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Thursday December 17, 2015

Yes to lower speed limits By Nikki Papatsoumas

Local business owners in the small suburb of Berhampore say the announcement of lower speed limits in their neighbourhood could help give the community its own identity. Last week the Wellington City Council confirmed the speed limit in the shopping areas of Berhampore, Khandallah, Ngaio, Northland, and Wadestown would be reduced from 50km/h to 30km/h. It also announced it would extend the existing 50km/h area northwards along Happy Valley Road. The safer speed limits in these areas will come into effect in early 2016. The Wellington City Council said the decision was in response to overwhelming support from the community to lower speed limits in these neighbourhoods. It said 81 per cent of the 391 submissions received from each of the five areas, were in favour of lowering the speed limits. This comes after a total of 68 crashes resulting in injury were reported in or near these five shopping areas from 2007 to 2013. Of these crashes, 18 caused injuries to pedestrians. Wellington City Councillor David Lee said a lower speed

Wellington City Councillor David Lee with Z Snook and John Heald from Berhampore business, Adelaide Trading Co. Licensed Delicatessen.

limit in Berhampore would help make the suburb a destination, while keeping residents, motorists and cyclists safe. “I have spoken to quite a few local personalities. They do actually want to make this suburb a place to stop rather than a thoroughfare between the two bigger areas of Newtown and Island Bay.” Owners of Adelaide Trading Co. Licensed Delicatessen, Z Snook and John Heald, have also welcomed the decision.

The men said they jumped at the opportunity to invest in a local business earlier this year and hoped slower speed zones would help attract more business. “I think it’s great, just popping across the road to post a letter can sometimes take a wee while and accidents happen,” Z said. John said lower speed limits were just what was needed in the community and he hoped it would help Berhampore adopt

its own identity and market the suburb as a destination. “[Berhampore] is old school and it is up and coming, it’s a small wee village… anything that gives an area an identity in a positive fashion is a good idea, as long as it is done with taste and style.” Other Wellington suburbs with lower speed limits already in place include Brooklyn, Hataitai, Island Bay, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Newtown, Seatoun and Strathmore Park.

$12.3 million to redevelop two Wellington schools A share of $12.3 million will see a new two-storey block, safer drop-off areas and a sheltered outdoor recreation centre for Newtown School. Earlier this week, Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye, announced the government would invest $12.3 million to redevelop Newtown School and Ngaio School. Ms Kay said the redevelopments would help address

roll growth and a range of building and site issues, including weathertightness and structural strengthening. She said it would also create exciting new innovative learning environments for students. “An $8.9 million redevelopment of Newtown School will see temporary buildings at the school replaced with new flexible learning spaces, including a new Maori im-

mersion unit. “A two-storey block at the school was demolished in 2011 following a seismic review, and the school has since been using a number of temporary learning spaces,” Ms Kay said. She said the redevelopment would see a new two-storey block built, along with sheltered outdoor recreation areas and safe drop-off areas.

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“Plans for the redevelopment aim to make the most of the school’s small compact site, and also allow for future roll growth,” she said. Since early November more than $83 million worth of school redevelopments in Wellington have been announced. Construction at Newtown School is expected to start late in 2016.

inbrief news Wellington Zoo retains carboNZero certification Wellington Zoo is thrilled to have again achieved carboNZero certification, after becoming the first zoo in the world to be carboNZero certified in May 2013. Wellington Zoo chief executive, Karen Fifield, said regaining certification for each financial year showed Wellington Zoo was leading the way in sustainability. “Conservation is at the heart of everything we do, and this achievement shows how very seriously we take our commitment to minimising the Zoo’s environmental impact.”

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