Category Archives: Consultation

Meeting on the WCC Draft Spatial Plan, 16th September

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

The meeting was live streamed on the Newtown Residents’ Association Facebook Page, and you will find it here – https://www.facebook.com/NewtownResidentsAssociation/ or here https://www.facebook.com/NewtownResidentsAssociation/videos/1023328101429628

This was the programme –

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.

Articles and responses to the WCC Draft Spatial Plan

Firstly, this is a link to the comprehensive Our City Tomorrow- Draft Spatial Plan

and another one to a Summary of Our City Tomorrow – Draft Spatial Plan

See more at https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultations

Also see –https://www.keepwellingtonscharacter.com

A number of people have written articles about this, and we will add them here as we become aware of them.

An interview with the Mayor in Scoop, August 12th: ‘Andy Foster on saving Wellington’s character areas’.

Two articles from Scoop News taken from submissions to WCC at the meeting on 6th August which approved this plan going out for public consultation:

‘Creating Communities not Demolishing Old Homes’ – submission by Roland Sapsford http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130136#more-130136 

and

‘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 

‘Safe as Houses’ in Capital Magazine, also written by Gregor Thompson https://capitalmag.co.nz/2020/08/13/safe-as-houses/

Why bother with consultation? by Benoit Pettit in Scoop, August 31st

‘The ‘Lefties’ who want less housing’ – Dileepa Fonseka’s piece for Newsroom, 31st August https://www.newsroom.co.nz/the-lefties-who-want-less-housing

What my Labour mates won’t admit about the Wellington Housing Market ‘-Dave Armstrong’s column in the Dominion Post and and on Stuff on 1st September

Comment: Why I wouldn’t buy an apartment in Wellington by Georgina Campbell in NZ Herald, 3rd September

Battle brewing over Wellington’s ‘heritage hellholes’‘ also by Georgina Campbell in NZ Herald, 4th September

‘Getting it wrong about population growth’ by Hugh Rennie in Scoop, 4th September http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130749

‘‘Keeping Wellington’s character’ means keeping people in cold and mouldy homes’ by Isla Stewart in The Spinoff, 4th September

Want to build high-rise homes for 74,000 more people in Wellington? Build consensus first‘ by Max Rashbrooke in The Guardian, 6th September

Further Action about the WCC Draft Spatial Plan

Come to our Public Meeting on Wednesday 16th September, 

7.30-9.00pm at the Salvation Army Hall, 4 Normanby St

Learn more about the proposals, ask questions, and join in the discussion about alternatives for achieving the goal of increased housing in Newtown.

Find out more about the plans:

On the WCC website: https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz/spatial-plan -follow the links and download the full Draft Spatial Plan, or the Summary of Our City Tomorrow (PDF).

Go to the Library or Newtown Community and Cultural Centre and ask to see the hard copy Summary of Our City Tomorrow: A Draft Spatial Plan

The WCC Planning for Growth Team will be at the Newtown Market on Saturday 19th September, 9am-1pm – an opportunity to see the proposals and ask questions.

Have a look at https://www.keepwellingtonscharacter.com  

Link with Newtown residents concerned about these plans

On Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/weAreNewtownPoneke

On Instagram -@we-are-newtown-poneke

Email – Newtown Residents’ Association – newtownwellington@gmail.com

The Draft Spatial Plan and what it means for Newtown- report on the August meeting.

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 Planning for Growth vision of future development in Newtown – screen shot taken from the WCC video “Planning for Growth – Inner Suburbs”. The videos can be seen here- https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz/resources1/video-library

August Meeting: WCC Planning for Growth Proposals

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 newtownwellington@gmail.com, 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.

Minutes of the July meeting

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.

See here for the full minutes.

Next Meeting – Monday 15th June 2020

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 newtownwellington@gmail.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!

Submissions – Parking Policy and Annual Plan

On June 8th we made two submissions to Wellington City Council.

Draft Parking Policy – we approved the parking priorities as outlined in the policy, and said that we want to discuss the details as they apply to Newtown as part of Area Based Planning.

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.

Next Meeting Monday 25th May 2020

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 newtownwellington@gmail.com 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.

Minutes of the March 2020 Meeting

Minutes of the Newtown Residents’ Association meeting 16th March 2020

Present: Rhona Carson (Chair), Steve Cosgrove (Minutes), Leonie Walker, Jane Patterson, Jill Ford, Alison Borbelly, Keith Powell, Tom Law, Don McDonald, Warwick Taylor, Peter Frater, Effie Rankin, Faye Tohbyn, Lyn Morris, Sam Somers, Eileen Brown, Neville Carson, Kevin Lethbridge, Graeme Carroll, Merio Marsters, Marion Leighton.

Apologies: Paul Eagle, Dom Shaheen, Steve Dunn, Martin Hanley, Anna Kemble Welch, Jan Gould + Marion Leighton(for lateness)
Noted that Paul apologised because MPs have been advised to stay away from community meetings due to Covid-19 risks.. 

Rhona welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Newtown Festival

  • Rhona thanked all the marshalls and other volunteers for helping. The meeting made an enthusiastic  vote of thanks and appreciation to the organisers for another very successful Festival.
  • Sadly there was one violent event later in the evening; this seemed to be the result of a personal conflict between two visitors to Newtown. The Police and Community Patrol were involved. 
  • Don asked what the noise policy is, as he worries about how loud the Festival is.  Tom Law outlined the Council policy.

Wellington City Council Consultations

Parking Policy. 

  • Consultation opened today and will run till April 14th. WCC had a traveling road show on the subject in Newtown Mall this morning. It wasn’t widely advertised and no one at the meeting knew it was going to be there, or attended.
  • Rhona noted that the policy is very high-level at this stage. We recommend that people look at the material on the website.  The questions on the web site are quite general so Newtown-specific concerns would need to be added in narrative form.
  • Some general issues were discussed.We will consider different things we can agree on, such as further communication with WCC to develop a Newtown-specific plan, and sensible Residents’ Parking areas and fees.

Planning for Growth

  • The WCC Consultation Team were to have a Newtown Festival stall but cancelled because they were not quite ready to go.  
  • Next consultation meeting is on 26 March at Prefab – Jane and Rhona  interested in going. No one had any further comment: Rhona suggested reading the web page and keeping up-to-date with progress on the development of a proposed spatial plan for the city.
  • District Plan Review – this is beginning at the end of this year or early next.

Water

  • Warrick is concerned that water metres are coming back into discussion.  This has resulted in some suggesting we ‘need’ water metres to pay for replacement of aged infrastructure.
  • A number of views were expressed regarding the pros and cons of water metering.

COVID-19

  • Eileen Brown is working for the Council of Trade Unions developing plans and consolidating ideas for “managing the risk and flattening the curve”.
  • The current situation was outlined, along with common narratives being used to describe the situation and management options.  Eileen described then distributed some information.
  • Marion Leighton (Consultant Physician at Wellington Hospital) arrived during this discussion, having been at a hospital meeting on the same topic. She outlined the hospital’s plans for managing an influx of seriously ill patients and also answered questions. 
  • Most important thing is to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, cough and sneeze into your elbow or tissues, don’t touch your face, avoid physical contact with others and self-isolate at the first sign of any symptoms. 
  • We are in this for the long-term, so make sure you have a reasonable plan.

Emergency Management Discussion

  • Neville Carson outlined his background in Civil Defence (previous name for Emergency Management, and introduced “Wellington Conversations” – facilitated conversations on various topics which have been running in Newtown and elsewhere for several months.
  • Neville is organising a meeting to discuss Emergency Management issues on 31 March, 7:30 to 9:30, at Newtown Hall, using a model based on Wellington Conversations.

Circus Performers – Steve informed the meeting that on Wednesday evening (18th Mcaarch) in Carrara Park circus performers will be performing with LED Hula hoops.

Meeting ended at 8:58

Minutes of the February 2020 meeting

Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting 

17th February 2020 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St

Present: Rhona Carson (Chair), Carol Comber, Sam Somers, Effie Rankin, Stephen Pritchard, Don McDonald, Jude Bleach, Joyce Gibson, Kevin Lethbridge, Peter Frater, Cr Fleur Fitzsimons, Warwick Taylor, Graeme Carroll, Jan gould, Alison Borbely, Jane Patterson, Cr Laurie Foon.

Apologies: Steve Cosgrove, Mark Johnston, Jared Corston, Martin Hanley, Anna Kemble Welch

In Memoriam: Nick Jennings. Warwick reported news that Nick died in Palmerston North in December. He spoke to Nick’s contribution to Newtown and to the Association as long term member and past President. The meeting honoured Nick’s passing with a minute’s silence.

Subscriptions – the Association rules require subscriptions to be set in February to come into force when the new financial year starts in July.

Motion – This meeting agrees that the Newtown Residents’ Association subscription for 2020 / 2021 will remain at a gold coin. Supporters are encouraged to make a donation in addition to this if they wish.

Proposed Rhona Carson, seconded Sam Somers. Carried.

Newtown Festival

Rhona outlined plans for the Newtown Festival on March 8th.

Request for volunteers – outlined roles for Festival Marshals and other helpers. 

Great Newtown Garage Sale – 2 weeks after the Festival, on Saturday 21st March.

Parking Policy Consultation.

The next round of consultation will open in March. Fleur commented that the big issue will be Residents’ parking – how much, where, conditions -eg how many permits per household, possible restrictions on permits when properties have off-street parking available, etc.

Comment from the floor that parking is affected in streets where EV Charging Stations have been established – some debate about the pros and cons of having these stations on the street and whether it is appropriate for WCC to spend money on this trial.

Planning for Growth

Again, consultation on the draft spatial plan will start in March. The Planning for Growth team plans to have a stand at Newtown Festival.

Current and Planned works around Newtown

  • The remodelling of the toilets by Newtown Library and the conversion of part of the building into a new Tool Library is underway.
  • Mein St from Riddiford St to Daniell St is to be resurfaced. The work will be done at night from Sunday 22nd March and is expected to take 3 nights. Neighbours are being notified.
  • The planned upgrade of the Newtown Community Centre has been delayed and is now expected to start in August.  Budget constraints mean that the plans for upgrading Newtown Hall have had to be cancelled.

Neighbours’ Day Grant

WCC has granted the Association $400 to put towards a Neighbours’ Day event. However we haven’t yet made plans for this. By the time plans can be made it will be a bit late in the year for an evening outdoor event such as the ones we had at Newtown Park in past years. Brainstorming suggestions – contributing to further community dinners, such as the two at Newtown School in 2019; perhaps a Matariki event; etc. We need to collaborate with the Newtown Collective of community organisations again to progress these thoughts.

Future Consultations 

Fleur and Laurie reported that the WCC Annual Plan discussions have begun in Council and public consultation will be coming up.

Greater Wellington Regional Council will be working on a 30 year plan. Suggestion to ask Daran Ponter to a future meeting to discuss this.

Other Business

Graeme asked Fleur about any update on the Earthquake Insurance taskforce.  Looking for creative ideas for funding upgrades.

Warwick protested about WCC selling the Eco House, after leaving it empty for a long period while housing is urgently needed. A discussion about the history of this property. 

Seeds for Feeds – local dinner at the old caltex station (Festival of Praise) on March 22nd, Bookings by Koha.

Effie talked about the need to recognise that Samuel Parnell (of 8 hr day fame) was part of Newtown’s history. Fleur was very interested in this and proposed following up with Effie.

The Meeting concluded at 9.00pm.

Minutes of the August meeting

Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting – 19th August 2019

See here for the full minutes.

Ian McKinnon, current GWRC Councillor, spoke to the meeting as he is not standing again and this might be his last Newtown Residents’ Association meeting.  He spoke about the bus service difficulties and encouraged people to go to the Metlink sessions to have their say. He also reminisced about his long conection with our Association, and said how valuable Residents’ Associations are. 

Fleur Fitzsimons added a tribute to Ian’s long and productive career in the Wellington City and Regional Councils, and thanked him for his service. This was applauded by the meeting.

Smarter ways to manage city parking https://letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/managecityparking

Kate Hodgetts, WCC Senior Policy Advisor spoke to this, supported by Baz Kaufman, WCC Manager Strategy and Research.  See here for the text of the presentation.

People were asked to complete the online survey, under WCC – Have your Say – Smarter Parking. Scroll down to the Have Your Say Here tab. Responses are due by 5pm, Friday August 30th.

Upcoming Film Festival

Mark Wiliams, Director of Circuit (http://circuit.org.nz) (an arts agency which supports New Zealand artists working in the moving image) spoke about a promotion next month which will highlight Newtown’s diversity and needs.  Mark can be contacted through Jared Corston at Kia Ora Newtown or director@circuit.org.nz.  A local artist is going to interview people to create a documentary highlighting local people.

5 October – there will be a seminar at Newtown Community and Cultural Centre regarding video production.

Meet the Candidates Meetings –meetings organised by the Residents’ Association were outlined. (See here for a schedule of meetings in Wellington.)

The meeting closed at 9pm. The next meeting will be the Residents’ Association AGM on Monday September 16th.

Upgrading the Carrara Park Playground

UPDATE! 5th August 2019 – the submissions to WCC closed today. The Newtown Residents’ Association made a submission recommending that the Playground be moved as little as possible, and the open play space should be retained. See below!

A message from Wellington City Council:
“We’re upgrading the play area at Carrara Park and we’d like your feedback!
 
The upgrade will focus on relocating the playground area and upgrading the play equipment. We need to move the playground away from the existing location because the play equipment is being damaged by the roots of the Norfolk Island pine tree.
 
Construction is due to start in February/March 2020.
 
Before we get started, we’re gathering feedback and suggestions from existing and potential users of the park. This will help to ensure the new facilities meet the needs of the local community.
 
For more information on the proposed upgrade go to www.wellington.govt.nz/carrara-park 
(Please note that the map is indicative. It is intended as a starting point for discussion, and does not necessarily represent the final design).
 
How you can get involved
•             Have your say by completing our feedback survey by 5pm Monday 5 August 2019
•             Come to our drop-in session at Newtown Market (St Anne’s Hall ) on Saturday 27 July, 9am-12pm”

Some Newtown Residents’ Association members, and other local residents. have had preliminary meetings with Sam Malaulau, the WCC Playground Designer, and Jared Corston, the WCC Newtown Liaison Officer. We have clarified that no decisions have been made at this stage, and the map that you will see if you do the survey is just a conversation starter.  What we do know is that some of the existing playground equipment doesn’t meet current safety standards, and the playground does need to be moved enough to get away from the Norfolk pine roots. Apart from this, all possibilities can be considered.

There is a long history to the Park and its design. See here for an outline of the history, and a discussion of the present and future. The Newtown Residents’ Association was closely involved with the establishment of the Park, and we are very interested in its future. We are looking forward to many more planning meetings as the future design is decided.