Kia ora Wellington, I hope you are all staying well, staying safe, staying separate and staying local.
I’m going to start with some great news from today’s Council meeting.
Today, myself and the rest of the Council voted unanimously to fund the $1.22 million needed to complete the fit-out for the Karori Events Centre. The Events Centre is on Council land in the middle of the Karori Community Facilities precinct.
The fitout will be completed and the building gifted to Council by Karori Community Hall Trust. The Trust approached Council last year after running out of funds to complete the fitout, after doing amazing work to get so far. We have been working with the trustees exploring options since then.
We needed to resolve the future of the building because it’s on our land, in the heart of a major suburban centre, so we’re delighted to be able to get this project completed.
Footnote New Zealand Dance which has been looking for a new home will become a day-time tenant. The Events Centre will be available for community use in the evening and weekends and when Footnote is on tour. The combination will provide great benefits for the community and the arts and really breathe a whole lot of life into the area.
I am delighted it will finally be completed after a journey that started almost 20 years ago.I would like to personally pay tribute to the past and present trustees who have worked tirelessly and doggedly to see this project through.
A great result all round.
Recycling – I know this has been a hot topic of conversation today. Firstly, it’s great that you are all so passionate about this topic. I am an avid recycler too – just ask my family!
Some other councils have different systems, so they can operate under Level 3. Unfortunately we can’t.
Wellington City’s kerbside recycling collection is carried out by a contractor, and much of the sorting of the items is done by hand – either at the truck for glass, or at the Oji sorting plant in Seaview. At the Oji plant sorting the recycling involves staff on conveyor belts, working side by side and handling many thousands of items a day.
While Level 3’s strict guidelines are in place the safety of staff and the public remains the utmost priority while there is any risk of contamination. So we have to wait until Alert Level 2 before we can resume our kerbside recycling collections. But hopefully we can get through to Level 2 quickly – that’s up to all of us.
In the meantime you can still save what you’ve stockpiled – just make sure it is very clean and secure.
I went out to the Seaview plant last year and the big message for all of us – and that was pre Covid – was wash, wash, wash. That’s a lot better for the quality of the recycling product, and for the people handling it. I’d also recommend separating different types of recycling so you can neatly pack down the paper and card, and squash the plastics.
And if you haven’t got enough storage space, then unfortunately you will need for now to put the recycling out with your rubbish in your wheelie bin or yellow Council bag. Please though don’t fill up a rubbish bag with all glass – make sure you have other rubbish in the bag as well to reduce the risk of bottles smashing and becoming a hazard for our collection teams. And finally, please don’t put your recycling bags out – we will not be collecting those until we get back to Level 2.
I’d like to give a shout out to business owners who are struggling to get clarity about what is and is not allowed at Level Three or Level Two. I and Council are happy to try to help you get the clarity and certainty you need from relevant Government agencies. Just feel free to get in touch.
We are meanwhile working hard on recovery planning with the affected business and arts communities. I will talk more about that shortly.
Across New Zealand we’re doing really well. Locally, we’ve done superbly, and it makes me very proud to know you are all so committed to the health and wellbeing of your fellow Wellingtonians. Keep up the great work.
We have another long weekend coming up, though holidays don’t feel much different to any other days from my perspective!
On Saturday we will commemorate Anzac Day.
I encourage you all to stand together – apart – at 6 am, for the official Dawn Service. The Service will be broadcast on Radio New Zealand. A special ANZAC Day service will air at 11 am on TVNZ1 or on TVNZ on Demand.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet will perform the Anzac Salute: Live in your Living Room, via its Facebook page at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 7.30pm. The two works, Dear Horizon and Passchendaele, were commissioned for their Salute programme in 2015 and performed live with the New Zealand Army Band, to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.
Keep up the good work everyone, and I’ll be back with another update soon.
Lest we Forget.