Category Archives: Meetings

Minutes of the 2021 AGM

This meeting was 7.30pm Monday 20th September at the St Thomas’s / City Mission Community Lounge at 200 Riddiford St (a change from the usual venue at Newtown Hall because of Covid restrictions)

The AGM was followed by the usual monthly meeting business.

This is a summary of the meeting:

The Minutes of the 2020 AGM were taken as read and approved

Matters arising included the History Project.   Martin Hanley outlined the history of this (long-running) project.
It has now been prepared for publication as an online document.

President’s Report: This had been circulated, and is available online. Rhona summarised the report, with a month by month account of meeting topics, issues addressed and submissions made.https://newtownresidents.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2021-agm-presidents-report-2.pdf

Treasurer’s Report: Michelle Wolland, our Treasurer, couldn’t be at the meeting.  Sam Somers read the Treasurer’s Report. There was a small operating surplus in the 2020-2021 financial year, and the Association has a healthy financial position. It was noted that we handle funding for Mount Cook Mobilised because they are not an incorporated society (Carol Comber is the link person between Mt Cook Mobilised and the Newtown Residents’ Association Executive).

Election of Officers:

President: Rhona Carson

Secretary: no nominations: Rhona noted that she had been acting as Secretary as well as President, and would be happy to hear from any member interested in this position.

Treasurer: Michelle Wolland

Vice Presidents: Jane Patterson & Martin Hanley

Executive Committee: Sam Somers , Carol Comber , Peter Frater, Marion Leighton, Steve Cosgrove, James Coyle, Hilary Watson, Penny Sturgess, Adam Awad

The Annual General Meeting was declared closed at 8:32

September Monthly Meeting started at 8:33. The main topics were:

Wellington City Council Representation Review

Sam Somers circulated and spoke to his written notes on this subject. Sam is doing a personal submission and encouraged others, including the Association, to make submissions. Consultation closes 4 October

There was a general discussion about issues pertaining to Council and Councillors.  In particular it was noted that before wards were introduced Councillors almost always came from the northern areas.

Community Centre Upgrade: a report from Tom Law (Chair of the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre Trust)

This is going very, very, slowly.  Plans are on the City Council website, and on the NCCC website.

  • The Theatre will be upgraded. An application has been made for Lottery Grants Board Funding, which was supported by the Newtown Residents’ Association and Newtown Festival. 
  • Escalating building costs have led to a request to Council for more funds.
  • Lift and office space upgrades are planned.
  • The Community and Cultural Centre is nearing the end of its one-year lease in the current replacement location (2 Green Street).  An extension to this is being progressed.

Update on Jared Corston’s role as WCC Community Liaison officer

  • Jared now has a wider range of responsibilities liaising with Community Centres across the City. However he is still focussing on Newtown issues. As before he asks people to use the WCC fixit app to report issues, but he is happy to be contacted when this doesn’t solve the problems, or if there are other Newtown issues to discuss. He can be contacted at Jared.Corston@wcc.govt.nz
  • CAB is currently occupying Kia Ora Newtown.  Jared has a desk at the library and uses community spaces for meeting people.
  • Steve asked about what has happened to the Keep NZ Beautiful mural from 15 Constable St?  This needs to be followed up.

The new venue

Martin Hanley moved a motion of thanks to Mark and Kirsty from St Thomas’s for the use of the Community Lounge for this meeting, and suggested we also have the October meeting there.  This was supported by the meeting.

The meeting closed at 9:05. The next meeting will be on October 18th, 7.30 pm, at the St Thomas’s Community Lounge 200 Riddiford St.

Notice of the 2021 Annual General Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting will be on Monday 20th September 2021, 7.30 pm.

Please note a change of venue!

This meeting will be held at the St Thomas’s and City Mission’s Community Lounge at 200 Riddiford St – in the same building as the Church.  The change from Newtown Hall is because of limited numbers allowed at Newtown Hall during covid delta level 2.

The AGM is when we elect the Association Officers and other Executive members for 2021-2022, discuss the year’s activities and plan for the future.

Nominees and nominators for the Executive need to be financial members of the Association; if you haven’t paid your subscription yet you can join at the start of the meeting.

The President (Rhona Carson) and Treasurer (Michelle Wolland) and Vice Presidents (Martin Hanley and Jane Patterson) are standing for re-election. Nominations for all positions can be taken at the meeting or conveyed to the President beforehand – please email newtownwellington@gmail.com.

See here for the Minutes of the 2020 AGM

Minutes of the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting, 16 August 2021

Notes from the meeting – see below for the full minutes.

Research participants sought: Yiwen addressed the meeting, describing his PhD research looking at engagement of ethnic minorities in community planning processes.

Spatial Plan process and outcome : Councillors affirmed willingness to meet and discuss. Next steps in the consultations were outlined. 

Climate change: Patrick Morgan led a brief discussion related to the steps we could take as individuals and as a community. Patrick will provide a written summary of the discussions. 

Wellington Residents Coalition request: The coalition would like to work with the Newtown Residents’ Association in the areas of housing, water and rates. We have agreed to send a representative, and that there are divergent views on the desirability of water metering. 

Laura Rosier history book: the first five chapters of the Laura Rosier history book on the built history of Newtown are now complete.  

New Consultation: Council survey on design of the roading intersection The council is asking for feedback from the community about safety improvements in Newtown. 

Don M. asked for the meeting to support a complaint to NZTA about an offensive number plate that he had spotted in Newtown, and offered the Newtown Library a copy of his photographic essay book.

Community composting: new community composting scheme. 

Community Gardening: Carrara Park: more soil testing required, and volunteers sought. 

Mental Health Awareness week free music festival: 12pm to early evening in Carrara Park on the 2nd of October

Notes from the meeting July 2021

The meeting was at 7.30pm on July 19th 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St. The discussion covered –

 1. Responsible Dog Owner Policy

The meeting supported the motion That Newtown Residents’ Association would like to request that the responsible dog owner policy applications start at the same time as notification for licensing occurs.

2. Spatial Plan process and outcome

Considerable discussion was held about the process and outcome of the Spatial Plan consultation.  A Wellington-wide umbrella group is being formed to promote density done well, and the meeting supported the motion That the Newtown Residents association welcome the development off Density Done Well and would like to keep in touch with this group.              

3. An introduction to the development of the WCC District Plan; Government consultation on GPS-HUD.

Martin Hanley outlined the purpose and development of a District Plan. The District Plan is a City Council document, but is guided by Government policy.  The GPS-HUD, the Government’s proposal for the future of the housing and urban development system in Aotearoa New Zealand, is open for consultation till July 30th.  After much discussion the meeting supported the motion That the Association put in a submission to this consultation that is reflective of the discussion at this meeting. 

4. The future of the Workingmen’s Bowling Club

The meeting supported the continued mixed community use of the land and buildings. 

5. Consideration of Heritage Buildings Places and Objects 

Consultation and competition.

  • There was a reminder that annual Subs are due. 

Notes from the Meeting, June 2021

Notes from the Newtown Resident’s Association Meeting, 7.30pm 21st June 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St. 

This meeting discussed three issues tabled by members, and then had a lengthy discussion about the recently released version of the Spatial Plan, prior to it being voted on by the Wellington City Councillors later in the week

Jan G. shared her experience as a consumer representative at the Regional Hospital.

Jill F. sought the support of the meeting to ask the council to reduce the speed limits in Newtown. The meeting supported a reduction to 40 km per hour down Constable Street, and to 30 km per hour through the Riddiford St shopping centre and on all the residential side streets.  

Steve C. updated the meeting on the situation with the Carrara Park community garden.  He now has administrator rights to the  facebook page for the community gardens , and has updated and re-invigorated this group. He also signalled that Kai Cycle will be extending their subscription waste collection service for compostable material and are arranging for a compost collection bin to be positioned in the Park. There was also discussion of community fruit trees and the maintenance of street trees.

The newly released second version of the Draft Spatial Plan was discussed at length. Anna K-W. presented the Red Design submission to the Council outlining the case for development to largely take place in the Newtown Suburban Centre, on underdeveloped comercial and industrial sites, where there is the potental to provide enough new housing to meet the projected need. We agreed that there was a need for more housing, for unfit housing to be able to be replaced by warm dry homes, and for a proportion of the housing to be designated social housing to produce genuinely affordable rents. The meeting discussed a proposal whereby the Association would support Newtown being prioritised for appropriate growth if the Red Design plan was followed, and developments in the residential streets outside the heritage precincts were a maximum 3 storeys, unless the site was particularly suitable for a higher development. The meeting agreed to support this move, and that the Residents’ Association executive could finalise the wording of the Newtown Position Statement to go to the council having heard suggestions from the floor. 

The next meeting will be on Monday the 19th of July at 7.30 p.m. 

Minutes of the Association Meeting, May 2021

Notes from the Residents’ Association Meeting 17th May 2021 

Jared Corston (WCC) gave a detailed presentation outlining the work the Council are doing to gather data on, and better understand, the demographics and characteristics of people living in Newtown and other catchment areas. This information will be used to plan for the needs of communities and had a particular focus on the role of Community Centres in delivering Council services and facilities to those most in need.

Ideas were floated about more green space utilisation and fruit tree planting. 

The meeting also noted the need to follow up with the Council area parking plan, and that the outcome of the Spatial plan consultation w is due out later in June.

 There is still some funding for neighbourly events. This will need to be returned to the council if not spent. Please can anyone /or group who has an idea for an event (and the energy to work to make it happen) contact Rhona.

Notes of the Association Meeting, April 19th 2021

A good turn out of residents were treated to three presentations of interest.

1) WCC Innovating Streets organisers reported largely positive feedback on the platform which was installed outside the Friendly Bakery and Black Coffee, and shared plans to increase such parklets in the community.

2) A team from GWRC presented the 3 main consultation themes from the draft 2021-2030  Long Term Plan:  

  • To de-carbonise public transport – busses, rail and ferries.
  • To restore areas of regional parks to native bush and wetlands as a climate change mitigation strategy
  • To provide more support (especially secretariat support) to constituent Councils to coordinate planning for Regional growth

3) WCC introduced their Long Term Plan Consultation, highlighting the extremely challenging financial environment and the huge costs due to the earthquakes and to lack of infrastructure maintenance (especially in water infrastructure) over many years.

Notes from the Residents’ Association 15th February 2021 Meeting

Brief notes from minutes of the Newtown Resident’s Association Meeting, 7.30pm 15th February 2021 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.

  1. Predator Free Wellington (PFW) plans intensive rat eradication operation throughout Newtown and neighbouring suburbs. See https://www.pfw.org.nz/island-bay-to-cbd/ (sign up to host a trap, or see more about the project) or 0800norats 0800667287
  2. Wellington Residents’ Coalition has been re-activated to campaign to keep Wellington’s water assets under the direct ownership and control of a publicly-elected body and to stop the introduction of water meters.  This topic will be explored in more depth at a future meeting.
  3. The Newtown Festival, (Sunday 7th March) is looking for volunteers for Marshalls, Waste Management, Traffic Management etc. To volunteer please contact newtownfestival@gmail.com or talk to Rhona, Martin or Anna.
  4. Wellington City Council’s draft Spatial Plan is unlikely to go back to Council until June. See Feedback report . The Long Term Plan and District Plan consultations will also need our attention in coming months.
  5. The Association voted to assist with steps necessary to help maintain the Newtown Market during Covid Level Two, should this be necessary in future.
  6. The Community Centre redevelopment now has another new project manager. The NCCC staff and clients are moving out on 14 April. The CAB has moved into Kia Ora Newtown, and the Tool Library is moving to new premises next to Network Newtown at the end of the month
  7. The Electricity Department Newtown Substation at 180 Riddiford St. is being repurposed for modern needs while keeping the façade.

2020 Annual General Meeting

The Association’s 2020 AGM was held on Monday 21st September 2020.

There was a simple agenda:

Presentation of the President’s Annual Report – see below

Presentation of the Treasurer’s report

Election of Officers. The Executive for 2020-2021 is-

President:  Rhona Carson

Secretary: No nominations. Rhona Carson will continue in the meantime.

Treasurer:  no nominations. A possible recruit for the New Year; Jane Patterson will be in an acting role till then.

Vice Presidents:  Martin Hanley, Jane Patterson

Executive: Carol Comber, Steve Cosgrove (minutes secretary), James Coyle, Peter Frater,  Marion Leighton, Sam Somers.

The AGM portion of the meeting was followed by general Association business:

  • Arrangements for the Meet the Candidates Meeting for the Rongotai Electorate
  • A report from Jared Corston on his position as WCC Newtown Liaison Officer
  • Feedback from Cr Fleur Fitzsimons about the WCC public meeting at Newtown Library about the Spatial Plan.

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

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

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

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.