UPDATE! 5th August 2019 – the submissions to WCC closed today. The Newtown Residents’ Association made a submission recommending that the Playground be moved as little as possible, and the open play space should be retained. See below!
A message from Wellington City Council: “We’re upgrading the play area at Carrara Park and we’d like your feedback!
The upgrade will focus on relocating the playground area and upgrading the play equipment. We need to move the playground away from the existing location because the play equipment is being damaged by the roots of the Norfolk Island pine tree.
Construction is due to start in February/March 2020.
Before we get started, we’re gathering feedback and suggestions from existing and potential users of the park. This will help to ensure the new facilities meet the needs of the local community.
For more information on the proposed upgrade go to www.wellington.govt.nz/carrara-park (Please note that the map is indicative. It is intended as a starting point for discussion, and does not necessarily represent the final design).
How you can get involved • Have your say by completing our feedback survey by 5pm Monday 5 August 2019 • Come to our drop-in session at Newtown Market (St Anne’s Hall ) on Saturday 27 July, 9am-12pm”
Some Newtown Residents’ Association members, and other local residents. have had preliminary meetings with Sam Malaulau, the WCC Playground Designer, and Jared Corston, the WCC Newtown Liaison Officer. We have clarified that no decisions have been made at this stage, and the map that you will see if you do the survey is just a conversation starter. What we do know is that some of the existing playground equipment doesn’t meet current safety standards, and the playground does need to be moved enough to get away from the Norfolk pine roots. Apart from this, all possibilities can be considered.
“Last month the Transport Minister Phil Twyford, with support from Mayor Justin Lester and Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw, announced the $6.4 billion Indicative Package for Let’s Get Wellington Moving, a 20-year plan for Wellington’s transport future. Luke Troy, General Manager Strategy for GWRC and LGWM team member, will explain the Indicative Package and next steps for LGWM.”
This is the start of a very big, long-term, programme. It needs community and political support.
Luke worked through a Powerpoint presentation.
Currently the planning is very high-level, not yet at street level.
City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and NZTA working together.
Funding is about $3.7 billion over 20-years – 60/40 split Central / Local Government + users.
There are other projects outside Wellington that add a few more billions.
Lots of detailed questions will be resolved over the next 12 – 18 months.
SH1 Projects (eg 2nd Terrace Tunnel and trenching Koru Drive) have been delayed
Planning for Growth– a review of the District Plan, with scenarios for how and where to house an expected population increase of up to 80,000. Will the protection for ‘character homes’ be continued – or not? Open for submissions till May 10th.
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.
This is the first Newtown Residents’ Association meeting for 2019. It will be at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St, at 7.30pm on Monday 18th February.
Join us to talk about what is going on in our area. Guest speaker Alivia Prattas will update us on the work of the Neighbourhood Support organisation, we will preview the Newtown Festival (on Sunday 3rd March) and do some planning for our Newtown Neighbours’ Night – which we will be hosting at Newtown Park on Friday 28th March from 4.30pm till 7pm. All welcome!
For the past month Wellington City Council has been asking for community input on proposals for cycleway routes through Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook as part of the urban cycleways project. Submissions were due on December 11th.
Our Association members have a wide range of opinions on cycleways, and so rather than making a submission advocating for any particular way forward we focused on the importance of recognising and acknowledging the needs and wishes of all members of our community.
The AGM was held on Monday 15th October. The meeting received the President’s Report and the Annual Accounts. It also agreed to make some changes to the Association Constitution, removing references to the Newtown Festival (now that it has its own Newtown Festival Trust and isn’t organised by the Association), and also removing the requirement that future accounts be audited. Our accounts are very simple now, and auditing has become more complex!
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.
This meeting was an update on local issues. Top of the agenda was a discussion of the Newtown Community Facilities Upgrade – there are options available for comment on the three spaces owned by WCC and operated by the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre Trust – Newtown Community and Cultural Centre in Rintoul St, Newtown Hall in Daniell St and Network Newtown in Constable St. Sketch plans are available at Kia Ora Newtown, NCCC and other local public spaces, & on the Community Centre Website. http://www.newtowncommunity.org.nz/our-town-newtown.html
We also talked about the new apartments being developed on the former Salvation Army site in Constable St, the Association submission on the WCC review of the Alcohol Control Bylaw, and other issues.
This meeting was held on the 20th August at the Newtown Hall. The main topic was a lengthy discussion with Greater Wellington Regional Councillors Daran Ponter, Ian McKinnon and Sue Kedgley about the changes to Wellington’s bus service.
We also had a presentation from Clara Choi, a 5th year landscape architecture student from Victoria University of Wellington, about her Masters thesis about creating inclusive spaces for multicultural society through community gardens in Newtown.
The monthly meeting will be at 7.30pm on Monday 20th August at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell Street.
On the agenda –
THE BUS SERVICE! GWRC Councillors Daran Ponter, Sue Kedgley and Ian McKinnon will be at the meeting to discuss what is going on.
“PEOPLE, FOOD, SPACE” Clara, a Landscape Architecture Student, is working on a thesis about creating inclusive spaces for multicultural society through community gardens in Newtown. She will tell us about this, and would welcome responses.
Parking Presentation. Ray Tuffin will give his Council Presentation at Kia Ora, Thursday 21st July 6pm.
The Architects for Our Town Newtown are WPS Opus. The first workshop to meet the architects and contribute to developing the brief is on Saturday 28th July – early afternoon at NCCC.
Newtown Community Garden at Carrara Park. Tim Tovey is going to be the on-going coordinator. Public Liability Insurance has been organised, shared between three organisations, with a Council grant expected to cover it.
The Postshop has closed and the first look at the agencies is not positive, signage is poor and there is no writing desk.
Jim Lewis from Council presented a preview of this issue. Formal consultation will be in September.
The Liquor Ban needs to be reviewed this year or it will lapse.
Moved Bernard O’shaughnessy/Sam Somers: That NRA supports the liquor ban, and supports further publicity and enforcement. Carried.
Newtown Connections – WCC Engagement.
Jess Ducey and Sam Wilkie from Council Networks Improvements Team talked about the information gathering process (the survey). The purpose is to develop a connected citywide cycle network so people of all ages and abilities can safely choose to make more trips by bike, but the survey questions cover all forms of transport.
The six week consultation closes on 17th July
When the engagement is completed the team will develop some options for cycleway routes, for further consultation.
A Review of the 1930’s Character Control on Buildings has been announced by WCC as part of the general District Plan review.
This has alarmed Balmoral Tce residents as Housing New Zealand has told residents that they are exploring options for developing their properties at 124,130 & 131 Coromandel Street and 9 Balmoral Tce. In the past HNZ were planning to demolish 9 Balmoral Tce, a restored pre-1930s home, and use the section to access a new development in Coromandel St. After protest this was averted but the concern is that this might be revisited. Coromandel St residents are concerned about an intensive development and resulting traffic.
Paul Eagle and Kylie Cox (from Paul’s office) invited the residents to pass the information on to them and they will liaise with HNZ about their plans. Accepted.
Recognising achievements in our community. The meeting passed motions of congratulation to recognise the achievements of three members of our community:
Newtown Architects and Association Members Anna Kemble Welch and Martin Hanley were awarded the Ath Cup at the New Zealand Institute of Architects Annual Awards on 3 May. This was in recognition of their special contribution to the urban fabric of Wellington: Newtown Festival, the Red Design southern suburbs cycleway project and their DEBRA NZ medical work were mentioned in the citation.
Bernard O’Shaughnessy was recognised for his success in convincing WCC to trial extending the Newtown Library open hours to 4pm Saturdays. Congratulations Bernard!
Newtown parking: Ray Tuffin (WCC Community Liaison Advisor) has made a presentation on the parking issues in Newtown for Council officers. Ray can present this for interested residents at Kia Ora Newtown, 6 Constable St . Update – this presentation will be on Thursday 21st June at 6pm. All welcome!
Potential Sale of Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB)property: A Public Notice was issued May 17thand 24th in the Dominion Post regarding the potential sale of 2 and 2A Coromandel St. CCDHB are interested in the views of residents. The land is currently occupied by the Ewart building, the vacant but historic Parkview building, and the Menzshed and Southside Kids Childcare Centre. If CCDHB do proceed to declare these properties surplus they are required to follow their treaty obligations before offering them for sale. Do let us know your views about this proposal! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Response Plan: Workshops are planned for July on emergency planning and the operation of the Newtown Emergency Hub at Newtown School. Rhona shared the “Local ideas and solutions for challenges you may face” segment of the Newtown Emergency Hub Guide. This needs some work still.
Shannon Friday from Wellington Timebank spoke about the Timebank role in emergencies. The Timebank is a Community organisation that arranges the exchange of skills and talent for time, rather than money. This helps build community resilience. They have an online database of skilled people and their tools, however this isn’t likely to be very accessible in an emergency, so a challenge is to link people personally as well asdigitally. Lessons learnt from Lyttelton following their earthquake were that unofficial networks like that fostered through Timebank are important for helping clean-ups and restoring services. The Cell Phone network comes back relatively quickly for phone calls and texting which facilitates coordination; provided you know who can do what.
Heritage week: the week ending 28 October. Ray Tuffin is coordinating plans for Newtown, and our Association will be involved in events. An exhibition is suggested for the pop-up shop, and there are plans for a heritage walk. Volunteers and those with other suggestions please email us at email@example.com.
Street Cleaning: WCC is funding a worker, Paul, to clean road gutters and clear drains daily on week days. Attendees reported that he is doing an excellent job, really makes a difference.