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A tightrope act in Newtown

newtown b and w panorama

By Gregor Thompson
On Wednesday last week, a responsible Covid-19 community meeting in Newtown heard constructive suggestions for the increasingly polarizing WCC Draft Spatial Plan. A hundred or so people attended spaciously, while 50 others obliged and walked home to join the other 400 on the live Facebook stream. Read more »

Defending the streets of Newtown

newtown panorama 2

by James Fraser
My father Harry Fraser arrived in Newtown aged 14 in 1923 and lived here until he died in 1998. Coming out of his electrical apprenticeship in the Depression years, he began his career as an electrician by walking the streets of Wellington carrying his ladder looking for work. Read more »

Housing: up, up and out

by Lindsay Shelton
The unaffordable cost of houses has become a key election issue, with so many first-time buyers being forced out of Wellington. How far do they have to go? A report last week showed that – for the first time – houses in Kapiti are the most in demand of anywhere in the region. But at the same time, asking prices for Kapiti houses have gone up. Read more »

Saving our good character

character houses 2
WCC photo

by Lindsay Shelton
Wellingtonians are taking sides about the city council’s new spatial plan. Let’s be pleased that there’s such passion about the development of our city. Read more »

Being kind to your neighbours

connecting 1

by Annabel Cave
Contributing to your community is easier than you think, but most inner-city Wellington dwellers are not doing it. A survey this year, conducted by Inner City Wellington (ICW), shows that only 30.8 per cent of them feel a sense of community. Read more »

Status quo – not an option

development up to six storeys

by Dr Jenny Condie
It is a common rhetorical device to say the status quo is not an option. What we usually mean by this is that the old ways of doing things will not set us up for success in the future. When it comes to Wellington city’s spatial plan this is true. However, the literal meaning of this phrase is also true in this case, as the new National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) has made a number of elements of our current district plan unlawful. (The NPS-UD is issued by central government and is legally binding on councils.) Read more »

Disastrous consequences if Kāpiti Airport is closed

Letter from Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan to five Cabinet Ministers
One of the lessons from our national response to the Covid-19 Pandemic has been the realisation that an all-of-government approach in conjunction with community partnerships was needed to fight the pandemic. I write to you in the spirit of that realisation. You will be aware that NZ Property Group, the new owners of Kāpiti Airport, have signalled their desire to close the Airport. This will have disastrous consequences. Read more »

Priced out of the city

by Conor Hill
The Wellington City Council has a vision in which the city grows at an incredibly slow rate. Slower than it has been growing. Significantly slower than the rest of the region. Far slower than the country as a whole is growing. Read more »

Wellington from the Wairarapa

hills of the wairarapa

by Ian Apperley
Spring has arrived in the Wairarapa, with grass growing (it never really stopped over what was an warmer than usual winter) and everything starting to flower. Days are longer, warmer, drier, and the farm requires more work than ever to prepare for the annual growth spurt before summer. Read more »

Getting it wrong about population growth

by Hugh Rennie
Early 1970s official estimates for population growth predicted that within 20 years the Judgeford/ Grenada/ etc areas would be full, the Hutt Valley would be bulging, and Featherston would have a population of 10,000 commuting to Wellington. This was based on assumptions about employment in manufacturing, processing, distribution, office and other industries, etc which were wrong. Read more »

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