Category Archives: Local Events

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.

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

Meet the Candidates Meeting – Rongotai Electorate – now on September 24th.


Thursday 24th September, at St Anne’s Hall at the end of Emmett St. The doors will open at 7.00pm and the meeting will start at 7.30pm sharp.

The meeting will also be live streamed on Facebook – see

https://www.facebook.com/NewtownResidentsAssociation/posts/3221012404681885

The meeting will be chaired jointly by Newtown Residents Patrick Morgan and Yadana Saw.

The candidates will talk briefly about why you should vote for them, followed by questions from the floor. 

The formal presentations, questions and answers will be followed by supper and time for informal conversation – we hope to see you there! 

The candidates are
Bruce Welsh New Conservative Party
David Patterson National Party
DON McDonald Independent
Geoff Simmons Opportunities Party
Nicole McKee Act Party
Paul Eagle Labour Party
Taylor Arneil New Zealand First Party
Teall Crossen Green Party
Troy Mihaka Integrity Party
Nicole McKee has apologised as she will be campaigning in the South Island, but we are expecting the others to be there.

Use your vote in the 2020 General Election and referenda!
Go to https://vote.nz to find out more about the referenda and other issues, to check if you are on the the electoral roll or to enrol to vote.

Advance voting starts on Saturday 3rd October, and Election Day is Saturday 17th October.  You will be able to vote in 2 referenda (End of Life Choice and Cannabis Legalisation and Control), to cast a vote for the political party you prefer,  and to vote for the candidate you want to represent our local electorate for the next three years.

#VoteNewtown;  #MeetTheCandidates

Meet the Candidates Meeting – Rongotai Electorate – postponed

Update, 17th August 2020.

The information about election dates below is no longer accurate.

Now that the election has been delayed until 17th October, with advance voting from 3rd October, we will postpone our Candidates Meeting until late September. There will be a new post when a new date has been decided.


Wednesday 26th August, 7.00 pm at St Anne’s Hall at the end of Emmett St.

The General Election is in September – advance voting starts on Saturday 5th September, and Election Day is Saturday 19th September.  You will be able to vote in 2 referenda (End of Life Choice and Cannabis Legalisation and Control), to cast a vote for the political party you prefer,  and to vote for the candidate you want to represent our local electorate for the next three years.

See here  to see the candidates standing to be the Electorate MPs. In the Rongotai Electorate there are already candidates from 7 political parties, with more to come: nominations don’t close until Friday 21st August. Come to our meeting to hear each of them explain why they want to be the MP for Rongotai!

The meeting will be chaired jointly by Yadana Saw and Patrick Morgan. The formal discussion will be followed by supper and the chance for informal mingling.

Use your vote in the 2020 General Election and referenda!
Go to https://vote.nz to find out more about the referenda and other issues, to check if you are on the the electoral roll or to enrol to vote.

#VoteNewtown;  #MeetTheCandidates

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

Meet the Candidates Meetings

The Newtown Residents’ Association has organised two local body election meetings – one for the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the other for Wellington City Council Paekawakawa/Southern Ward and Mayoral Candidates. This an opportunity to put faces to the names of candidates and hear their thoughts about why you should vote for them. Voting papers are being posted from September 20th, and need to be submitted by midday on Saturday October 12th.

Thursday September 12th, Meet the Candidates for the Greater Wellington Regional Council – St Anne’s Hall in Emmett St, doors open at 7 pm and meeting starts at 7.30pm sharp. Yadana Saw will be facilitating. The meeting will end with supper and a chance for informal chats.
What does the GWRC do? If you want a better bus service, clean drinking water, flood protection and emergency services, then this is the Council responsible!  See here- and here for the list of candidates.


Wednesday September 18th, Meet the Candidates for the Wellington City Council Paekawakawa/Southern Ward and Mayoral Candidates.  Salvation Army Hall. 4 Normanby St, doors open at 7 pm and meeting starts at 7.30pm sharp. Patrick Morgan will be facilitating. The meeting will end with supper and a chance for informal chats. See here for the lists of candidates.

Thursday September 26th, Meet the Candidates for the Capital and Coast District Health Board – St Anne’s Hall in Emmett St, doors open at 7 pm and meeting starts at 7.30pm sharp. 
The meeting will end with supper and a chance for informal chats.

The elected members of CCDHB are the community’s voice in the health service – who do you want to speak to your concerns? Come to our meeting to help you decide!  This meeting is hosted jointly by the Newtown Residents’ Association, MtVictoria Residents’ Association and Berhampore Community Association.
See the candidates here.

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.

Newtown Community Stands Together : Community Dinner

Our Association joined with the rest of New Zealand in shock and grief when 50 people were shot at two mosques in Christchurch, and many more were injured.

Here in Newtown representatives of several community organisations met to talk about what to do, and decided to put on a community dinner to show love and support for the Muslim members of our community.  All of Newtown was invited to come together to share food, support and conversation. Halal food was provided, and interpreters  (Arabic, Somali and Farsi) were on hand to translate where necessary.

This event was held at Newtown School on the evening of Thursday 21st March. It was a wonderful and heartwarming occasion and we are so very grateful to all the people who helped to put it on, and all the people who came and made it such a success. We were privileged to hear some moving addresses from members of the Muslim community, responded to by our MP Paul Eagle. We enjoyed good food and good company, and the many children had lots of fun. Eryn at Newtown Community and Cultural Centre put it well – “people came together to celebrate the love we have for our diverse community and to send a strong message – Newtown is not a place for islamophobia, racism and fascism.” Let’s continue what was started here and go on to strengthen the connections and understanding between all our communities.

Newtown Heritage week

This is a spin-off from the Wellington Heritage Week from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th October.

There is one official Heritage Week event in Newtown – Newtown on Film at the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre, on October 23rd, screening 2 -3pm and again at 6-7pm. Tickets $5. See more here.

There are other unofficial events, in particular a real treat –
St Thomas’ Chapel in Newtown is celebrating the 120th anniversary of its vintage pipe organ. You will be able to enjoy the sound of the historic Hobday organ at St Thomas’ Chapel in a series of half-hour lunchtime recitals at 12:30pm each day on Tue 23rd, Wed 24th, and Thu 26th October, followed by an hour-long recital at 2pm on Saturday 27th, and then in the 9am worship service on Sunday 28th.

The oldest components of the organ were built in 1898 by the celebrated organ builder Arthur Hobday, who had set up business in Wellington in 1896 following a career in Australia, and who lived in Lawrence Street in Newtown until his death in 1912. Hobday built organs in many church buildings throughout New Zealand in the later years of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th centuries.

The St Thomas’ parish history notes that in March 1898, ‘Mr. Hobday was commissioned to build a Pipe Organ to the value of £230 … First appointee [as organist] for the new organ was Mr. F.W. Rowley who took office on 9th January 1899 at a salary of £30 per annum, with Mr. Astridge as organ-blower at 2/- per week.’ Over the years further stops were added to increase the organ’s size and capability. In 1970 the original wooden St Thomas’ Church was fire-damaged beyond repair and demolished the following year. The organ was removed and put in storage until the completion of the current St Thomas’ Chapel in 1982, when half of the organ components were installed in St Thomas’ with a new manual (organ keyboard).

The remaining organ pipes were installed as a new instrument in the former St Cuthbert’s Church in Berhampore. Following the August 2013 earthquake and prior to the subsequent deconsecration and demolition of St Cuthbert’s in 2015, the organ there was gifted to the Wellington Museum, where it is hoped it will eventually be displayed as a working exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Candidates Meeting – Tuesday 14th November 2017

We are inviting you to meet the Southern Ward By-election Candidates. This Meeting is at St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th November – the doors open at 7.10pm and the meeting will start promptly at 7.30.

These are the confirmed candidates –
Vicki Greco, Mohamud Mohamed, Don Newt McDonald, Laurie Foon, Fleur Fitzsimons, Rob Goulden, Thomas G P Morgan and Merio Marsters. They have all been invited, and we hope all will be there. Hear their reasons why you should vote for them, their responses to ‘hot topics’ and their answers to questions from the floor.

Supper is provided, so after hearing the formal presentations you can talk informally over a cuppa and a snack.

Postal voting is between 30th November and 22nd December.

“Keep Newtown Clean”

Saturday September 2nd, 9am – 12 noon

Our next big Newtown clean-up is the first Saturday in September. Can you help? We will meet outside the Newtown Mall between 9am and 12noon – wear your old clothes, all equipment is provided. There will be painting, cleaning and gardening to do, BBQ cooking to help with – and Timebank credits to earn, if you are a Timebank member.

Volunteers get free BBQ sausages, thanks to Newtown New World – and sausages are for sale too, so you are welcome to come just to say “hello” and buy one!  Halal sausages are available.

KNC is coordinated by Newtown Residents’ Association and supported by SB Maintenance (the amazing graffiti removal experts), Newtown New World, Wellington City Council, and Amadeus Hair Salon.

Meet the Candidates – September 5th

We are holding a Meet the Candidates Meeting for the Rongotai Electorate on Tuesday September 5th at St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St, Newtown. The doors open at 7.10pm, and the meeting will start promptly at 7.30pm. Patrick Morgan will be in the chair. The formal presentations, questions and answers will be followed by supper and time for informal chats – we do a good supper!

Election Day is Saturday September 23rd, but advance voting opens on Monday September 11th and you can vote from then on.  Come along the week before and hear what the candidates for our electorate have to say.

Are you enrolled to vote? If not, you can do this any time up until September 22nd – find out how here. There are more then 5500 people of voting age in our electorate who aren’t enrolled – if you are one of them, now’s your chance to change that and to make this the election when you have your say!

Newtown Festival Street Fair Day – thank you to all who helped!

A heart-felt “thank you” to everyone who made our Newtown Festival Street Fair Day on March 5th so fantastic – the creative performing artists and technical crew, the 460 stall-holders, the hundreds of volunteers on the day and the talented team who help in the weeks leading up to the event, the zero waste team, and all the other helpers and providers.

Tens of thousands of wonderful people came from near and far to celebrate with us and enjoy a world of music, dance and performance, sporting and crafting activities, and the magnificent range of goods, delicious food, and information on offer from the market stalls.  Special thanks to WCC for their huge support, and to all the other sponsors and funders who make the day possible. Thank you! You all made Newtown Festival a fabulous day.

Some images from the day…

The Big Girls – created by local women at workshops led by Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre. See the Girls again at Cuba Dupa.
Market Stalls in Riddiford Street – we host one of the biggest and most exciting markets in the region.
Raw Collective playing on the Tangata Whenua Stage, South Riddiford Street – one of 110+ acts on the day.

Two of the many Zero Waste volunteers, coaching participants in minimising waste going to the landfill.

Neighbours’ Night at Newtown Park

We had a fabulous time on Friday 25th February!

About 350 people attended and enjoyed games, conversation, food. and finished with a sing-along with the Mighty Ukes.  The weather was perfect, we couldn’t have asked for better.

Members of the Residents’ Association and other volunteers acted as hosts, prepared food and organised a variety of activities.  Association member Daphne was a primary organiser – she is a sport and recreation officer with WCC and brought the Push Play equipment. Many thanks also to Ray Tuffin, the WCC Community Advisor for Newtown, and his team for their input in organising and publicising the event. Ray has another role as a golf coach, and spent most of the evening energetically encouraging the young and not-so-young in ‘target golf’ – well done Ray!

The BBQ served regular and halal sausages and veggie skewers and was supported by St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies) volunteers who brought and cooked on their BBQ, by Newtown New World who lent their BBQ and supplied much of the food, and by Wellington Halal Meat Company.

Wellington Zoo were there with an interactive display of some of their smaller critters – wetas! The Police helped out with the sports and games scattered across the Park, and the Fire Service were there with a fire engine and provided education about fire safety and an alarming demonstration of what happens when a pot of cooking oil catches fire.

We also took the opportunity to advance the Our Town Newtown project, and many people spent time talking with Cally O’Neill, the Project Facilitator, about aspects of Newtown under the headings of ‘Love’, ‘Improve’ and ‘Create’.

The evening was a great success in all areas, and we are enthusiastic about doing it again next year.  Thank you to Wellington City Council and Neighbours Day Aotearoa for encouraging these events.

Meet the Candidates

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We have invited the Southern Ward Candidates to a ‘Meet the Candidates’ Meeting hosted by the Newtown Residents’ Association, to tell us why they should represent us on Wellington City Council for the next three years. 

Hear their reasons why you should vote for them, their responses to ‘hot topics’ and their answers to questions from the floor.

Supper is provided, so after the formal presentations you can mix and mingle and talk informally.
When: 7pm on Tuesday 13th September
Where: St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St, Newtown
Twitter: #MeetTheCandidates@NewtownResAssc

Postal voting is between 16th September and 8th October.