Category Archives: News

No Residents’ Association Meeting in April

Our regular Association meeting is on the 3rd Monday of the month, but this month that day is Easter Monday.  The Association Executive considered meeting on the following Monday, but that is the day before Anzac Day and again a number of people are taking a long weekend.  We decided to cancel the meeting for the month.

The next Residents’ Association Meeting will now be 7.30pm on Monday May 15th.  As usual we will meet at the Newtown Hall. 71 Daniell St.

Notes from the March meeting.

The Residents’ Association meeting on March 20th focussed on reports and updates about local issues. These are some of the topics discussed.

Neighbour’s Night

Daphne Pilaar, one of the main organisers, gave a summary of the very successful evening – thanking the variety of individuals and organisations involved. See here for a full description of the evening.

Newtown Festival Street Fair Day, Sunday March 5th

Rhona Carson reported on another successful event.

Plans to create a Trust to run the Festival are moving ahead, and a motion was passed requesting that this process be completed by the end of the financial year – a practical time for ease of accounting.

Garage Sale, Saturday March 11th – a very wet day, but some people participated.

Bike KREW Rodeo – was to have been on Sunday March 12th, but extreme weather conditions meant it was postponed till Saturday March 18th. About 30 children, with caregivers took part – a good number and a successful first Bike KREW Rodeo. Many thanks to ReBicycle and to the Communities on Bikes fund.

Our Town Newtown – the project planning for community facilities in Newtown.

Currently it seems that the community input phase will take longer than the planned June timeframe. The next step is a working group meeting in early April, and news of other community events should follow soon after.

There is a questionnaire almost ready to send out, and we are hoping that there will be a good rate of response when the time comes.

WCC Annual Plan

Our local Councillors, Paul Eagle and David Lee, gave an update on the Annual Plan process and outlined some of the proposals in the draft.

There was less public participation in the development of the draft Annual Plan for 2017/18, but there will be public consultation before it is finalised.

Predator-Free Mt Cook / Newtown

This project has been expanded to include Newtown.

David Lee reported that a workshop on March 19th produced about 70 traps. The target is about 250. (One house in five is sufficient to gain control over rats.)

Contact the organisers (Gary and Andrew) if you would like to be involved –

Local Housing

WCC is half-way through a 30-year plan to refurbish its housing.

Housing New Zealand are reconditioning some of their buildings.

No new special housing areas have been created. The meeting expressed concern about the process and consequences of granting Special Housing Area status.

History Projects

An attendee with a special interest in history asked for an update. There are two projects on the go – one describing the history of Newtown and the other the history of the Wellington South Licensing Trust. Both of these are in the process of transferring data into an online format, and are still works in progress.

Suggestions were made for local Improvements, including:

“Welcome to Newtown” signs to promote and show pride in our suburb, extended Library hours on Saturdays and improved speed management on local streets.

See here for the full minutes of the meeting.

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.

Notes from the February Meeting

The first meeting for 2017 was on the 20th February.

  • We heard an outline of the plans for the Prince of Wales reservoir from the Wellington Water Project Director Ulvi Salayev.  Wellington Water are currently preparing their Resource Consent application. The next public consultation is 6 May. It will be advertised in the media.
  • Gary Scott from Mt Cook Mobilised spoke about his initiative to make Mt Cook predator-free through the widespread use of trapping tunnels.
  • Daphne Pilaar outlined the plans for the Residents’ Association Neighbours’ Night at Newtown Park on February 24th.
  • Ray Tuffin (WCC Community Advisor for Newtown) reported on his many activities.
  • Rhona Carson (Association President) outlined the process for the community involvement with WCC decisions on redeveloping community facilities. The project is known as ‘Our Town Newtown’.
  • The meeting decided to keep the membership fees for the Association at a gold coin, as it has been for some years.

See the full minutes of the meeting here.

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.

“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.