Category Archives: Consultation

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.

Minutes of the July Meeting

The July meeting talked about a number of local issues, including the future of Carrara Park and plans for Mental health Awareness Week in September.

We also talked at some length about planning for Meet the Candidates Meetings for the local body election. Voting starts from September 20th, so we would like to have meetings before then.

Minutes of the April Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting on Monday 15th April 2019 discussed a number of  current consultations, including

See the full minutes here.

Newtown Connections

For the past month Wellington City Council has been asking for community input on proposals for cycleway routes through Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook as part of the urban cycleways project. Submissions were due on December 11th.

Our Association members have a wide range of opinions on cycleways, and so rather than making a submission advocating for any particular way forward we focused on the importance of recognising and acknowledging the needs and wishes of all members of our community.

See the Association submission here.

Minutes of the Newtown Residents Association meeting 17th September 2018

This meeting was an update on local issues. Top of the agenda was a discussion of the Newtown Community Facilities Upgrade – there are options available for comment on the three spaces owned by WCC and operated by the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre Trust – Newtown Community and Cultural Centre in Rintoul St, Newtown Hall in Daniell St and Network Newtown in Constable St. Sketch plans are available at Kia Ora Newtown, NCCC and other local public spaces, & on the Community Centre Website. http://www.newtowncommunity.org.nz/our-town-newtown.html

We also talked about the new apartments being developed on the former Salvation Army site in Constable St, the Association submission on the WCC review of the Alcohol Control Bylaw, and other issues.

See the full minutes here.

 

Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir – next steps.

Following the closing of submissions on the resource consent application, and following discussions with Mt Cook Mobilised, Wellington Water has put together a discussion paper on some of the specific issues raised. In particular the hours of operation for the trucks on Rolleston Street (with / without Saturdays).  And, regarding permanently raising the Prince of Wales fields, the discussion paper looks at the three possibilities (i.e. raise both fields, raise neither field, or raise only the Upper Prince of Wales Park), and the impact on the number of truck movements. Follow this link for a copy of the paper.
Wellington Water have also put copies of the geotechnical investigations, interpretive report and costings for the lower playing field up on our website – they can be downloaded from https://wellingtonwater.co.nz/work-in-your-area/pow-reservoir/ 
Wellington Water have scheduled a meeting on
Wednesday 17 January, 6-8pm at Massey Executive Suite  Gate A, Wallace Street. (the same venue as used for the Open Days).
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like questions raised, feel free to send them to Dan.Ormond@wellingtonwater.co.nz or Carol Comber from Mt Cook Mobilised

Special General Meeting: 20th November 2017

Our Newtown Residents’ Association meeting on Monday 20th November will be a special general meeting, as foreshadowed at our regular meeting in October.
As usual the meeting will be at 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall.
The business will be –
– to present the Residents’ Association Finacial report, including the accounts.

– to progress the transfer of the Newtown Festival from the Association to the Newtown Festival Trust, and to officially approve the date of transfer.

We will also have some regular Association business.
– Ana Faatoia from WREMO will begin a conversation about updating the Emergency Response Plan for Newtown
-Ray Tuffin, the WCC Newtown Liaison Officer, will report on his activities, including a focus on parking in Newtown
– an update about cycleway consultation.

WCC review of the Outer Green Belt Management Plan

The Outer Green Belt is a network of public parks and open spaces extending from Tawa in the north all the way south to the Brooklyn turbine and the coast below. It is an enormous area and the current Management Plan outlines the key values of the reserves and guides how the Council will manage and maintain the various spaces and places. See this attached letter for details of the review, dates of drop-in meetings , and how you can have your say. There is also a short online survey where you can quickly and easily give the Council your thoughts – responses by 24th November please.

Notes from our monthly meeting on 16th October 2017

These are brief notes of the topics discussed, but you can see the full minutes here.

Prince of Wales Park Submission

Wellington City Council have issued a public notice that they intend to go ahead with constructing the reservoir at Prince of Wales Park. We have decided to make a submission about this, in order to keep involved in the process. This will make similar points to our submission on the resource consent; this time the emphasis is on the earthworks.  [Update – see the completed submission here.]

Liquor license applications, and similar issues.

Discussed an application to establish an off-licence called The Black Bull at 236 Riddiford Street – the current Silk Route Spices site on the corner of Gordon Place.

We are waiting for the next moves in the Zoo Bar licence application – our Association objected to the extended hours requested.

Newtown has a liquor ban in force  but there aren’t many signs about the ban – we will ask Ray Tuffin (WCC Liaison Officer) to look into this.

The Security Guard at the Library has been keeping an eye on people drinking or causing concern around the Library and on the corner with Riddiford St – the meeting expressed our appreciation for this.

 Workingmen’s Bowling Club

The WCC officers’ opinion is that the Club should not get a new lease because “the current circumstances of the club do not meet the Assessment Criteria” under the Town Belt Management Plan. We think that the Club is a valuable community resource, and want to support them to increase their community connections.

The Club had a very successful open day on Sunday 15th October, which increased membership significantly. They have a lot of community support.

[Update – after a constructive discussion with the Council on 24/11, the lease will now continue through until at least April next year to enable everyone to understand the issues around the future of the Club.]

Meet the Candidates Evening

We will proceed with planning for a Meet the Candidates Meeting for the Southern Ward By-Election

A “Thank You” to Paul Eagle

Discussion of the By-Election prompted expressions of appreciation for the work Paul Eagle did in representing Newtown on Council.  A motion thanking Paul for his contribution and welcoming him as our new MP was passed unanimously and enthusiastically.

Neighbours Day 2018

It is time to apply for a WCC grant if we want to have a Neighbours’ Day function. Last year we provided an evening of activities in Newtown Park.  We agreed to plan to repeat this next year.

Parking

Car parking in Newtown is already very difficult and is going to get worse next year. The new children’s hospital will take away a lot of hospital parking – and hospital staff parking on surrounding streets is already causing major problems.

Ray Tuffin at Kia Ora gets numerous complaints about parking issues, and is initiating a major project exploring parking options.

Next month’s meeting is on Monday 20th November. We expect to designate this a Special General Meeting, and to present the Annual Accounts.

Our Town Newtown Questionnaire Closing 31st August

Please make sure your thoughts about Newtown are included – you can do the questionnaire on line, or get a paper copy from Kia Ora Newtown at 6 Constable St, the Newtown Community and Cultural centre or the Newtown Library.

When all the responses are in Cally O’Neill, the project designer and facilitator, can get to work on analysing the results. See more about the Our Town Newtown project here. 

Submission on the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir

In February the Residents’ Association had a presentation from the Wellington Water Project Director Ulvi Salayev about the plans for the Prince of Wales reservoir.

See more about the plans here.

In June Wellington Water applied to Wellington City Council for a Town Belt Easement for the construction and operation of the reservoir, and the Council called for submissions. At the June meeting we agreed that our Association should make a submission, with a focus on the need for mitigation of the effect of construction on the residents in the neighbouring streets,

In our submission we are mindful of the need for mitigation of the effects of construction, but the main message is that we are keen to have an emergency water supply as soon as possible.

There has been some discussion about whether there is any option for changing the location of the reservoir, but our conclusion was that we didn’t want to pursue this. Wellington Water did identify 4 options, but on analysing them decided that the current site is the most suitable.  This seems to be a pretty fixed decision and overturning it seems likely to be an enormous task – and then, if successful, going back to the drawing board and redoing all the calculations and studies and consultation, applying for new consents etc. It would surely add years to the process.

See our submission here.