We had a meeting to discuss the Draft Plan last night. Our Newtown Residents’ Association sponsored the meeting, but the ad hoc We Are Newtown group, which is a mix of Association members and other Newtownians, did much of the organising. This group came together in response to this Draft Plan. See https://www.facebook.com/weAreNewtownPoneke
Yadana Saw (who lives in Constable St): was the meeting chairperson. Mayor Andy Foster described the Spatial Planning process and the next steps of developing the new version of the District Plan Cr Iona Pannett – presented the goals of the Spatial Plan and what is intended for Newtown James Coyle spoke on behalf of the Residents’ Association, with concerns about the Draft Plan and proposals for alternative approaches, intensifying apartment building along the main spine of Riddiford St and parts of Mansfield St. Kassie McCluskey – Newtown homeowner, gave her views of the stress caused to residents by trying to deal with the plan in the middle of dealing with COVID-19 and made an impassioned plea for Council to work with the community. Ashok Jacob – from Renters United talked of the dire state of rental properties, how housing is expensive both to rent or buy and increasingly out of reach; more supply is needed. Hilary Watson – Newtown homeowner, gave a vision for a regenerated Adelaide Rd, asking the Council and Government to work together to make this a reality Roland Sapsford – activist, author of ‘Creating Communities not Demolishing Old Homes’ http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130136#more-130136 gave a talk along similar lines, emphasising that the best results come when things are done with people not to them. Yadana finished the meeting with reminding people about making a submission by October 5th. Cr Fleur Fitzsimons, Cr Laurie Foon and MP Paul Eagle were also in attendance, listening to the discussion and the different views.
‘Two generations of support for Wellington’s character areas; warning of “foolish” deregulation’ – Submissions by Felicity Wong, the chair of Historic Places Wellington, and Gregor Thompson a student living in Newtown who also works with HPW. http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130086
This was the topic of the Residents’ Association Zoom meeting on Monday 17th August.
Cr Iona Pannett introduced the topic, saying that Council plans to accommodate 50,000 – 80,000 more people by 2040, and the Draft Spatial Plan is a response, showing proposals for building apartment blocks of up to 6 storeys in City Centre and the Inner City Suburbs.
Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch responded, saying that while there has been longstanding support within the Newtown Residents’ Association for increased density along what used to be called the ‘Growth Spine’, eg Adelaide Road and Riddiford St, having blanket permission for 6 storey developments across most of Newtown would devastate the suburb. When buildings are appropriate to the environment they can easily go to 4 to 6 stories, and there are areas where this would be appropriate. The plan needs to be more specific about heights appropriate to specific areas.
The meeting continued with a wide ranging discussion around aspects of the plan.
The map below shows why there is so much concern from our residents. Only the area marked for Type 2 housing will still have the pre-1930s character controls that currently exist across the whole area. See here for the full Draft Plan.
The meeting will be chaired jointly by Newtown Residents Patrick Morgan and Yadana Saw.
The candidates will talk briefly about why you should vote for them, followed by questions from the floor.
The formal presentations, questions and answers will be followed by supper and time for informal conversation – we hope to see you there!
The candidates are
Bruce Welsh New Conservative Party
David Patterson National Party
DON McDonald Independent
Geoff Simmons Opportunities Party
Nicole McKee Act Party
Paul Eagle Labour Party
Taylor Arneil New Zealand First Party
Teall Crossen Green Party
Troy Mihaka Integrity Party
Nicole McKee has apologised as she will be campaigning in the South Island, but we are expecting the others to be there.
Use your vote in the 2020 General Election and referenda!
Go to https://vote.nz to find out more about the referenda and other issues, to check if you are on the the electoral roll or to enrol to vote.
Advance voting starts on Saturday 3rd October, and Election Day is Saturday 17th October. You will be able to vote in 2 referenda (End of Life Choice and Cannabis Legalisation and Control), to cast a vote for the political party you prefer, and to vote for the candidate you want to represent our local electorate for the next three years.
The Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting Monday August 17th 2020 will now be on Zoom, 7.30pm-9.00pm
This meeting will focus on the Wellington City Council Planning for Growth Consultation, and what the proposals would mean for Newtown. We will be joined by Councillor Iona Pannet, who holds the urban development portfolio.
A number of Newtown Residents’ Association members and colleagues have already been sent the Zoom meeting link. If you haven’t received this and would like to attend please email email@example.com, preferably before 6pm tomorrow, Monday 17/8.
Have you had a look at the Our City Tomorrow -Draft Spatial Plan yet? Please do, and have a look at the section on Newtown – under Inner City Suburbs. The current proposal is that most of Newtown should be made available for 6 storey buildings. Those of us who have looked at the plans have many concerns about the extent of this, and this is what we will be discussing tomorrow.
There was a WCC webinar on Planning for Growth on Thursday 13/8, and if you didn’t attend you can view the recording on the consultation page. You can also see the schedule for visits by the Planning for Growth Team to our suburbs, with the note that this might change due to COVID-19 alert levels. See https://planningforgrowth.wellington.govt.nz for both of these – scroll down for the links.
We are proposing to convene another meeting when we are back in Level 1, so if you don’t join us tomorrow on Zoom there will be another opportunity to discuss the issues and to talk about making submissions to WCC in response to the draft plan.
This meeting was on July 20th at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St.
We observed a minutes silence in memory of Frances Acey, who was a long time member of our Association but had been unwell for some years. Frances made many contributions to our community, including being instrumental in establishing the Newtown Citizens Advice Bureau and then the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre. She was the first NCCC coordinator. She died on July 9th.
The meeting heard an update from Jared Corston, the WCC Community Liaison Officer for Newtown, and discussion of some local issues.
The main topic was a discussion about the proposed Kainga Ora developments in Coromandel St, with a number of local residents expressing concerns about aspects of these proposals.
The information about election dates below is no longer accurate.
Now that the election has been delayed until 17th October, with advance voting from 3rd October, we will postpone our Candidates Meeting until late September. There will be a new post when a new date has been decided.
Wednesday 26th August, 7.00 pm at St Anne’s Hall at the end of Emmett St.
The General Election is in September – advance voting starts on Saturday 5th September, and Election Day is Saturday 19th September. You will be able to vote in 2 referenda (End of Life Choice and Cannabis Legalisation and Control), to cast a vote for the political party you prefer, and to vote for the candidate you want to represent our local electorate for the next three years.
See here to see the candidates standing to be the Electorate MPs. In the Rongotai Electorate there are already candidates from 7 political parties, with more to come: nominations don’t close until Friday 21st August. Come to our meeting to hear each of them explain why they want to be the MP for Rongotai!
The meeting will be chaired jointly by Yadana Saw and Patrick Morgan. The formal discussion will be followed by supper and the chance for informal mingling.
Use your vote in the 2020 General Election and referenda! Go to https://vote.nz to find out more about the referenda and other issues, to check if you are on the the electoral roll or to enrol to vote.
Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting: Monday June 15th 2020, 7.30pm at the Newtown Hall, 71 Daniell St
After two months of Zoom meetings we are able to meet in person again! However if you would still prefer to stay home and attend the meeting remotely, let us know – we can arrange for you to Zoom in to join us, but we need to be able to contact you!
The agenda will include an update on events and developments in Newtown.
We can also talk about Wellington City Council submissions – see WCC consultations – we recently submitted on the Parking Policy and the Annual Plan. Current consultations include the Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy Review, closing 26/6, and Fairer Rents for Council Tenants, closing 30/6, and it would be good to hear from people with an interest in these topics. Could you please have a look and either let us know your thoughts by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or be ready to make a comment at the meeting?
We will also start to plan for a Meet the Candidates meeting for the Rongotai Electorate – nominations close 21 August, advance voting starts Saturday 5th September, and election day is the 19th September.
We are looking forward to seeing you on Monday evening – everyone welcome!
Draft Annual Plan 2020/21- we accepted the need for a 5.1% rates rise, but added that we approve of the proposal to defer rates payments without penalty where this is necessary to ameliorate financial hardship caused by covid-19. We also recommended publicising the Rates Rebate available to low income households.
We also approved of some other policies, see the full submission for details.
Newtown Residents’ Association Meeting Monday 25th May 2020, 7-30-9.00pm, via Zoom
Our meeting was going to be on Monday 18th May, which is our regular 3rd Monday of the month, but there is a Wellington City Council Paekawakawa Southern Ward webinar to discuss the WCC Annual Plan and Parking Policy at 7pm on the 18th – see below for the details.
We have decided to postpone the Association meeting and encourage everyone to attend the webinar. Then we will be in a better position to discuss any submissions we might make as an Association.
On the 25th May we will meet by Zoom, as there are still significant restrictions on numbers for meetings. We will email a meeting link to our members and other regular meeting attendees. If you want to make sure you are on the list to get the link please email email@example.com with ‘Zoom Meeting’ as the subject.
Paekawakawa Southern Ward – A Kōrero about Your City 2020-21 7-8pm May 18th
You are invited to join the Mayor and Councillors from our Ward for a Q&A webinar session on the big issues facing the city, and what it means for our community.
For more information and to register, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1625242419890892813. Please note that when you register you will be asked for your questions on the Annual Plan, Parking Policy and any other issues of concern, so it is a good idea to look at the consultation documents first.
In the 2020-21 Annual Plan Wellington City Council are proposing a 5.1% rates rise. Their position is that this balances Council’s loss in revenue against ensuring affordability for rate payers. See more details about the annual plan and other current consultations here: https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultations. Submissions on the Annual Plan and Parking Policy will close on 8th June.
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.