April Meeting Minutes

Our Association’s meeting on April 20th went ahead via Zoom, as we were still in the middle of the Level 4 Lockdown to combat Covid-19.

The 14 people who tuned in started with a check-in round, with people saying how they were getting on during the level 4 lockdown and raising issues of concern. We observed that most of us (at the meeting) are quite privileged compared to some other parts of the population.  

There was concern for vulnerable people around Newtown, with particular concern for the welfare of children, particularly those living in apartments without access to gardens to play in.  The meeting acknowledged the sterling work being done by the many social service agencies in Newtown, including the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre and the youth workers there, who are engaging with and supporting children and young people online.

It was also noted that Performing Artists and Technical crew have lost most of their work until the end of the year. Performers can do online events to raise a bit of money, which isn’t possible for Technicians.  The hospitality industry is also hard hit. This all has a flow on effect on Newtown Festival, which is closely involved with these sectors.

RIP – Chris Renwick

The meeting noted Chris Renwick’s passing.  Chris was a former Vice President of our Association, and held many other roles. Various members reflected on his extensive contribution to Newtown and the wider community.  This was marked by a minute’s silence.

Warwick Taylor has kindly contributed an obituary for Chris, which you can see here.

You can see the full meeting minutes here.

A Covid-19 message from the Association President

Greetings to all at this difficult time

I do hope that you are all safe and well at home, and of course following all the invaluable advice on https://covid19.govt.nz/.

If you are one of of those at work in essential services, thank you! We are fortunate in Newtown to have so many community agencies providing services to those who need them most. They have asked their many volunteers to stay home and stay safe, and so the staff are working harder than ever to pack and deliver food parcels and organise other essential services. Our thanks also to all the Hospital staff, to the home care workers looking after vulnerable people, to the supermarkets and all their workers, to the Zookeepers and SPCA staff caring for the animals, and to all the others who have to leave the safety of home to provide services for the rest of us – we really appreciate your contributions!

See our April 12th Newsletter for links to a wealth of helpful information, to keep in touch with what’s going on in our community.  I can also recommend joining up with this Facebook group started by Eryn and Ellie, Kaiwhakahaere/Coordinators at the Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, to share resources, support and build community as a response to Covid-19. 

Best wishes 

Rhona (Rhona Carson, President, Newtown Residents’ Association)

Minutes of the March 2020 Meeting

Minutes of the Newtown Residents’ Association meeting 16th March 2020

Present: Rhona Carson (Chair), Steve Cosgrove (Minutes), Leonie Walker, Jane Patterson, Jill Ford, Alison Borbelly, Keith Powell, Tom Law, Don McDonald, Warwick Taylor, Peter Frater, Effie Rankin, Faye Tohbyn, Lyn Morris, Sam Somers, Eileen Brown, Neville Carson, Kevin Lethbridge, Graeme Carroll, Merio Marsters, Marion Leighton.

Apologies: Paul Eagle, Dom Shaheen, Steve Dunn, Martin Hanley, Anna Kemble Welch, Jan Gould + Marion Leighton(for lateness)
Noted that Paul apologised because MPs have been advised to stay away from community meetings due to Covid-19 risks.. 

Rhona welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Newtown Festival

  • Rhona thanked all the marshalls and other volunteers for helping. The meeting made an enthusiastic  vote of thanks and appreciation to the organisers for another very successful Festival.
  • Sadly there was one violent event later in the evening; this seemed to be the result of a personal conflict between two visitors to Newtown. The Police and Community Patrol were involved. 
  • Don asked what the noise policy is, as he worries about how loud the Festival is.  Tom Law outlined the Council policy.

Wellington City Council Consultations

Parking Policy. 

  • Consultation opened today and will run till April 14th. WCC had a traveling road show on the subject in Newtown Mall this morning. It wasn’t widely advertised and no one at the meeting knew it was going to be there, or attended.
  • Rhona noted that the policy is very high-level at this stage. We recommend that people look at the material on the website.  The questions on the web site are quite general so Newtown-specific concerns would need to be added in narrative form.
  • Some general issues were discussed.We will consider different things we can agree on, such as further communication with WCC to develop a Newtown-specific plan, and sensible Residents’ Parking areas and fees.

Planning for Growth

  • The WCC Consultation Team were to have a Newtown Festival stall but cancelled because they were not quite ready to go.  
  • Next consultation meeting is on 26 March at Prefab – Jane and Rhona  interested in going. No one had any further comment: Rhona suggested reading the web page and keeping up-to-date with progress on the development of a proposed spatial plan for the city.
  • District Plan Review – this is beginning at the end of this year or early next.

Water

  • Warrick is concerned that water metres are coming back into discussion.  This has resulted in some suggesting we ‘need’ water metres to pay for replacement of aged infrastructure.
  • A number of views were expressed regarding the pros and cons of water metering.

COVID-19

  • Eileen Brown is working for the Council of Trade Unions developing plans and consolidating ideas for “managing the risk and flattening the curve”.
  • The current situation was outlined, along with common narratives being used to describe the situation and management options.  Eileen described then distributed some information.
  • Marion Leighton (Consultant Physician at Wellington Hospital) arrived during this discussion, having been at a hospital meeting on the same topic. She outlined the hospital’s plans for managing an influx of seriously ill patients and also answered questions. 
  • Most important thing is to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, cough and sneeze into your elbow or tissues, don’t touch your face, avoid physical contact with others and self-isolate at the first sign of any symptoms. 
  • We are in this for the long-term, so make sure you have a reasonable plan.

Emergency Management Discussion

  • Neville Carson outlined his background in Civil Defence (previous name for Emergency Management, and introduced “Wellington Conversations” – facilitated conversations on various topics which have been running in Newtown and elsewhere for several months.
  • Neville is organising a meeting to discuss Emergency Management issues on 31 March, 7:30 to 9:30, at Newtown Hall, using a model based on Wellington Conversations.

Circus Performers – Steve informed the meeting that on Wednesday evening (18th Mcaarch) in Carrara Park circus performers will be performing with LED Hula hoops.

Meeting ended at 8:58

Minutes of the February 2020 meeting

Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting 

17th February 2020 at Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St

Present: Rhona Carson (Chair), Carol Comber, Sam Somers, Effie Rankin, Stephen Pritchard, Don McDonald, Jude Bleach, Joyce Gibson, Kevin Lethbridge, Peter Frater, Cr Fleur Fitzsimons, Warwick Taylor, Graeme Carroll, Jan gould, Alison Borbely, Jane Patterson, Cr Laurie Foon.

Apologies: Steve Cosgrove, Mark Johnston, Jared Corston, Martin Hanley, Anna Kemble Welch

In Memoriam: Nick Jennings. Warwick reported news that Nick died in Palmerston North in December. He spoke to Nick’s contribution to Newtown and to the Association as long term member and past President. The meeting honoured Nick’s passing with a minute’s silence.

Subscriptions – the Association rules require subscriptions to be set in February to come into force when the new financial year starts in July.

Motion – This meeting agrees that the Newtown Residents’ Association subscription for 2020 / 2021 will remain at a gold coin. Supporters are encouraged to make a donation in addition to this if they wish.

Proposed Rhona Carson, seconded Sam Somers. Carried.

Newtown Festival

Rhona outlined plans for the Newtown Festival on March 8th.

Request for volunteers – outlined roles for Festival Marshals and other helpers. 

Great Newtown Garage Sale – 2 weeks after the Festival, on Saturday 21st March.

Parking Policy Consultation.

The next round of consultation will open in March. Fleur commented that the big issue will be Residents’ parking – how much, where, conditions -eg how many permits per household, possible restrictions on permits when properties have off-street parking available, etc.

Comment from the floor that parking is affected in streets where EV Charging Stations have been established – some debate about the pros and cons of having these stations on the street and whether it is appropriate for WCC to spend money on this trial.

Planning for Growth

Again, consultation on the draft spatial plan will start in March. The Planning for Growth team plans to have a stand at Newtown Festival.

Current and Planned works around Newtown

  • The remodelling of the toilets by Newtown Library and the conversion of part of the building into a new Tool Library is underway.
  • Mein St from Riddiford St to Daniell St is to be resurfaced. The work will be done at night from Sunday 22nd March and is expected to take 3 nights. Neighbours are being notified.
  • The planned upgrade of the Newtown Community Centre has been delayed and is now expected to start in August.  Budget constraints mean that the plans for upgrading Newtown Hall have had to be cancelled.

Neighbours’ Day Grant

WCC has granted the Association $400 to put towards a Neighbours’ Day event. However we haven’t yet made plans for this. By the time plans can be made it will be a bit late in the year for an evening outdoor event such as the ones we had at Newtown Park in past years. Brainstorming suggestions – contributing to further community dinners, such as the two at Newtown School in 2019; perhaps a Matariki event; etc. We need to collaborate with the Newtown Collective of community organisations again to progress these thoughts.

Future Consultations 

Fleur and Laurie reported that the WCC Annual Plan discussions have begun in Council and public consultation will be coming up.

Greater Wellington Regional Council will be working on a 30 year plan. Suggestion to ask Daran Ponter to a future meeting to discuss this.

Other Business

Graeme asked Fleur about any update on the Earthquake Insurance taskforce.  Looking for creative ideas for funding upgrades.

Warwick protested about WCC selling the Eco House, after leaving it empty for a long period while housing is urgently needed. A discussion about the history of this property. 

Seeds for Feeds – local dinner at the old caltex station (Festival of Praise) on March 22nd, Bookings by Koha.

Effie talked about the need to recognise that Samuel Parnell (of 8 hr day fame) was part of Newtown’s history. Fleur was very interested in this and proposed following up with Effie.

The Meeting concluded at 9.00pm.

Minutes of the AGM held September 16th 2019

See here for the Minutes of the AGM

and here for the regular September Meeting that followed the AGM.

The Newtown Residents’ Association Executive members for the 2019-2020 year are

President:  Rhona Carson

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

Treasurer:  Jane Patterson

Vice President:  Martin Hanley

Executive: Carol Comber, Steve Cosgrove (minutes secretary), Peter Frater, Alivia Pratas, Mel Short, Sam Somers.

Notice of the 2019 Annual General Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting will be on Monday 16th September 2019 7.30 pm, at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell St.

All welcome!

See here for the President’s Annual Report and here for the Minutes of the 2018 AGM.

This meeting is when we elect the Association Officers and other Executive members for 2019-2020, 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 (Jane Patterson) are standing for re-election, and other nominations can be taken at the meeting or conveyed to the President beforehand – please email newtownwellington@gmail.com.

Meet the Candidates Meetings

The Newtown Residents’ Association has organised two local body election meetings – one for the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the other for Wellington City Council Paekawakawa/Southern Ward and Mayoral Candidates. This an opportunity to put faces to the names of candidates and hear their thoughts about why you should vote for them. Voting papers are being posted from September 20th, and need to be submitted by midday on Saturday October 12th.

Thursday September 12th, Meet the Candidates for the Greater Wellington Regional Council – St Anne’s Hall in Emmett St, doors open at 7 pm and meeting starts at 7.30pm sharp. Yadana Saw will be facilitating. The meeting will end with supper and a chance for informal chats.
What does the GWRC do? If you want a better bus service, clean drinking water, flood protection and emergency services, then this is the Council responsible!  See here- and here for the list of candidates.


Wednesday September 18th, Meet the Candidates for the Wellington City Council Paekawakawa/Southern Ward and Mayoral Candidates.  Salvation Army Hall. 4 Normanby St, doors open at 7 pm and meeting starts at 7.30pm sharp. Patrick Morgan will be facilitating. The meeting will end with supper and a chance for informal chats. See here for the lists of candidates.

Thursday September 26th, Meet the Candidates for the Capital and Coast District Health Board – St Anne’s Hall in Emmett St, doors open at 7 pm and meeting starts at 7.30pm sharp. 
The meeting will end with supper and a chance for informal chats.

The elected members of CCDHB are the community’s voice in the health service – who do you want to speak to your concerns? Come to our meeting to help you decide!  This meeting is hosted jointly by the Newtown Residents’ Association, MtVictoria Residents’ Association and Berhampore Community Association.
See the candidates here.

Minutes of the August meeting

Notes from the Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting – 19th August 2019

See here for the full minutes.

Ian McKinnon, current GWRC Councillor, spoke to the meeting as he is not standing again and this might be his last Newtown Residents’ Association meeting.  He spoke about the bus service difficulties and encouraged people to go to the Metlink sessions to have their say. He also reminisced about his long conection with our Association, and said how valuable Residents’ Associations are. 

Fleur Fitzsimons added a tribute to Ian’s long and productive career in the Wellington City and Regional Councils, and thanked him for his service. This was applauded by the meeting.

Smarter ways to manage city parking https://letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/managecityparking

Kate Hodgetts, WCC Senior Policy Advisor spoke to this, supported by Baz Kaufman, WCC Manager Strategy and Research.  See here for the text of the presentation.

People were asked to complete the online survey, under WCC – Have your Say – Smarter Parking. Scroll down to the Have Your Say Here tab. Responses are due by 5pm, Friday August 30th.

Upcoming Film Festival

Mark Wiliams, Director of Circuit (http://circuit.org.nz) (an arts agency which supports New Zealand artists working in the moving image) spoke about a promotion next month which will highlight Newtown’s diversity and needs.  Mark can be contacted through Jared Corston at Kia Ora Newtown or director@circuit.org.nz.  A local artist is going to interview people to create a documentary highlighting local people.

5 October – there will be a seminar at Newtown Community and Cultural Centre regarding video production.

Meet the Candidates Meetings –meetings organised by the Residents’ Association were outlined. (See here for a schedule of meetings in Wellington.)

The meeting closed at 9pm. The next meeting will be the Residents’ Association AGM on Monday September 16th.

Upgrading the Carrara Park Playground

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.

There is a long history to the Park and its design. See here for an outline of the history, and a discussion of the present and future. The Newtown Residents’ Association was closely involved with the establishment of the Park, and we are very interested in its future. We are looking forward to many more planning meetings as the future design is decided.

Minutes of the July Meeting

The July meeting talked about a number of local issues, including the future of Carrara Park and plans for Mental health Awareness Week in September.

We also talked at some length about planning for Meet the Candidates Meetings for the local body election. Voting starts from September 20th, so we would like to have meetings before then.

Notes from the June 2019 Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting was held on Monday 17 June 2019

Jared Corston, WCC Liaison – Kia Ora Newtownprovided an update on recent and upcoming activities, including the following:

  • Carrara Park Upgrade, and planned public engagement.
  • Concerns about the state of the Riddiford Street footpath, and also about the street cleaning contract.
  • The Keep New Zealand Beautiful Mural is being painted in the pop-up shop by Izzie Joy, to go on the fence of the construction site on Constable St.  There will be a formal launch.
  • Opportunities for multi-faith fora as have been done elsewhere.
  • City Housing forms will be able to be left at Kia Ora Newtown soon.
  • Toilet block on Constable Street will be upgraded soon, including the surrounding area.

Marg Jenner – GM Wakefield Hospital, with Jeff Arthur, Manager, Property & Projects

  • Major redevelopment of Wakefield Hospital is happening, mainly to replace the earthquake-prone building.
  • Hawkins Construction have got the contract for this work, which will start in a few weeks.
  • Parking has been identified by them as a significant issue.  Staff will park offsite, during construction, patients, doctors, contractors etc, will have space onsite.
  • There is a strong sense of history, which is being carefully recorded, and will be made public in the end
  • Build will be six days a week.  Saturday finishes earlier.
  • Wakefield Hospital’s update page: https://www.wakefield.co.nz/development

Lets Get Wellington Moving

Willy Trolove, Engagement Lead from NZTAhttps://getwellymoving.co.nz/

Luke Troy, Greater Wellington Strategy

“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

Minutes of the April Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting on Monday 15th April 2019 discussed a number of  current consultations, including

See the full minutes here.

Newtown Residents’ Association: April Meeting

The Newtown Residents’ Association monthly meeting will be on 7.30pm Monday 15th April at the Newtown Community Hall, 71 Daniell Street.  
This is a busy time for Wellington City Council consultations and engagements.

Consultation on Wellington’s blueprint for a Zero Carbon Capital will open on April 15th – the day of our meeting.

Consultation on Newtown Connections [Cycleway development in Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook] has been postponed – read more here.

As well as the WCC consultations, the Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has prepared a Proposed Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Plan for the Wellington Region, and public submissions are open till April 29th.

The Residents’ Association meeting agenda on April 15th will include an overview of these topics, and discussion of possible Newtown Residents’ Association submissions.

We would like to hear from anyone with a particular interest in any of these areas – come to the meeting, or send us an email with your views – newtownwellington@gmail.com

All welcome!

Newtown Community Stands Together : Community Dinner

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.

Meeting Notice: February 18th 2019

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!