Category Archives: News

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.

Agenda:
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.

Keep Newtown Clean was a success

We had an excellent turnout of volunteers on June 4th.  It was particularly good to see Ana, the Community Engagement Co-ordinator from St Vincent de Paul, and the group of VUW students, we hope they come again!  As always, Newtown New World were very generous in supporting the BBQ – we had lots of takers for sausages!

There were two big projects – painting the fence around the Cancer Society carpark, and digging over garden beds and spreading compost at the St Thomas’s Courtyard, ready for some new planting.  As well there was lots of rubbish cleared and graffiti cleaned- it made a real difference.

“Keep Newtown Clean” – Saturday June 4th, 9am – 12 noon

We are looking for volunteers to join us, for painting, cleaning and gardening to spruce up our neighbourhood!  We meet outside the Newtown Mall, 195 Riddiford St, between 9am and 12noon – wear your old clothes. all equipment is provided.  Volunteers get free BBQ sausages, thanks to Newtown New World – and we sell sausages too, so you are welcome to come by just to say “hello” and get a sausage!  KNC is supported by Newtown Residents’ Association,  Amadeus Hair Salon, Wellington City Council, SB Maintenance, and Newtown New World.

Keep Newtown Clean was started by David Wilcock from Amadeus, on behalf of the Newtown Business Association, back in July 2013.  Its main focus was painting out graffiti, which was particularly bad back then. WCC and their graffiti management contractor SB Maintenance helped, and still do, by coming along, identifying areas that need attention, and providing gloves, cleaning products, paint and all the necessary equipment.  It was a monthly event till early last year, but there was less graffiti to worry about and fewer volunteers were turning up so it was reconfigured as a quarterly event instead.   The Residents’ Association were asked to take it over, which we did.

What we have been doing in the past year is still cleaning off or painting out graffiti if there is any, picking up rubbish, cleaning off old tattered posters from lamp posts etc, and doing some weeding. Last September we offered to weed the courtyard garden at St Thomas’s, which was completely overgrown.  Since then a group from the Residents’ Association and St Thomas’s have been continuing to try and develop the garden there, and we are about to do quite a major piece of work clearing, replenishing the soil and planting, so that will be something we will hope volunteers will help with on the 4th.

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:  http://tinyurl.com/NewtownRA-2016-May . 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

Agenda:
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 newtownwellington@gmail.com

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 http://getwellymoving.co.nz 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.

FixIt.
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.

April meeting

Newtown Residents’ Association  Meeting: Monday 18th April 7.30pm

All Welcome – Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St (near the Constable St corner)

The agenda will include discussion about the Wellington City Council Annual Plan.  Submissions on the plan are due by April 29th.

Do come, and take part in a discussion about what is important for you in this suburb and in this city. If you want to contact us with your thoughts and ideas, email newtownwellington@gmail.com

Notes about the March meeting

The meeting was held on the 21st March 2016. See the full minutes here.

“Newtown Isn’t Rubbish But Its Streets Are” 

Jeanie McCafferty circulated the first draft of a report about our dissatisfaction and questions about the way WCC is dealing with rubbish, street maintenance, etc, as discussed at February meeting.

There was wide ranging discussion – see the minutes for details.  The meeting decided that the next step is to ask the WCC Chief Executive Kevin Lavery to come to a meeting so we can discuss our questions and concerns with him.

Newtown Festival

Martin Hanley reported on a very successful Festival, and thanked all who were involved in helping on Fair Day and in organising other events.

This year it was possible to make searchable lists of all the stalls and of the Festival programme for use on smart phones and other devices, and these are still available on the Festival Website.

The next step for the Festival Committee is an application to WCC for the next 3 year contract funding.

There is work being done towards setting up a Trust for the Festival in the future.

A vote of thanks to those organising the Fair was passed by acclamation.

Newtown Residents’ Association Budget 

Jane Patterson, the Association Treasurer,  outlined expected income and expenditure.

Proposed additional expenses include the design and purchase of a teardrop flag to use when the Association has a public presence.

The meeting agreed that honoraria could be paid for preparation of the Newsletter, and for a future co-ordinator of Keep Newtown Clean.  It was also agreed that a ‘Meet the Candidates’ meeting for the local body elections would be a good use of funds.

Keep Newtown Clean 

We are expecting this to continue on a quarterly basis, the next one being on the first Saturday in June.  We are going to think about a new name, perhaps a new focus – the original need for cleaning graffiti is not so urgent, the contractors are doing a good job. Perhaps a broader ‘Action Day’ would be of benefit to the community.

Neighbours’ Day on 19th March

Rhona Carson, Association President, thanked those who contributed to the Saturday Tea Party at St Thomas’s for Neighbours Day. An enjoyable event, thanks and congratulations to the team from St Thomas’s who hosted it.

Newtown Free WiFi

David Wilcock reported that there is now free WiFi outside his shop, Amadeus Hair Saloon  David is encouraging more retailers to move their Internet to Netstar, who will add free WiFi to their shops too.

There is also a web site that David is developing, listing Newtown businesses.  A beta release will be soon after Easter.

Meeting ended at 9:15

Next meeting Monday April 18th, 7.30pm, at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.

 

Report on the February meeting.

Newtown Residents’ Association met on 15th February 2016

These topics were discussed:

Subscription Rates – decided in February, to come into effect for the new financial year starting in July.  Decided to keep it at the current rate of a gold coin.

Association Expenses – Jane Patterson (Treasurer) and Rhona Carson (President) will bring a draft budget to the next meeting. Rhona suggested we buy a teardrop flag to use outside meetings, and at events – approved in principle.

Newtown Festival / Celebrate Newtown – Discussion of coming events

Keep Newtown Clean – 21 February

Neighbours’ Day afternoon tea, 3-4.30 19th March – St Thomas’s Courtyard project. A St Thomas’s group will host the tea, with help from our Association.

Environment Scan

  • Plan change 79 – re 42a Riddiford Street. Recommended that the change proceed with some protection of the residential areas.  
  • Salvation Army.  Has consent, will start demolishing properties and rebuilding in the near future.
  • St James Church has been restored, and made into five apartments.  They are then going to to build appartments behind it, down to the Cancer Society.
  • Something is happening on Gordon Street – perhaps replacing burned out house.

You can see the full minutes here:

 

 

Parking changes for Owen Street

A recent item from Wellington City Council will interest those who have been so frustrated by the pressure on parking in local streets.  There is a proposal to have residents’ only parking 8am-6pm between 41 and 45 Owen St.  See here for a copy of the proposal. Feedback to Council closes on 11th March.  This an example of people-power, as it is a response to protests from local residents. It seems likely that there will be many other local residents who feel this small change does’t go far enough, what do you think?

WCC Consultation on the Annual Plan

Wellington City Council will soon be preparing the Annual Plan 2016/17 and the Mayor has written to say: “…we are interested in proposals and ideas from our community that will help us grow or diversify Wellington’s economy, be a smart resilient city, improve services and use of   existing assets including parks, roads and libraries, and save money.
Working within the framework of the LTP budget, elected members will consider your feedback when we prepare the Annual Plan Consultation Document….”

You can find out more about the Annual Plan process at www.wellington.govt.nz/annualplan2016-17