Category Archives: News

“Our Town: Newtown” – a community facilities project

Wellington City Council has set aside $3million funding for redeveloping Newtown’s community facilities, and this will be done through a co-design process with the community. The steering group to get this started has two members from Newtown Community and Cultural Centre: Tom Law (Trust Chair) and Renee Rushton (Coordinator), two from Newtown Residents’ Association: Rhona Carson (President) and Jane Patterson (Treasurer), and Ray Tuffin, WCC Newtown Community Advisor, joined at times by other WCC colleagues.

Cally O’Neill, who has done similar work in Aro Valley and Vogelmorn, has joined us as our project designer and facilitator. Cally has been designing a questionnaire that we hope will be responded to by as many Newtown residents as possible, and she has designed a poster for us – we hope you will soon be seeing it often, with different associated notices about a range of workshops and other events and discussions which will be happening around Newtown in the coming weeks and months. See the first version here. A website, email and facebook page will be coming soon – and if you come to our Neighbours Night at Newtown Park, below, there will be more information there.

Keep Newtown Clean – Saturday February 25th

Saturday 25th  February from 9am – 12noon

Painting, Cleaning, Gardening – and free BBQ for volunteers!

The Newtown Festival Street Fair Day is the week after, on Sunday 5th March – lets have Newtown looking its best! We really need more willing hands to make this happen, so do come along – its a fun and satisfying way to spend an hour or two. All equipment provided, just wear old clothes.

Keep Newtown Clean events are organised by the Newtown Residents’ Association, supported by Wellington City Council, S B Maintenance, Newtown New World, and Amadeus Hair Salon.

We meet outside the Newtown Mall – see you there!

Invitation to Neighbours Night at Newtown Park -Friday 24th February, 5-8pm

Come along for an evening of free fun and free food, rain or shine! Take the opportunity to enjoy games and activities for all ages, and share a meal and a friendly word with fellow Newtonians.

The Mighty Ukes will be playing for us – sing along!, our friends from the Zoo will be visiting, and the Police and Fire services will be lending a hand.

This neighbourhood gathering is organised by the Newtown Residents’ Association, with support from Neighbours’ Day Aotearoa and Wellington City Council.

Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting 20th February – all welcome!

The Newtown Residents’ Association first meeting for 2017 is on Monday, 20th February, 7.30 pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.

The agenda will include:

Welcome to visitors:

* Phillippa Ross-James and colleagues from Wellington Water will speak about the Prince of Wales Reservoir Project. See here  for an overview of the project, and follow the link to the December Update for issues raised at the open days.

* Pat Leota, a Work Broker from the Ministry of Social Development office in Newtown, will tell us about the WINZ Projects in the Community – a scheme for subsidising wages or training for people working on community projects.

* Gary Scott, to talk about the Mt Cook Pest Free Initiative.

Daphne Pilaar will report on plans for our Residents’ Association “Neighbours’ Night at Newtown Park” 5-8pm Friday 24th February – with a request for volunteers to help on the night.

An update from Ray Tuffin about Kia Ora Newtown and the way his role is developing.

Progress report on the Newtown Community Facilities Project – to be called “Our Town Newtown”

Newtown Festival and Celebrate Newtown events. See the Festival website ( for all the details – there’s lots to look at and listen to!

Proposal for a Newtown History Walk

A discussion of our membership fees for the 2017-18 year (its in our rules that we do this in February)

Submissions and Consultations

* Playspaces Policy

* Airport runway extension. The hearing in the Environment Court will start on 3rd July. We have to decide by 3rd March whether we want to speak to our submission at the hearing

* WCC Annual Plan 2017-18 – initial engagement

Kia Ora Newtown is open for business

There was a moving ceremonial opening on Thursday 26th January guided by June and Peter Jackson, with karakia and waiata, followed by speeches from Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle, WCC Newtown Community Advisor Ray Tuffin, and Residents’ Association President Rhona Carson. There was cake, and balloons and activities for the children. See the Dominion Post coverage here.

Many thanks to Wellington City Council Community Services for all the effort and energy they have devoted to getting this great facility up and running. Everyone is welcome to visit 6 Constable St and have a chat with Ray – he is your go-to person for anything concerning WCC activities and services.

Kia Ora Newtown opens tomorrow!

This office at 6 Constable St is a space where WCC and Newtown organisations can work together and collaborate on projects which  affect our suburb. It is where you will find Ray Tuffin, the Wellington City Council Community Advisor for Newtown, most days.

WCC are holding an opening day event tomorrow (26 Jan) 11am – 1pm. There’ll be family friendly activities, giveaways and spot prizes

If you have missed this event, do call in to Kia Ora Newtown anyway and have a chat with Ray.


Keep Newtown Clean

Keep Newtown Clean
3rd December, 9am-12noon
This is our quarterly Newtown clean up morning!
Volunteers are needed for painting out graffiti, cleaning and gardening. This is a great way to get involved with the community – just come along between 9 and 12, and meet at the SB Maintenance van outside Newtown New World.  Wear old clothes, all equipment will be provided.  Free BBQ sausages for all volunteers!

Rotary Club of Wellington South “Pride of Workmanship Awards” 2016


Congratulations to Dave and Liz O’Sullivan of SB Maintenance.  We nominated them for this award in recognition of all they do for Keep Newtown Clean, and we were very happy to see them receive their awards on Wednesday 23rd November.

Pride of Workmanship awards

Pakize Sari (co-awards presenter) Rhona Carson (Newtown Residents Association – nominator) Liz and Dave O’Sullivan (SB Maintenance Limited – recipients) and Geoff Atkinson (guest speaker and awards presenter)

Since July 2013, SB Maintenance, owned by Dave and Liz O’Sullivan have supported the Keep Newtown Clean project, a voluntary project initiated by Newtown businesses/residents. For 18 months, KNC volunteers met on the first Saturday of the month from 9 – 1pm. SB Maintenance scoped out areas requiring attention prior to the event, prepared the necessary resources (graffiti paint out, graffiti removal, rubbish collection, gardening) and coordinated the volunteers on the day.

Dave and Liz declined to receive any payment from council for the work they were doing, stating, “If the Newtown community are volunteering their time, we will do the same.”

The commitment by the Newtown community/volunteers and SB Maintenance has restored pride in the community and beautified Newtown. As a result, volunteers and SB Maintenance now only need to meet quarterly.

Dave and Liz live and operate their business in Petone. They are committed to the communities they work in and have an ‘attention to detail’ ethic, which provides Wellingtonians and WCC with a professional/quality and timely service.



November meeting minutes

Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting
Monday 21st November

See the full minutes of the meeting here.

Annual Accounts
These were presented to the meeting and accepted – at the time of the AGM in September they were still with the auditor.
WCC Draft Playspaces Policy – NRA submission made
Airport runway extension S274 Notice – ready.
Introducing Ray Tuffin
Ray is the Newtown Community Liaison Officer employed by Wellington City Council, and has been in the job 3 weeks. Ray is the link between Community and Council – you can contact him on if you have anything to report or discuss concerning WCC services.
He outlined his role and some current WCC projects coming to Newtown –

  • Blindsquare – an app helping blind people navigate around business area and shops based on verbal directions.
  • Eyeson – Retail security program to link businesses with other support to prevent shoplifting.

An office at 8 Constable Street will be Ray’s base, and also available for other community use.
See the full minutes for more about what Ray has been doing.
Emergency Response
Ray and Bessie were among the WCC staff on duty at the WREMO centre 24/7 since the earthquake on 14/11.  They described how this unfolded and the many tasks WCC were involved with in helping people .
Issues for the 2017 WCC Annual Plan
We have started thinking about what we might include in a submission to WCC next year. Please contact us if you have any comments or anything to add!

  • Carrara Park facilities – drinking water and toilet
  • General beautification – particularly trees
  • Support laneways project – currently in CBD, extend to Newtown?
  • Perhaps include signage too
  • Query about whether WCC ‘Placemaking’ project is still current
  • Love the Bay has found people want spaces to rest and watch
  • Reclaiming poster bollards
  • Sculptures about the place – would Wellington Sculpture Trust operate in suburbs?
  • Working with Newtown School on plans for the swimming pool

This was the final formal meeting for 2016 – next meeting Monday 20th February 2017.

November meeting notice

November meeting: Monday 21st November, 7.30 pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.  All welcome!

This will be a great opportunity to meet Ray Tuffin, the newly appointed WCC Newtown Liaison Officer, and hear about what he can do to help all Newtown residents and business people in their dealings with the Council. In his two weeks in the job he has already been following up complaints about weed growth, flooding, and other issues that have been plaguing us. He has been out and about, meeting people and getting to know the community, and is very enthusiastic about his new role.  NB – working with WREMO on facilitating a Newtown Community Response Plan is among Ray’s priorities.

Also, the November meeting is the last formal Residents’ Association meeting for the year and a good time to discuss any issues we would like to see included in the 2017 WCC Annual Plan – the call for submissions will come out before our next meeting in February, so lets be prepared!

Prince of Wales Reservoir – Public Information Afternoon

Thursday 24 November, 3:30 – 7:30, venue: Massey Executive Suite

Improving emergency water supplies for central Wellington should be very much in everyone’s thoughts at present! Wellington Water is holding a public information afternoon on 24 November, as part of the resource consent process. See their Q&A Sheet and a Timeline/Roadmap for more about the project.

Executive Seminar Suite, Gate A, Massey University, Wallace Street, Mount Cook. Parking Available through Gate E, Tasman Street


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.




Nomination: Wellingtonians of the Year


Two of our members are finalists for Wellingtonians of the Year, in the Community Service category.  Anna Kemble Welch and Martin Haney joined the Association soon after they moved to Daniell Street in the early 1980s, and have been closely involved with the Association and with countless community projects ever since. It was their role with Newtown Festival that inspired this nomination.

As Dr Seuss put it in The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”

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.