Plan 2016/17 and the Mayor has written to say: “…we are interested in proposals and ideas from our community that will help us grow or diversify Wellington’s economy, be a smart resilient city, improve services and use of   existing assets including parks, roads and libraries, and save money.
Working within the framework of the LTP budget, elected members will consider your feedback when we prepare the Annual Plan Consultation Document….”

You can find out more about the Annual Plan process at www.wellington.govt.nz/annualplan2016-17

The Wellington Town Belt Bill

Progress on the Bill:  Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central moved that the Bill be read for the first time on 16 September 2015. The House voted unanimously to refer the Bill to the Local Government and Environment Committee. The Local Government and Environment Select Committee then called for submissions, which closed on the 29 October 2015. The Association supports the Bill in principle, and have made a submission saying so, with a few provisos. Our submission is here. A couple of other links – the text of the bill and the WCC page – including a map.

Report on the NRA July Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association met on July 20th 2015.

You can see the meeting minutes here. These were two of the main of the issues discussed:

Efforts to consult with contractors doing potentially disruptive street works.

In mid July Jeanie McCafferty, NRA Vice President and local retailer, became aware that work was about to start on upgrading the trolley wires in Constable St.  There had been no prior consultation, and the work was going to be very disruptive to traffic flows and parking.  Jeanie managed to arrange an emergency meeting with the contractors, other retailers, and WCC representatives, and agreement was reached on doing the work in the least disruptive way, including no Saturday work.  There is more to be done on establishing policies to make sure that in future there will always be consultation with affected parties before work starts.

Submission on Private Plan Change 79

A developer has applied to change the zoning of a property at 42a Riddiford Street from Inner Residential to Suburban Centre.  42a is a back section, and a zoning change would allow it to be amalgamated with properties at 40 and 42 Riddiford St for a combined commercial development.  The neighbours in the Residential zone, particularly in Nikau St, are very concerned about how this will affect them.  The meeting agreed to oppose this change. You can see the NRA Submission here.

Cycling Submission

The NRA Cycling project group – set up at the NRA meeting last October – has made a comprehensive submission on the Wellington City Council Draft Cycling Network, as it applies to our area.

The Newtown Residents’ Association is very pleased that the Draft Cycling Framework recognises Newtown Berhampore and Mount Cook as a key cycling corridor from the outer suburbs.  A safe cycling corridor has the ability to transform our part of the city.

Read the submission here.

A Visit to the Mayor

On May 19th 2015 Claire Pettigrew, Rhona Carson and Jeanie McCafferty met with Mayor Celia Wade Brown with Jenny Rains from WCC and local ward councillors Paul Eagle and David Lee in attendance. We wanted to introduce our new President Claire to the Mayor and to raise a number of issues of concern to Newtown residents.

These included our desire to see improved communication with council over future consultations, work plans and other issues that may affect us in Newtown so we can better plan the Association’s work load, improve consultation in the community and ensure our volunteers are not overwhelmed with work at the last minute. We discussed being involved in the regular ward meeting with Councillors and the Mayor and also extended an invitation to the Mayor to attend a Residents Association meeting or otherwise engage with the NRA Executive to enhance communication.

We  raised our ongoing concern at the poor outcomes from the contracting out of street cleaning and that there continues to be problems with rubbish collecting, weed clearing and the effectiveness of storm water drains.

We pointed out that Newtown has not had a “spruce up” in a long time. The traffic lights and light poles needed some paint and the pavements need a water blast to clean off generations of gunk and spray painted marks.  We heard that there is a regular schedule of Asset Management programmes, and we are awaiting information on the Asset Management plan for Newtown.  The Mayor volunteered that she would be happy to see this attended to, and in particular it would be good to have Newtown looking its best before the next Newtown Festival.

Lastly we discussed a follow up to the John St Protocols. Contractors working in Newtown recently were keen to follow the protocols after they were brought to their attention. We heard from Mayor Celia that the Protocols were tabled at a Council meeting and were ‘folded into’ the Significance and Engagement Policy Paper November 2014 (available from the Council website).  It was agreed in our meeting that the council will investigate how more detailed aspects of the John St Protocols can be added to this document and included at the the procurement stage of contracts.

Notes about the May 2015 meeting

You will find the minutes of the meeting here.

This was a well-attended meeting, with a number of people attending especially to hear from the Salvation Army about their plans for redevelopment.

Salvation Army

Ian McLaren, TSA Property Secretary and Guy Cleverley, Architect, talked about the plans and answered questions, with input from Mark Ashby, Planning Consultant.  You will find a full account in the meeting minutes.  It was emphasised that the plans are at a preliminary stage, with many details still to be worked through.

Following the discussion a motion was put to the meeting: That the NRA supports the concept in principle, subject to consultation going forwards and to neighbours’ concerns. Proposed Tom Law, seconded Evelyn Hopkins. This was countered by a proposal from the floor – That we do not support it until we have received all the documentation.  A vote was taken for and against supporting the concept, with a majority in favour of support but a sizeable minority dissenting. We look forward to continuing consultation as the plans develop.

Keep Newtown Clean

This will be the subject of a separate post.  In brief, the NRA has been asked to bring the Keep Newtown Clean project under the Association’s umbrella, and following discussion agreed to do this.  The plan is to move from a monthly clean-up to events four times a year.  We will be looking for a volunteer co-ordinator – or group of co-ordinators.

WCC Gambling Venues Policy Review

Submissions on this policy are due on Friday 22nd May. George Darroch from the Problem Gambling Foundation spoke to the meeting about the work of the Foundation and about their observations of the harm gambling is doing to local families. Following discussion the meeting agreed unanimously that the NRA

  • Supports a ‘sinking lid’ for gaming machines
  • Supports the money from gaming trusts coming back to the community where the gaming machines are located,
  • Advocates for a gaming machine-free southern ward.

Following the meeting these resolutions formed the basis for the NRA submission to the WCC on the gambling venues policy.

The next NRA meeting will be on June 15th, 7.30pm – as usual,  at the Newtown Community Hall in Daniell St.

Submission to the Wellington City Council on the Long Term Plan

The NRA President and Secretary – Claire Pettigrew and Rhona Carson – made an oral submission to the Council on 5th May 2015, to back up the written submission the Association put in earlier.

We spoke about concerns about Council services – e.g. rubbish, drainage etc.  There was a report in the Dominion Post the next morning about the hearings in which we got a mention – quote: “Big ideas were fine, but the basics had to be working first, President Claire Pettigrew said.”
We also asked the WCC to continue to support the Newtown Festival, and were encouraged by the affirmation from the Chair that  “The Newtown Festival is already an iconic Wellington event”.

Report on the NRA Meeting 16th February 2015

Notes …

The Newtown Residents’ Association Subscription

The NRA rules are that this is to be reviewed in February of each year, with the decision to take effect from July, when our financial year starts.  The current subscription is ‘a gold coin’ – the rationale for it being so low is to minimise any barriers to people being financial members.  There were views for and against continuing on this basis – a significant sum for a subscription could increase the NRA funds – but the resolution was to keep it at ‘a gold coin’ for now.

Cycleway Update

All WCC consultation has been postponed.  Kate Swartz will take over convening the NRA Cycleway Subgroup.

Community Response Plan.

We had a successful meeting in December, and an earlier post reported on this.   The organisers have written a draft plan and are now working on an Executive summary.

Carrara Park Mural

Local Artists Sara and Andrew Tamati-Wright were involved over many years with the painting, renewal and upkeep of a ‘street art’ mural on a wall in Carrara Park.  A series of misunderstandings led to it being painted out not once but twice.  There have been continuing negotiations with Wellington City Council about allowing Sara and Andrew and their team to reinstate it.  The discussions are making progress, but the progress is slow because the current policy about public murals has to be adapted somewhat.   The meeting agreed that the Residents’ Association supports the proposal for repainting the mural.

Submissions to Wellington City Council

The Wellington Reorganisation Proposal (aka the ‘Super City’ proposal) – due on 2/3/15.  Agreed that it was impossible for us to have a consensus view about this at short notice – but we did want the NRA to be kept in the loop for future consultation, so Claire Pettigrew would write a ‘placeholder’ submission, circulate it to the executive and submit it if approved.  This has now been submitted.

Land Transport Plan – due 20/2/15. Kate Swartz to write, circulate and submit on behalf of the NRA.

Bio-diversity Strategy and Action Plan – due 6/3/15.  Similarly, Cheryl Robilliard will write this submission.

Social Housing Service Policy Review – due 27/2/15.  Decided to make this a focus of the next NRA meeting – see the WCC discussion paper and consultation document here.

Number 18 bus – circulated a notice about protests against stopping this well-patronised bus service that links University campuses.

Plans for the Salvation Army Redevelopment.

Martin Hanley reported on the Salvation Army’s willingness to consult on the plans they are developing for a new building on the block bordering Riddiford St, Normanby St and Donald McLean St – not including the TAB building on the corner of Riddiford and Donald McLean Sts. The intention is to create a ‘one stop shop’ with the Church and all the other services in the one place.

Newtown Festival Update 

There has been a previous post about the Festival.  Plans are well underway for the Fair Day on Sunday March 8th, and in particular we would like people to be aware of and support the new, free, Street Sports zone in South Riddford St, made possible by a grant from Infinity and the practical support of the Wellington City Council and of Chevron, who are allowing us to use the old Caltex site.

Next NRA Meeting – 16th March 2015, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, Daniell St.