May 2018 – Wellingtonians having a say – will it make a difference?

Submissions on Wellington City Council’s draft 10 year plan have just closed. We doubled the number from last time, plus we heard from a lot more younger Wellingtonians. Improving community engagement especially across all age groups doesn’t occur by chance nor by a few more social media posts. It takes a focus, a plan and resources, the opportunity to do things differently and support from across the organisation. The team at Wellington City Council have certainly delivered on this, judging by the significant increase in submissions. But will it make a difference? (more…)

Island Bay- The art of compromise

For various reasons, the Island Bay cycleway on The Parade has been fraught since its inception. If you drive down The Parade you can see why. For me it seemed a Champagne idea developed on a beer budget. The local people said to Wellington City Council that they hadn’t listened to the local community well enough. An independent review in 2016 confirmed this. So later in 2016 and through 2017, the Council worked to rectify the cycleway design. Community workshops were held, ideas sought and the Council’s professional advisors developed up 4 new options.

In the past, The Mayor and Councillors had been accused of interfering with officer developed options, so we kept well away this time other than saying we wanted a small number of pragmatic options. (more…)

Communities Working Together

Last year I brought my local community together so that our voice was heard by Council. The group that was formed (Khandallah Residents Group) mobilised almost 500 submissions within a couple of months. Council was forced to listen and change their plans for a better solution.  As part of this activity, I reached out to other communities (Johnsonville , Karori and Island Bay) facing similar issues.  Communities right across the city want to work together to get the best for Wellington. (more…)

Lets support cat de-sexing programmes instead of microchipping bylaws

Desexing kittens is a more effective option than making microchipping compulsory.

For me as a local candidate for Wellington City Council (Onslow-Western), I think Council’s priority and resourcing should be first focused on de-sexing and education. Desexing of kittens has an immediate beneficial impact and reduces the numbers of stray cats at source.
If people are struggling now to desex their cats/kittens then they are certainly not going to be able to afford microchipping.
Wouldn’t it be more effective and better value for money for Wellington City Council to support organisations such as Kitten Inn on a desexing programme?
Thanks to Kitten Inn and their supporters for launching this great initiative which will do more for the environment and the wellbeing of cats and kittens than any bylaw will. #VoteCalvert4OnslowWesternkitten

Saving our CBD parks – Frank Kitts and Jack Ilott Green

I could never understand why we are spending money on redeveloping Frank Kitts park and then wanting to sell off Jack Ilott for roughly the same cost.

The redevelopment of Frank Kitts park seems to have been brought about by the need to accomodate the Chinese Walled garden (funded in part by the Chinese community). I think there are other more appropriate places for this garden eg Jack Ilott Green, Botanic gardens or even the original Chinese quarter around Haining & Frederick Sts. I support saving Frank Kitts Park. Vote ‎Calvert4OnslowWestern

There is an online petition available where you can express your support also.

Frank Kitts Park

HOW will Wellington’s new Mayor LEAD the Council to deliver?

Leadership

Leadership

We need to make more progress on the things that really matter to Wellingtonians. The incoming mayor will have the opportunity to set a new agenda and the pace for progress in our city. However the Mayor will still have only one vote amongst 15 around the table.

Wellingtonians know the current Council’s culture is not right and will impact on progress. Let’s just acknowledge it and then agree on what we want to see, how we will get there and when. Councillors need to be part of the solution as they are part of the team and leaders and influencers in their own right. (more…)

Building communities not just houses in Wellington- a 21st century approach

Wellington City and harbour

Finally the conversation here in Wellington seem to be changing from just a numbers game in building ‘widgets’ to building communities were people want to live.

We all know our current urban planning rules are not working well for residents or developers. Intensification, for more housing choice, needs to continue however it must be done right for the future.  This means putting people first and joined up thinking for other aspects such as infrastructure, public amenities, public transport and enhancing the community vibe. Until now, people and how they want to live and what they may afford have not been at the heart of discussions. (more…)