Movie Night: Earth Whisperers, Wednesday 20th January

Innermost Gardens is running a movie night at Charles Plimmer House next Wednesday, and all are invited.

Kathleen Gallagher’s latest film Earth Whisperers/Papatuanuku was shot at spectacular locations around New Zealand by Alun Bollinger and Mike Single. This absorbing feature documentary focuses on 10 visionary New Zealanders out to prove that a shift in consciousness can heal our environment.

7:00- 7.30 Mix and mingle
7.30 – 9.00 Movie
Charles Plimmerton House, Mt Victoria.


How to get there: Charles Plimmerton House is the Community house on the old bowling green in Mt Victoria. The easiest access is from Lawson place, at the top of Majoribanks St, walk across the field and you will see the community house. It is also possible to access us from the top of Pirie St, you will need to walk past the Victoria Bowling club to the Community house.

Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards

As we depart from a recession-plagued 2009 to the sunlit uplands of 2010 (hopefully!), it’s worth looking backwards on what a big year it’s been for our neighbourhood.

The year got off to a huge start with the inaugural Mt Victoria Festival, which – despite an unseasonably rainy day – attracted a big crowd from across the city to sample the food, be entertained and informed, and to generally have a great time sloshing around in the puddles. It was such a success that a bigger and better Festival is planned for Saturday 27 February 2010, so mark your calendars now!

Funky Junk doing their thing on the street outside Crossways…even a little rain couldn’t dampen the lively vibe!

The venue for the festival is the New Crossways Community Centre in Roxburgh Street, which resulted from local residents banding together to lease replacement premises after the original Crossways was sold from underneath the community by the Presbyterian Church. New Crossways has gone from strength to strength and has more than double the usage of the old facility, so it’s been a hugely worthwhile addition to Mt Victoria. The Trustees threw a well-attended party in October to celebrate being open for the first year.

Unfortunately the Crossways Creche has been left without a home by the Presbyterian Church’s decision to sell the old Crossways premises, and has struggled on across town in Newtown whilst looking for a permanent home. The use of the Bandoliers building in the Town Belt at the top of Majoribanks Street was discussed throughout the year, but with a creche appearing to be outside the rules for the use of Town Belt facilities this seems to have come to nothing.

The Mt Victoria Residents Association had a very big year under the able leadership of President Jessica Closson, with a notable High Court win against the Wellington City Council over the resource consent issued to the Pirie Street brothel. The Court found that the Council had made an error in law in granting a consent to the brothel, as they had not taken into account the provisions of the Prostitution Law Reform Act, and withdrew the consent for an expanded number of workers at the premises.

Image credit: Joe Gratz, via Flickr

However the news was not so bright for those wishing to preserve the heritage of the neighbourhood, with a number of demolitions of pre-1930s buildings taking place despite the opposition from local residents. And in the greatest attack on the neighbourhood in many decades, Transport Minister Steven Joyce announced that the second Mt Victoria tunnel – which will result in the complete demolition of Paterson Street – will be given the green light despite making no economic sense. This is part of the same roading spend-up that will see a massive flyover constructed across the front of the Basin Reserve, effectively ruining it as a test cricket venue.

The bus tunnel in Pirie Street also got its fair share of attention, with a number of crashes involving pedestrians throughout the year. In the most serious, Hataitai resident Earl Krauskopf was mown down by a hit-and-run driver in the small hours of the morning and then robbed. He spent many months in hospital recovering from very serious injuries. Local residents are still discussing gates and video surveillance with the Council in order to make the tunnel safer.

And there was tragedy for some local families. Local celebrity real estate agent and long-time resident Sally Paterson succumbed to a short illness, and Pirie Street resident Marcella Jackson died tramping in the Tararua Ranges.

In all, 2009 had its ups and downs. There seemed to be a plethora of community social activities throughout the year, ranging from fundraising movies to kitchen tours in aid of Clyde Quay School, roaming packs of kids celebrating Halloween, heritage walks hosted by the Mt Victoria Historical Society and much more. And if you missed any of the comings and goings, you can always check the archive for the Mt Victoria Newsletter, ably and reliably produced by Patrick McCoombs.

2010 is already shaping up to being an interesting year. The Festival is happening in only a few weeks time, the NZ Transport Agency is pushing ahead with its flyover plans at the Basin Reserve, and in October we get to re-elect our local Councillors. Here’s to an eventful 2010 in our neighbourhood!