Archive for the 'Local events, news and views' Category
American Football is alive and well in the Northern Suburbs of Wellington judging by these two teams and their supporters who turned out for the annual Thunder Bowl tournament.
Weekly games are played at Raroa Park just South of the Johnsonville CBD on the main road towards Ngaio and Khandallah. Check the American Football website out for upcoming games.
These photos were taken at a game between the Wellington Storm and the Manukau Counties Chiefs on the 13th of March 2010. These two teams represented some of the best American football players in New Zealand.
A touchdown was just missed
March 14 2010 | Local events, news and views | No Comments »
1) Visit the lookout platform on the top of Mount Kaukau.
Mt Kaukau with its radio tower stands above the Northern Suburbs like a geological epiphany. It influences the suburbs’ weather and provides a sense of drama to the landscape in which the housing suburbs nestle.
There are a number of tracks working their way up Kaukau (Two Cows or Double Cow as some call it – kau means cow in Maori). For those wanting to really strain their lungs, you can also access the summit on bike by starting at Old Coach Rd in Johnsonville or for the truly adventurous, you can ride the Skyline trail from Makara Peak affording magnificent views of both Wellington and Makara Valley along the way. Make sure you take a jumper, even on the warmest and stillest days there is often a cool breeze blowing on the summit.
2) Swim at Khandallah pool in the height of summer.
After a lusty climb to the top of Kaukau, there is nothing better than refreshing yourself with a dip in the brisk waters of Khandallah Pool (an alternate Maori meaning of kaukau is to bathe). This pool was free to use until recently and is one of the only public unheated outdoor pools in Wellington. It is open from late November till the end of March every year and costs a gold coin to enter. You have to be very brave to enter the water before 10am as the sun hasn’t had the opportunity to take the chill off the pool for the day. Khandallah park is a real hit with the younger children and is one of the most sheltered outdoor spots to go in a Norwesterly. If you are needing caffeine, Cafe du Parc will serve you up something adequate in a takeaway cup, though it isn’t the place to go if you are a coffee snob.
3) Take the Train. For those who don’t use public transport, the Johnsonville Line offers a fun outing and a unique view of the suburb with seven tunnels and eight stations. My five and seven year old love this 20 minute train journey and look forward to it as a regular school and kindy holiday activity. Once you reach the end of the line in town, a short walk to Astoria for a well earned coffee and a bowl of fries for the kids gives you the energy for a browse and play at Toyworld in Ballance St before hopping on the train again to return to Johnsonville.
4) Enjoy Coffee at Rosa’s – Rosa Cafe in the Khandallah Village is a coffee lovers delight. Victor really knows how to press a great espresso. Rosa also twilights as a deli, catering company, and wood fired pizza place so the food selection is always fresh, homemade, and delicious. In recent times, Rosa’s has expanded into the shop next door and now features a small outdoor courtyard that catches the sun late morning to early arvo.
5) Spice your life with a Beef Madras and garlic naan from Currytogo in Newlands. If you like your food spicy, then a friday night takeaway curry from Curry2go cannot be overlooked. I have been a regular here since I discovered them. Having worked my way through the whole menu and back again, I can truly say that I have never had a meal that I haven’t enjoyed. My favs include the beef madras, chicken tikka masala, lamb saag, and lamb rogan josh. The hard working owners make their food fresh and cook the breads to order in their tandoor oven. They also deliver for a nominal charge to anywhere in North Wellington.
6) Picnic in Seton Nossiter Park. Located in a valley between Paparangi and Grenada Village, this park offers a picturesque spot for a picnic, to ride your segway, or walk the dog. A stream meanders through the valley, and stands of native bush are complemented by the landscaping work and plantings undertaken by the Council and the local community. My kids love to play in the stream and build a dam.
7) Quench your thirst at Monteiths Ale House. On summer Sunday afternoons, Monteiths (formerly the Posties Whistle) in the Khandallah Village has live music and cheap Summer Ale. It is a great destination when the weather lets you sit in their outside bar area in the sunshine. If you sign up for a loyalty card, you can also get a free pint on thursdays and fridays just by walking in the door. $10 curry night is also well patronised, as are the regular quiz nights.
8 ) Gorge yourself on Easter buns from Nada Bakery. Around Easter each year, the smells that begin to waft from Nada (can I have a nada one please…) on the main road of Johnsonville take on heavenly qualities. The locals working in the area, know to put their order in for two or three dozen of the fruitiest, tastiest buns available in the city. The previous owner, a local personality who has since passed away, added to the scents wafting from the ovens at the back of the shop by liberally sprinkling cinnamon onto the red carpet that was rolled out of the shop door and onto the footpath to catch passersby in his honeytrap.
9) Take the kids for a runaround at a play park. Nairnville, Churton Park, and Khandallah Park are all highlights. The majority of the play parks in the area have been revamped in the last few years. The slide at Nairnville, the flying fox at Khandallah, and the climbing net and swings at Churton are my kids top picks.
10) Ride a horse in Ohariu Valley. As an adventure off the beaten track, horse tracking with the Country Club Riding Academy in Ohariu Valley is a fun activity. Horse trekking gives you a bit of an appetite, so fill your tummy afterwards at the Saddleback cafe
11) Taste in Khandallah – David and Gary have created a fine dining experience in the heart of the burbs after time spent running a deli cafe in the boutique vineyard town of Martinborough. You must try the lambs fry and bacon and the chicken liver pate is fantastic.
12) Watch the Johnsonville Christmas Parade - once a year the suburb comes to a standstill with the parade running a loop around the CBD of Johnsonville. A highlight in the annual Northern Festival that also includes a fair and live entertainment.
13) Get your hair cut in a caravan – for the men in the household only. The $15 haircut Darrel and the team at “The Caravan” offer is value for money in temporary premises that have stood the test of time.
14) Explore Kaiwharawhara stream – The Kaiwharawhara stream that begins its life in the Otari Native Plant Reserve flows its way quietly North East and eventually empties itself into the harbour at the bottom of Ngaio gorge. There are plenty of walks in and around the valley that holds the stream but my favourite walk is the journey following the stream bed itself from the carpark at the north end of Otari. Tunnels, waterfalls, glowworms, swimming holes, and juicy black berries are all covered in this fun off trail adventure. An old pair of shoes is imperative as much of the journey is in the stream itself starting with the tunnel under Black Bridge road at the very start of the walk. A towel, a small packed lunch, a water bottle, some sunscreen, and a small torch are a good idea too (though the tunnels are much more fun negotiating in the dark – don’t worry, there aren’t any large pools to fall into in the blackness, though there may be some wetas!). This is a journey only handfuls of people have undertaken, and most inhabitants of the surrounding suburbs have no idea of the natural delights that are hidden in the valleys in their own neighbourhood. Small trout can also be caught in this stream if you have the skill.
15) Fly a kite at Alex Moore park – every year the Lions Club puts on a kite day as part of the Northern Wellington Festival. This is usually some time in early December. The spectacle of myriads of kites all shaking and shuddering in the wind is something to behold. Everyone is encouraged to participate with prizes given out during the day. The biggest kites have to be anchored to the ground or tied to car bumpers in case
January 07 2010 | Local events, news and views | No Comments »
Thousands of local people turned out on Saturday to enjoy the parade and browse the stalls at the Northern Wellington festival on Saturday the 5th of December. The weather was fine and warm with a light breeze.
The Rotary Club were setting up the Johnsonville Fair from 7am with the Johnsonville Community Centre and Keith Spy Pool carpark filled with stall holders and browsing festival goers
After the parade finished, the Outdoor Cultural Show attracted an audience of hundreds for over two hours of entertainment from line dancing to Bollywood spectaculars.
The footpaths were packed with people as the parade wound its way around the CBD triangle.
The cheers and clapping came loud and fast when Santa was finally spotted in the distance.
With the lovely weather this year, the Northern Festival was a complete success and there were many happy young faces sporting lollipops and waving flags in the crowd.
December 07 2009 | General Real Estate and Local events, news and views | No Comments »
The proposed changes to the District Plan (plan change 72) have highlighted outer suburban areas like Kilbirnie and Johnsonville as areas of change that will allow more intensive housing to go hand in hand with the growth in commercial development in these areas.
To quote from the Residential Review on the Wellington City Council website
The residential ‘Areas of Change’ are tightly defined residential areas where high
quality medium density housing will be actively encouraged. These areas are
located surrounding the existing town centres of Johnsonville and Kilbirnie where
the benefits of higher density residential development will be greatest.
Intensification within these areas will allow efficient use of existing infrastructure,
support existing services and facilities, and allow people to live close to jobs and
close to public transport.
Within Areas of Change comprehensive redevelopment of housing will be
encouraged and facilitated. This will result in significant increases in the
residential density of these areas, and is likely to lead to changes to the existing
character. The success of the Areas of Change will depend on achieving high
quality housing stock and associated spaces (both public and private). Within the
Areas of Change, the Plan seeks to achieve:
# Medium to high density residential development
# High levels of amenity for occupants of new residential developments
# High quality development, both in terms of building design and townscape
# Variety in the built form (including variation in style, type and scale of
# Variety in household type (1, 2, 3, and 3+ bedroom units)
# Appropriate levels of protection for neighbouring property’s amenity
It is anticipated that these areas will eventually have a more intensive, urban feel.
There are opportunities for canny investors who have the vision and the cash to buy into these proposed areas right now. Plan changes will change the values of the properties within the “Areas of Change” with relaxed coverage rules allowing much more intensive housing to be built.
There has been a bit of a “who har” in the last week with all of the local papers giving front page coverage to the voices for and against the changes.
Opponents of the changes suggest that the urbanisation of Johnsonville will create a ghetto in 20 years time. This last gasp by the status quo-ers has come at the very end of a long winded consultation process that began in 2006. Local MP’s have also joined the band wagon with Peter Dunne and Charles Chauvel obviously seeing opportunities for self promotion in the melee, and have come forward to raise their voices for yet more consultation and round table foot stamping.
As a business person who has worked in Johnsonville for almost 20 years, I have seen the likes of Porirua and Lower Hutt push ahead and modernise themselves to provide amenity for the population of Wellington, while Johnsonville (and Tawa) have been left behind. It is time that Johnsonville got on with the job of growing up. I don’t want to have to drive to Porirua to find more retail variety. I am tired of parking in potholed carparks and working amongst the worn and jaded hodgepodge of buildings that represent our local CBD. I want more choice of restaurants and cafes, and would love to be able to go into Johnsonville to see a movie with the family instead of driving to town, driving around and around parking buildings to get to a free space, then feeding overpriced parking meters.
Go Andy Foster I say! Bring on managed, sustainable growth in the Suburban Centres to match the obvious growth in population that has already taken place with miriads of houses added to the newer subdivisions of Woodridge, Bellevue, Churton Park, and Hunters Hill in the last 10 years.
It is time for change and time for growth. It is time that Johnsonville (and Newlands) were allowed to grow up and provide for themselves instead of feeding off the Wellington city centre, Thorndon, and Porirua.
Johnsonville taken from Chapman St looking West over the CBD – 2009
December 04 2009 | General Real Estate and Local events, news and views and North Wgtn House Market Trends | No Comments »
News that the Wellington City Council has finally granted resource consent for the $100 million redevelopment of the urban centre in Johnsonville, Wellington is fantastic news for local homeowners and businesses. Talk of a Mall upgrade has been in the wind for years with nothing eventuating until now. This upgrade in amenities is needed with continuing housing growth in the suburbs surrounding the Johnsonville mall such as Churton park, Woodridge, and Bellevue, along with much infill subdivisions swelling the population in recent years.
It isn’t pure chance that this locality has been picked for a development of this size. Johnsonville is well located to be an amenity hub in greater Wellington with easy access to the motorway, a good public transport system including a dedicated rail line, and plenty of land available for future growth.
Many of the local shop owners have struggled through the last few years waiting for the expansion plans to eventuate. Morale has been low for some local retailers that I have contact with who have operated without the security of a fixed lease in place for a number of years. Others haven’t wanted to put money into renovating their premises in case they were kicked out.
There is no doubt in my mind that this expansion will be good for house prices in the surrounding area. The Johnsonville rail line is nearing the end of an upgrade that will see new carriages used on the line and will hopefully see an improvement in capacity and standard that will increase patronage and satisfaction. Add to this the plans for the Johnsonville station and its integration into the new mall, and we have something that is a real asset to the area. An asset that, I believe, will become more important going forward as fossil fuels continue to rise in price, and the motorway system into town becomes more congested with Wellington’s future growth.
The only potential negative is the increase in traffic in the suburb, but I have faith in the town planners and developers working to make sure that traffic flows remain as smooth and uncongested as possible. Parking in the Johnsonville Mall carpark can be a nightmare at times especially on the weekend, so plans for plenty of carparking is something I look forward to personally.
Below are snippets from an article on the front page of the Dominion Post on the 29th of September 2009.
Commissioners issued their decision last night, allowing the mall to be transformed by DNZ Property Group into more than 100 shops on two levels, spread over 34,000 square metres. DNZ retail development general manager Alan McKinnon said he was delighted with the decision but would not say when work would start.
It will be done in two stages, the first of which will see the redevelopment of the existing centre. Shops now fronting Johnsonville Rd and the eastern end of Broderick Rd will be retained. A separate four-level car park will be built in the southwest corner of the site, which will also include shops and a gym.
Stage two has consent for the next 10 years and would see the redevelopment of those shops in Johnsonville Rd and Broderick Rd not touched during the first stage, and a rooftop car park.
Once the mall is up and running, it is estimated that it will generate up to $12.8m a year for the Wellington economy and add an extra 200 fulltime jobs. A report prepared for the developer last year showed that more than $44m of consumer spending would move to Johnsonville in the first year of operation from Wellington’s central retail area – from Lambton Quay to the Embassy Theatre, Manners Mall, Cuba St and Thorndon.
Wellington City Council’s urban development and transport leader Andy Foster said that, despite this, the council supported the mega-mall project.
Fletcher Construction Wellington region manager Richard Coupe said the revamp would keep tradesmen busy for 2 1/2 years. “It would be the largest commercial project … in Wellington to go ahead within the next year.”
Mr Foster said design guidelines had been imposed so that street edges of the mega-mall were attractive to the public. It included rules around the size and location of shop windows and lighting. “We no longer just accept blank walls like, for example, the Countdown supermarket that is there.”
Johnsonville Progressive Association transport spokesman Tony Randle said the mega-mall was needed so the area could continue to grow. “It lets Johnsonville go ahead because it’s exploding out of its current clothing.” The council will improve roads and intersections around the mall so they can cope with increased traffic from the upgrade and from expected population growth.
Bring it on I say! But lets hope they don’t forget about the poor cousin just over the rise, the Newlands Shopping Centre. Newlands now has a lovely new community centre, it just needs a Pac n Save and a refit of the remaining shops to bring it back to the hub that it once was.
I note that there wasn’t mention of a cinema in the Mall. Lets hope that this is part of the plan along with a cafe that makes quality coffee. Steve from Mojo, if you are reading this, please consider opening a cafe for coffee fiends in J’ville! I’ll be your best friend and most regular customer!
September 30 2009 | Local events, news and views | No Comments »
Churton Park is a growing community of about 5,000 residents on the northern fringe of Wellington City. Churton Park School is the only school in the suburb. There is a close relationship between the community and the school with the school being the main community focus. It is well-supported by the community.
There is a broad range of cultures represented at the school, with 70% European and 15% of Asian origin. The school has a Decile 10 ranking. Churton Park School has an enrolment scheme in place and can only accept pupils from within it’s zone.
Though the suburb has grown dramatically over the last twenty years, it still lacks a commercial hub with the nearest shops being in Johnsonville. Recently the plan for a small group of shops to service the Churton community took a step closer with the Ministry of Education’s announcement that a new school is to be built in Amesbury Drive to accommodate the growing population.
“A new primary school is proposed for the Wellington suburb of Churton Park”, says Education Minister Steve Maharey. “The Labour-led government has prioritised funding to build a new full primary school ( Year 1 to 8 ) on a new site in Churton Park. “This is great news for the growing community of Churton Park that needs increased capacity of schooling to cater for the local demand for quality education.
“The Ministry of Education has done some ground work and will be reporting to me shortly on exactly what shape the school could take, and plans for consultation with the community so the people of Churton Park are involved in the creation of their new school… There is some pressure on the school roll at Churton Park School, so this news will be a welcome relief to the community that the government is listening to their concerns, and has agreed to expand schooling in the region”.
Developer Guy Callender said it (the building of a new school) would make financially viable his proposal to build a town centre on the corner of Westchester Dr and Lakewood Ave.
“The neighbourhood centre should be in the heart of the suburb and that road would bring the traffic right through to that point.” The proposal includes a supermarket, shops, village pub and council-funded community facilities.”
Andy Foster, the council’s urban development and transport portfolio leader, said recent planning changes would make it easier to build the centre.
sources include www.wcc.govt.nz, stuff.co.nz, and churtonpark.org.nz
August 21 2009 | Local events, news and views | No Comments »
I have quoted my Principal below from a press release this week regarding the proposed Mall redevelopment in Johnsonville’s town centre.
“You will know about the new Johnsonville mall expansion about to enter a public consultation phase. At Guardian First National, we can only see benefits from this venture.
It will provide jobs and make the Northern Suburbs an even more appealing choice of where to live. Any increase in desirability will affect demand and increase values for all property in this general area, potentially making your properties worth more.
Overseas examples show retail developments like this driving residential and business property values up by around 10% in 12 months. I don’t know if we will see that jump of that size but it gives an indication of how increased desirability can affect demand for housing.
The investment of such a large sum of money into the area by DNZ Property Group will bring many improvements to Johnsonville centre that are long overdue. To accommodate such a large development the Johnsonville ratepayers will benefit from a major upgrade of the Johnsonville Centre traffic management including a new railway bridge in Broderick Road and four lanes in Moorefield Road.
The mall redevelopment will provide greater quality and variety of stores and less traveling time for local shoppers. Their own neighbourhood will meet their shopping requirements under cover including free covered parking. This will benefit families particularly.
They will have easy access to a neighbourhood mall that provides comfortable all weather shopping including free covered parking and an extensive variety of quality retail. It relieves shoppers of the need to travel to the CBD and deal with the hassle of finding a car park close to a retailer they would otherwise need to visit, not to mention the cost of that parking nor the difficulties returning purchases to that car park in inclement weather.
“The expansion of the Johnsonville Mall will provide an affordable alternative for business people and retailers to the ‘golden mile’.
We were not impressed by Wellington City Council’s rushing through planning changes (DPC66) to protect the ‘golden mile’ by limiting the scale of development in outer suburbs.
It is a short-sighted knee jerk reaction. Any legislation that provides this kind of protection simply inflates the value of what it protects and ultimately puts the value beyond the very ones intended to benefit. In this case it will further increase rents on the ‘golden mile’ pushing out the retailers they set out to protect.
Rents in the Golden Mile are not only at least 100% more expensive for retailers than in the Kapiti and Porirua areas but availability is scarce. For retailers moving into an economic climate where shoppers are watching their spending, being in a high pedestrian area while at the same time being able to lease affordable retail space is of increasing importance. The Johnsonville Mall expansion is important to stimulate economic activity in the Wellington region.
“There was no consultation before this change was rushed through council. It was initiated by Wellington City Council officers who spent some years working in confidence with the Johnsonville mall developers and then used this confidential information to rush through this change without full consideration to its wider effects.
Economic growth in any area of Wellington benefits the region as a whole. Johnsonville is pretty much equal distance from the three major cities in the Wellington Region, approximately 10 minutes from Wellington CBD, Porirua City and Lower Hutt. Motorway and rail link all three. This makes it an ideal shopping option for all residents of these three cities. Council support for the Johnsonville mall extension would make sound sensible planning commonsense”
Guardian First National
December 15 2008 | Local events, news and views | No Comments »
Quotable Value has just released their latest monthly sales data.
And I quote….
“Property values in the Wellington region decreased by 6.0% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), a very slight improvement on the 6.1% decline reported in October. The average sale price for the region decreased slightly to $411,922.
Mr. Max Meyers of QV Valuations said; “Early signs that the Wellington market may be beginning to steady are slowly emerging, possibly as a result of changing interest rates. Generally, buyers are starting to show more curiosity. The indications are; steadier prices in the last two months, and shorter selling times over the past four months”.
“The highest average sale price is in the Western Suburbs at $540,000, a level last seen in June 2007. The area with the lowest average sales price was Upper Hutt at $317,000, back to the February 2007 level. Overall, the average sale price in the region has declined $13,507 compared to the same period last for the year” said Mr. Meyers.
“A further reduction in interest rates will help the market to steady itself, and will provide good buying opportunities over the next few months.”
I can’t help but echo Mr Myers sentiment!
Currently their seems to be about a $50k difference between buyers and sellers in my market place but the info above from QV suggests that there has only been an average $13k softening in prices over the market peak a year ago, hence, an impasse between buyers and sellers leading to low turnover.
Motivated buyers are hard to find, but opportunistic investor types are plentiful. Running on the back of overly hyped and very negative media reports that house prices have tumbled through the floor and that all owners are crying out for an offer at any level, our office has been infiltrated by some naive and bolshy amateur “investors” in the last few months. The “make a million in real estate in a year at everyone else’s expense” crowd are actively out and looking but very few are actually purchasing. The reason?
Simply, prices have softened but not by that much, and the reported plentiful pile of vendors panicking with the bank at the door is simply rare to nonexistent. And with interest rates, petrol, and food prices falling, the financial pressure is easing not growing for any vendors that are stressed.
It is interesting to see the average time on the market falling and prices steadying.
Certainly, in the last month there has been good enquiry and open home attendance at levels I haven’t seen since last year some time, and with the mortgage rate chalk boards been altered outside bank branches at the mo, buying must be starting to look very attractive to many young purchasers who have put the effort in to save a reasonable deposit or have mum and dad guaranteeing the loan.
There are some great opportunities in my market at the moment especially in the three plus study/rumpus sized home around the $390k – $440k mark.
Interestingly ,there is some fustration beginning to be expressed by young buyers who have been looking for a month regarding the lack of fresh stock. This tells me that these buyers have seen all the stock on the market in an area and this takes dedication and a willingness to give up weekends and time after work to view homes. This sentiment and a focus on their market of choice is very positive as it demonstrates high motivation to buy. This fustration now simply needs the added ingrediants of a touch of urgency and a pinch of stability in the financial markets, and the buying will begin. Any agent in the area will tell you that there are plenty of people looking, converting the lookers into buyers as another thing!
Do I think their are good buying opportunities?
Yes! Especially in areas where amenities are being upgraded.
The recently started upgrade to the Johnsonville train line, the massive planned upgrade to Johnsonville Mall, the upgrade of Newlands Mall starting with the new community centre just opened, a shopping strip and new school planned for Churton park, the release of new sections at the North end of Churton Park and the opening up of the land to the north of Grenada Village with the road now connecting directly to the motorway, makes the Wellington suburbs of Johnsonville, Newlands, Paparangi, Churton Park, and Grenada Village all worth keeping an eye on. When amenities rise, buyers see greater value in the surrounding areas and property values follow.
December 08 2008 | Local events, news and views and North Wgtn House Market Trends | No Comments »
The Northern Suburbs of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, can be loosely defined as the Suburbs from Chartwell in the South to Churton Park at the Northern end. The ridgeline that runs to the West of the area with Mt Kau Kau at its highest point is a major defining landmark. Within the Northern Suburbs there are pockets of housing each with a distinct character, amenities and house values.
Ngaio is situated on the slopes of Mt. Kaukau 3.5kms north of the city’s CBD. Ngaio takes its name from a New Zealand native tree, the Ngaio.
It was settled at the same time as the neighbouring suburb of Khandallah, and like its neighbour many of its streets are named after places on the Indian subcontinent. Ngaio was a logging community originally known as Crofton until 1908, the area was administratively part of a separate local authority called the Onslow Borough Council which amalgamated into Wellington City in 1919.
Ngaio contains a library, multi-purpose hall, pharmacy, petrol station, café, Plunket rooms, dentist and a variety of small shops. Most of Ngaio’s dwellings are large 1960s weatherboard houses, but there is a small section of railway cottages called the Tarikaka Settlement, built in 1928. In the 1990s, new subdivisions were built up the sides of Mt. Kaukau.
The suburb is served by the Johnsonville Branch commuter railway which connects it to the central city, and many bus routes going to Johnsonville stop on the main road.
Khandallah is located four kilometres northeast of the city centre, on hills overlooking Wellington Harbour.
The suburb’s name, which means “Resting place of God”, comes from a homestead built in the area in 1884 by Captain James Andrew, who had recently returned from duty in India. For this reason the suburb and those surrounding it have many place names connected with the Continent.
The northeastern part of the suburb is dominated by a large area of parkland, which stretches north towards Johnsonville. Between them the three parks that make up this reserve land total almost 2 km² of the slopes of Mount KauKau. The summit of this 445-metre peak, which is topped by Wellington’s main television transmitter tower, provides impressive views of the harbour. Khandallah has a reputation for being the most affluent of Wellington’s northern suburbs and has a well settled feel. The Khandallah Village retains an intimate local flavour. There are some small pockets of new development along with some infill housing on the harbourside ridges but new building in the suburb has largely been limited.
Broadmeadows was developed on a steep South and East facing hillside under Mt KauKau in the 1970′s with housing on the higher slopes and Northern reaches being largely completed in the last few years. It is a commuter suburb with a good bus link but no shops or other amenities. It is popular with families as the lower edges brush against the Onslow College boundary.
Johnsonville is the commercial hub of the Northern Suburbs. It is seven kilometres north of the city centre, at the top of the Ngauranga Gorge, on the main route to Porirua (State Highway 1). The population of “J’ville” (as it is commonly known) was about 6,500 at the 2001 census.
Johnsonville is a reasonably large residential and commercial suburb. It is the northern terminus of the Tranz Metro dedicated electric passenger rail line to central Wellington and also has a bus hub at the railway station, which supports the large commuter population in the surrounding suburbs. Housing is spread around the shopping hub in the centre and extends out to the base of Mt Kaukau to the west, and out across the hill towards the suburb of Newlands to the south-east.
Johnsonville has a good infrastructure and is self-sufficient; it has its own shopping mall, two supermarkets, a library and a good number of other retail outlets.
Johnsonville is home to Onslow College, a relatively large high decile co-educational high school, Raroa Normal Intermediate and several primary schools. Johnsonville has a mix of housing from 19th century cottages and homesteads to 1950′s state homes to modern infill apartments and townhouses.
As a part of the Northern Growth Management Plan from Wellington City Council, there exists a proposal to redevelop Johnsonville’s main precinct into the “Johnsonville Town Centre.” This plan recognises Johnsonville as Wellington’s most economically important commercial and population hub outside of the city’s central business district. The plan recommends the creation of a unique and identifiable Johnsonville culture around the triangular precinct – bounded by Johnsonville Road to the east, Broderick Road to the south, and Moorefield Road to the West. See the council website for more info.
There is a proposal in place that would see the current retail space almost triple along with redevelopment of the transport hub.
Newlands lies approximately 8km north of the city centre and to the east of its nearest neighbour, Johnsonville. Most of Newlands is perched on one of several hills, one side of which overlooks Wellington Harbour and up to the Hutt Valley.
Despite reasonable proximity to shops, public transport, good schools and some new high-value housing subdivisions it has one of the lowest average house valuations in Wellington.
It has some small grocery shops (“dairies”), with the nearest supermarket being in Johnsonville but there is much talk and speculation regarding the future of the Newlands Mall.
Local talk is that a New World or Pac n Save could be on the cards wit h the development of the Newlands shopping mall . There is a new Community Centre being built behind the current Mall area.
Newlands is home to the well respected Newlands College, Newlands Intermediate and Newlands Primary School. There are a number of other primary schools in the area also.
Woodridge Estate and Bellevue are two examples of new housing subdivisions in the Greater Newlands Area. Both of these subdivsions are very popular and are still growing with land and house packages available from the developers.
As part of Wellington’s growth framework, there is much potential on the easy rolling West facing land North of Woodridge and Grenada Village.
Newlands is certainly an area to watch in terms of further capital growth as young homebuyers flock to the area to purchase value housing for their first home.
The Newlands area is well served by buses to and from the city and linking with the Johnsonville train, run by Newlands Coach Services.
Churton Park is a new, wealthy and upper-middle class suburb located in the Northern Suburbs district of Wellington, 1.5 km north of Johnsonville. It is popular as an executive commuter suburb but currently has no shops and relies on Johnsonville for shopping amenities. It as a fast growing suburb and has been very popular with new immigrants to Wellington who want newer value housing.
The suburb includes over 1500 households, ‘Churton Park’ a recreational sports field, a primary school and a gold mine.
Churton Park School is the suburb’s only primary school. It has a very credible reputation both within and outside the community. As the suburb’s only school, good reputation and growing population, the school’s roll has rapidly increased over the years. To accommodate these increases, there have been many renovations to the school’s buildings within the last 10 years. A new site for a larger school has been proposed.
There are no intermediate schools or colleges within the area, so many students attend Raroa Normal Intermediate, Newlands Intermediate, Onslow College and Newlands College; all within the local Johnsonville and Newlands area.
The geography of the land is quite hilly and has dense bush in some areas that have not been excavated for housing sub-divisions. Steep hills eventually extend over to the Ohariu Valley nearby.
There is much new housing planned North of Churton Park towards Tawa. This suburb along with the land North of Newlands towards Horokiwi will provide the space for the future growth of Wellington.
Built in the 1960′s by Beazley Homes this subdivision is very popular because of its sunny aspect, solid well built homes, and value for money. It has seen excellent capital growth and will continue to thrive as the land North is opened up on the East side of the state highway in the next few years. Paparangi has a wonderful microclimate with more sunshine and less wind than many of its immediate neighbours being on the lower West facing slopes of the ridgeline that faces Johnsonville and Churton Park.
The Northern most suburb in the Northern Suburbs. Grenada Village was developed in the 1980′s. It has been a dead end suburb for decades but the road running through Grenada Village has just been opened and now drivers can get on to the motorway via the Churton Park off ramp north of Johnsonville. This also allows access to large tracts of rolling West facing land perfect for housing Wellington’s future population growth over the coming 20 years. This along with Paparangi is a Suburb to watch as further suburban and infrastructure development will make this a vibrant and fast growing community. See the councils website for more details
Information for this page was sourced from wikipedia.org, Alexander Turnbull Library, and the Wellington City Council archives.
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July 22 2008 | Local events, news and views | No Comments »