Category Archives: Meetings

October meeting notes

This meeting was held on Monday 17th October, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall in Daniell Street, and these were some of the main topics.

WCC Newtown Liaison Officer and Newtown office

It was announced that Ray Tuffin has been appointed to this position. He has a business and community background, and will be starting on 31st October. We are looking forward to welcoming him to his new role.  WCC is planning to lease a Newtown Office, and this was mentioned in a WCC Resiliency Newsletter.

Neighbours’ Day is approaching – 25th – 26th March.  We discussed possible events we might initiate, a small group is to consider further.  Application for funding needs to go to Council by the end of the month – 28/10.

Airport Runway submission

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Wellington City Council (WCC) have prepared reports on the resource consent application for the Wellington International Airport runway extension, which are available here.  We decided to apply to be a party to the Environment Court proceedings, when the time comes.

WCC Play Spaces consultation.

Discussion of playgrounds in Newtown, and the use of the Town Belt. Noted Carrara Park playground is on the cover of the consultation document.  Submissions close 5pm 18th November. To consider further.

Community Patrol

Tom Law reported that when cars were being interfered with and broken into over a few weeks a month or two ago there were complaints that the Police were not around. However in fact the Police were involved with undercover patrols, and the Community Patrol were also keeping an eye on things. The Police worked well in catching a suspected offender.  Tom is happy to hear from people interested in joining the Community Patrol.

Community Engagement Planning

This is the process for gathering community views on the redevelopment of  community facilities in Newtown, and coming up with a plan for how the funds set aside in the Long Term Plan should be spent. NRA has committed to taking a lead role in coordinating the community engagement process, and we agreed a planning group of NRA members and Newtown Community Centre people would workshop ideas for how to take this forward.

Congratulations to Wellingtonian of the Year nominees.

Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch have been nominated in recognition of their 22 years involvement with the Newtown Festival. The meeting expressed hearty congratulations and good wishes to them both.

 See the full meeting minutes here.

Next meeting: Monday November 21st 2016, 7.30 pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.




2016 AGM notes

Notes on the Newtown Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting

The meeting was held on Monday September 19th, 7.30pm at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell Street.

The President, Rhona Carson, reported on a busy and successful year. Hightlights included:

  • Meeting with the Wellington City Council CEO and other Council officers in May and the resulting decision for WCC to appoint a Newtown Liaison Officer. [An appointment has been made and will be announced in the near future.]
  • We have made submissions to Wellington City Council on the 2016 Annual Plan, the Town Belt Bill, the Dog Policy and the Animal Bylaw, and to Greater Wellington Regional Council on the Airport Runway Extension.
  • The Newtown Festival was again a great success, and WCC recognised its importance by increasing its grant for 2017 – although not as much as we had asked for.
  • Keep Newtown Clean has continued on a quarterly basis – the next event is on Saturday 3rd December.  Its is well supported by Wellington City Council and by David Wilcock of the Newtown Business Group, who started it off in 2013. Extra special thanks go to Dave and Liz of SB Maintenance, the graffiti removal contractors, who have helped voluntarily ever since KNC started, and to Newtown New World who donate all the supplies for the BBQ.
  • The St Thomas’s Courtyard Garden project is continuing to redevelop the garden on Riddiford St. There was a very enjoyable afternoon tea in the garden on Neighbours’ Day in March
  • The Meet the Candidates Meeting on September 13th. Rhona thanked all involved, in particular Patrick Morgan for his contribution to organising and chairing the meeting.

Financial Report
The audited accounts are not yet available; as with last year the AGM will need to be reconvened at a later date so they can be presented. There is no need for concern; the finances are in good shape with reserves in the bank.

Elections – Newtown Residents’ Association Executive 2016-2017

  • President:  Rhona Carson
  • Secretary: No nominations. Rhona Carson will continue in the meantime.
  • Treasurer:  Jane Patterson
  • Vice Presidents James Coyle, Martin Hanley, Kevin Lethbridge (continuing as membership secretary)
  • Executive Carol Comber, Steve Cosgrove (minutes secretary), Steve Dunn, Peter Frater,  Keith Powell, Martin Powell, Stephen Pritchard, Effie Rankin,Cheryl Robilliard,

Proposals discussed:
Community engagement process for deciding on how to spend the money set aside in the Long Term Plan for redeveloping Newtown community facilities. WCC have asked our Association to be the lead agency in this process, and AGM discussed this and passed a motion agreeing that we will take on this role.

Change of name for Newtown Residents’ Association? It has been proposed that there should be one Association including Residents, Business people and others with an interest in Newtown. See the relevant report here. Our rules allow us to be this Association, should we change our name to reflect this? There were mixed views, and it was agreed that we would continue to think about these issues.

Newtown Festival
Planning is underway for the 2017 Festival. The Festival Committee are making progress towards establishing a Charitable Trust to run future Festivals – this has been an idea in development since 2014. We expect it will come to pass before the next Festival takes place. In the interim the Association passed the Festival’s annual operational funding and management resolution, which empowers the Director to run the Festival, and appointed the Festival officers –

  • Newtown Festival Director – Martin Hanley
  • Newtown Festival Committee – Anna Kemble Welch, Tom Law, Rhona Carson, Keith Powell, James Coyle, Andrew Leggott and Simon Wood
  • Newtown Festival Review Team – Peter Frater, Steve Dunn, Ken Allen.

See the full AGM Minutes here (in draft form until confirmed at the 2107 AGM) and Presidents’ Report here.

Notice of 2016 Annual General Meeting


Monday 19th September, 7.30pm, Newtown Hall 71 Daniell St

Confirming Minutes of 2015 AGM See here for the Minutes 
Matters arising
President’s Report
Treasurer’s Report

Discussion of proposals for the Residents’ Association:

  • Proposal that NRA take on the WCC contract for community engagement re use of funds for community facilities.
  • It has been proposed that there should be one Association including Residents, Business people and others with an interest in Newtown. See the relevant report here. Our rules allow us to be this Association, should we change our name to reflect this?

Election of Officers (President, Treasurer, Secretary, up to 3 Vice-Presidents and up to 9 Executive Members – see last year’s minutes for the current office holders.)

Newtown Festival Director’s Report

Discussion of development of Newtown Festival Trust
Appointment of Festival Director, Festival Committee and Festival Review Team

Other Business.

Meet the CCDHB Candidates 

Every one of us  depends on access to quality health care to keep us healthy and help us when we are unwell, injured or disabled, but how much do we know about the people who want to lead Capital and Coast District Health Board? In October, as well as the local body elections, we will have a chance to vote for seven elected DHB members to  represent our communities on the eleven-member board.  The Wellington Public Health Association invites you to come and meet the candidates, and get a feel for what they stand for:

When: Tuesday 20th September, 6:00 -7:30pm (doors open 5:45)

Where: St Johns Hall, corner of Willis and Dixon Streets, Wellington

Light refreshments provided, entry by koha. Please RSVP to or Find out more



Public meeting re housing development


Public Meeting – 10am on Saturday 27th August, Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell Street, to discuss Mary Potter Hospice’s building proposal.

See here to have a look at the plans. They will also be on display at the meeting.

Mary Potter Hospice are planning to build two large apartment blocks within the hospice complex on the corner of Mein and Owen Streets.  This has come as a shock to the Owen Street residents whose properties are on the hospice boundary, particularly as this small site has been designated a special housing area and therefore doesn’t need to comply with the usual rules, including height restrictions.

The residents have enlisted the help of local MP Annette King and Southern Ward Councillor Paul Eagle, who have called a public meeting to discuss the proposal. See the meeting notice here.

This issue has also been reported in the Dominion Post – follow the link for more.

Meet the Candidates


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.

August Meeting

Monday, 15th August 2016 at 7.30 pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.

We haven’t any visiting speakers arranged for this meeting.  It will be an opportunity to raise issues and discuss your thoughts, concerns and ideas about our suburb and the surrounding area.

Everyone is welcome!

Notes from the July Meeting

See the full meeting minutes here.

We had a positive, well attended meeting on Monday 18th July.

As well as a good turn-out of local Residents we also welcomed four Victoria University Landscape Architecture students, who are doing a class project on Newtown, its community and its issues, and four Wellington City Council Officers: Mike Mendonca (WCC Chief Resilience Manager), Jenny Rains (WCC Community Service Manager), Bessie Fepulea’i (Community and Neighbourhood Advisor), and Deane Virtue (WCC Team Leader Cleansing & Growth).

Newtown Coordinator position and upgrade to Newtown facilities:

Jenny Rains, WCC Community Service Manager, introduced this topic.  The proposal for a new position of Newtown Coordinator within WCC came as a response to the frustrations expressed by residents at the May meeting with WCC CEO Kevin Lavery and other WCC officers. The appointee will be able to make sure the relevant WCC services are joined up to respond to Residents’ concerns. The job description is still being developed and there will be further consultation about the details.

Jenny also reported on money set aside in the WCC Long Term Plan to upgrade Newtown facilities. In this financial year (July 2016 – June 2017) there is $48,000 available to develop a concept through community engagement, and there is funding for capital projects of $610,137 in 2017/18 and $2,728,177 in 2019/20.  Vogelmorn and Aro Valley are also involved in similar projects.

Resilient Wellington

Mike Mendonca, WCC Chief Resilience Manager, introduced this topic.

Challenge: defining what is “Resilience”?

Mike gave a brief historical overview and moved on to outlining the main areas of concern.

  • Sea level rise – what does that mean for us?
  • Earthquake: probable within 50 years.
  • Population growth – expecting 50,000 more people – planning needs to build in resilience.
  • Housing – how can we ensure we can afford to house the expected population?
  • How can Wellington look after the most vulnerable communities?

All these things are included in a report to Council -see here

The report was accepted at the WCC meeting on 29th June, and a draft Resilience Strategy is to be presented on 28 September 2016.

A number of issues were discussed, with a particular concern about securing a water supply post-earthquake. See the meeting minutes for more.

Jenny Rains, Mike Mendonca and the other Council visitors were thanked and applauded for their contributions.

Submission on the proposed Airport Runway Extension

People interested in this stayed on to discuss a draft submission prepared by Patrick Morgan.

There was no strong consensus either for or against the project – there was discussion and some approval of the economic benefits if direct long haul flights did come to Wellington, but a lot of concerns as well.  These centred on the cost, the perception of a weak business case, and the effects of the anticipated increases in road traffic.

The next step agreed was for Patrick to re-draft the submission and for it to be circulated for discussion via email. The submission is due on 12th August.

2016 Newtown Festival

 Martin Hanley (Festival Director) went through a written report that had been circulated at the beginning of the meeting, and thanked all who had been involved in making the Festival such a great success.

July meeting notice

The next Residents’ Association Meeting is on Monday July 18th, 7.30pm at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St

Jenny Rains, Wellington City Council Community Services Manager, and Mike Mendonca, Chief Resilience Manager, will be our guests.

A Community Coordinator for Newtown. This is a proposal for an additional staff member within WCC, to work closely with the community and facilitate contact with the Council services – an outcome of our May meeting with Kevin Lavery and others from Council. Jenny Rains will be discussing ideas of what this role might look like.

Funding for Community Facilities. The WCC Long Term Plan has funding allocated for upgrading community facilities in Newtown over the next three years. The task for 2016/17 is to develop a concept through community engagement, before moving on to capital projects.

Resilient Wellington.  Wellington is part of the 100 Resilient Cities project pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation – 100RC for short.  Mike Mendonca will give us an overview of what is involved.

This is an important meeting for future planning!  Do come, hear what’s going on and share your thoughts.  Everyone is welcome.

June Meeting

The next Residents’ Association Meeting is on  Monday June 20th, 7.30pm at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St.

The agenda –

The Salvation Army development on Riddiford St: Captain David Daly, Divisional Commander, and others from the team will talk about their plans and answer questions.

Erin Leigh from workerBe oasis, discussing their kai cycle and some initiatives they’re thinking about for Newtown.

Nic Ballara, bbc architects, talking about the design of a proposed block of apartments at 4 Regent Street, next to Carrara Park.

Chris, the Timebank Co-ordinator, introducing himself and the organisation.

Notes of May Meeting

The full meeting minutes are available here.

This was a well attended meeting – many people had come particularly to join in the discussion with the Council Officers about street maintenance in Newtown.

The Wellington City Council CEO Kevin Lavery attended, accompanied by David Chick – newly arrived Chief City Planner, Geoff Swainson – Manager, Transport and Solid Waste, ultimately responsible for addressing most of the concerns with contractors, and Deven Singh – Manager Transport Assets, one of Geoff Swainson’s team, with direct responsibility for the street cleaning contract.

We circulated the paper “Newtown Isn’t Rubbish and Our Streets Shouldn’t Be Either”, previously posted here, and our NRA Executive Member Steve Cosgrove had prepared a slide show of problem areas, which you can see here: . You are welcome to leave comments on these slides if you wish.  These pictures were the prompt for attendees airing a lot of concerns that have been troubling people for a long time.

The current situation is that the contractor Ventia has chosen not to renew their contract when it runs out in June and Downers will be taking over on the 1st July.  This is a temporary arrangement while WCC considers options.

Kevin Lavery proposed forming a working party with representatives from Residents, Council Officers and Contractors, and we agreed that this would be an excellent way forward.

There is a lot more detail of the discussion in the full minutes.

Other issues discussed included

  • an outline of recent submissions to WCC Committees on Newtown Festival Funding, the Annual Plan, Dog Policy and the Animal Bylaw.
  • Progress report on reforming the Berhampore Residents’ Association, which is looking promising.
  • Discussion of the possibility of learning from Whanganui’s Mainstreet organisation, which is responsible for the central city’s clean and attractive appearance and for a number of Whanganui events.  This needs more time to explore further.
  • Meet the Candidates Meeting.   The proposed date is Tuesday 13th September , at St Anne’s Hall, as for past elections.  Proposal to concentrate on local ward candidates.  There are so many mayoral candidates that there wouldn’t be time for everyone.

The next NRA meeting will be on Monday June 20th, 7.30pm at the Community Hall, 71 Daniell St.


Newtown Isn’t Rubbish And Our Streets Shouldn’t Be Either

This Report was prepared for discussion with WCC CEO Kevin Lavery and other Council Officers at  the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting on 16th May 2016.

Street Cleaning and Maintenance.

We want to have pride in our neighbourhood and to make a positive first impression for visitors. At present we are embarrassed by accumulated rubbish, weeds, dirty pavements and a generally neglected appearance. We value our character street furniture. fittings and paving and believe our streetscape is potentially unparalleled in Wellington, making it all the more disappointing to see it fall into disrepair. Some bollards are broken, and paving is uneven and broken in places.
We want to ensure that our streets are clean and weed free

  • to reduce environmental harm and pollution- rubbish as well as harmful substances make their way into storm drains and into the sea. Many of the drains in our streets currently have plastic rubbish in them, an alarming preview of what is going to end up in the sea.
  • to reduce the possibility of localised flooding from blocked stormwater drains
  • weeds in cracks in the footpaths and gutters and around drains are not only unsightly but also cause damage to the surface around them as they grow.
  • rubbish is a health and safety issue. Dirt/dust blowing in eyes is unsafe and is not good for respiratory health, clean surfaces help prevent slips and falls, clean streets reduces vermin numbers, broken glass / sharp can edges etc are dangerous.

2016-05-15 14.17.54           b  2016-05-15 14.22.27

a Outside Newtown Mall – one of several like this

b Drain in Normanby St – choked with plastic & other rubbish

Continue reading Newtown Isn’t Rubbish And Our Streets Shouldn’t Be Either

May Meeting

The next Residents’ Association Meeting is on
Monday 16th May, 7.30pm at the
Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St

Discussion with the Wellington City Council CEO and Council Officers.
We are very pleased that Kevin Lavery has accepted our invitation to come to this meeting.  Geoff Swainson, Manager Transport and Waste Operations and Deven Singh, Manager Transport Assets will be accompanying him, so we will be able to have an informed discussion about our experiences and concerns.
If you can’t be at the meeting and want to contact us with your thoughts and ideas, email

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 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.

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.

Report on the November meeting.

The Monthly Meeting on Monday 16th November focussed on two topics.

1. The Fair, Intelligent Transport (FIT) proposal for light rail

The link to their paper is here.

The speakers were John Rankin and Kerry Wood,

Introduction and Macro view by John: Overview of suggestions for Wellington (as in paper), and notes about existing trams overseas. Outlining positive benefits for communities when trams are introduced.

Micro view by Kerry: Suggestions of how Newtown could be serviced by a tram network between Wellington City and the Airport, either along Constable St or through a new tunnel past the zoo. Emphasising that no one option is preferred at this stage.

Their presentation was followed by vigorous discussion.

2. Keep Newtown Clean

Hine Moana-Sullivan and Lola Liava’a Tonga from the Wellington City Council Graffiti Removal Team were the speakers.

Hine – gave an overview of what has been happening, and reported an audit showing success in responding to requests for graffiti removal.

The next Keep Newtown Clean event is on Saturday 5th December. This is the second since moving to a 4x year system. The September event had a successful new activity with KNC volunteers working on the garden area outside St Thomas’s.

Lola – Volunteer Coordinator for the graffiti team, spoke about a new programme for volunteers to work in their own time, which has its own webpage.  They are planning an official launch at Keep Newtown Clean on 5th December at 9:00am and were asking for Association approval to announce this – agreed. They are planning for a BBQ, balloons, and general celebration in St Thomas’s courtyard.


The full meeting minutes, with notes of further discussion, are here.